What is SWOT Analysis?
Albert S Humphrey was a business and management consultant who specialised in organisational management and change. He understood that businesses must have the ability to adapt therefore understanding what might make you succeed or fail is critical. Albert realised the importance of understanding these areas and as a result, developed SWOT analysis in the 1960s. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and are the four quadrants to be analysed. The quadrants fall into two categories:
- internal factors (strengths and weaknesses)
- external factors (opportunities and threats)
By analysing the four quadrants you gain a better understanding of all the components of your business. The internal factors look at efficiency and effectiveness of the person, business or organisation. Whereas external factors are the environment outside of your business and could include competitors, economic development or changes in customers' needs.
Strengths are the internal factors that make you stand out from the competition. Therefore they are the success factors of your business. A school in a densely populated area could get more new admissions every year compared to a school that is in an isolated location. A new campus with easy access to transport and a modern building will attract teachers as well as students.
Your barriers to success are the weaknesses within your organisation. A school with outdated equipment may not be attractive to students or teachers. Therefore the school with the latest information and communication technologies (ICT) will be more attractive.
Opportunities are factors that can be explored and exploited. A school that installs Smart Boards before any other schools in the area is ahead of the competition. Because of this, they have made themselves more attractive to students and teachers.
New government, legislation or competition are external threats that could affect the success of the operation, project or idea.