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Strengths in SWOT analysis are one of the factors people consider when they develop a detailed overview and discussion of a business' prospects. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) approach is a management tool companies can use to reorganize or develop policy changes. As one of the items in this matrix of topics to cover, strengths are a very important part of the total evaluation. Analysts need to be able to identify the strengths of a company so management can play on them.
Typically, strengths are internal and intrinsic to a company. An analyst considering strengths in SWOT analysis would look at what the business already has that can empower it to be more effective. This could include loyal staff, people with special qualifications, and other assets. Businesses may not be aware of the areas where they excel if they focus on negatives or do not take time to generate a complete listing of their assets. These include financial assets like real estate as well as human resources that may be available to the firm.
The generation of a list of strengths in SWOT analysis can be complemented with a look at the internal weaknesses. A retail store might, for example, have a clerk customers do not relate to. This member of the staff could represent a weakness that costs the company money and needs to be addressed. A measured consideration of both the internal strengths and weaknesses is important to compile an accurate assessment of what the business has to its advantage.
To develop a complete list of strengths in SWOT analysis, there are several tools available. An analyst can interview people working with the company to get their impressions and start generating a list. Analysts may also audit accounts and records, or spend time on the floor watching people at work to quietly collect more data. Examining business reviews can also provide information; this may be as simple as researching a company on the Internet to see what customers say about it.
External analysts sometimes find hidden strengths in SWOT analysis because they may be able to look at a company more objectively. Their distanced perspective may allow them to spot things people do not see from within, and they may be able to collect unbiased information from people within the company as well as outside commentators. It is also possible to evaluate a business solely from within, using its own management and staff to conduct an analysis.