What is a SWOT Analysis?

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Why would a PA need to know?

Decisions-made-by-PA-Support
SWOT Analysis for PA Support decisions

Whether you are starting a business, expand an existing business or looking for a new PA Job, a SWOT analysis could help you to make the right choices for your business or career.  SWOT is an acronym to remind you of subject headings you should think of when making those decisions.

What does SWOT Analysis mean?

The word SWOT breaks down like this:

S = Strengths
W = Weaknesses
O = Opportunities
T = Threats

 

S is for Strengths. In business, you could look at:

  • What advantages does your company have over other companies doing the same thing? For example, the latest technology or more experienced staff.
  • What do you do better than other companies?
  • What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
  • Do you have a loyal customer base?

When looking for a new PA Support role you could look at

  • What skills do you have?
  • Experience you have?
  • Transferable skills do you have?
  • What are your personal characteristics, e.g. work ethic, self-disciplined?

W is for Weaknesses. In business, you could look at:

  • What can your company do better to improve revenue/performance?
  • Is there anything your company should stop doing because it is not helping customer relations, or revenue or performance?
  • Are your response times longer than they could be?
  • Is there a problem with suppliers or distributers?

When looking for a new PA Support role you could look at

  • Possible lack of technology – new IT systems, social media
  • Work experience
  • Poor work ethic

O is for Opportunities. In business, you could look at:

  • Are there any gaps in the market that you could be moving into?
  • Training opportunities for your staff that would give you an advantage over your competitors?
  • Are there any Government Funding options that you can use?
  • Is there a technological improvement that you could use?

When looking for a new PA Support role you could look at

  • New career would give you fresh or different opportunities
  • Career advancement
  • Travel or work nearer to home

T is for Threats. In business, you could look at:

  • What factors in the business sector in which your company works could cause your business to fail?
  • Other companies in your business sector doing that could cause your business to fail?
  • Is there a requirement for the business opportunity that you have identified?
  • A change in legislation that will cause issues in the way that you currently do business?
  • Has the customer base or customer requirement changed?

When looking for a new PA Support role you could look at

  • Competitors with superior skills and experience
  • Limited advancement in your current company
  • Company redundancies in the future
  • Stayed with the company too long

 

What does a SWOT Analysis template look like?

 

HELPFUL FACTORS NEGATIVE FACTORS
INTERNAL FACTORS STRENGTHS:

What does the business do well. e.g. Knowledge of market
Excellent reputation
Good Staff
Fantastic suppliers/distributers

WEAKNESSES:
What the business does not have e.g. Experience
What it does not do as well as competitors e.g. warranty
Out of date technology
Out of date products
Time it takes to deliver
EXTERNAL FACTORS OPPORTUNITIES:
There is any number of these. e.g. New customers
New technology
Government Grants
New products
New marketing strategies
THREATS:
Customers moving
Interest in product declining
New technology
Government Grants ending
New competitors
Environmental factors e.g. weather

 

How does a SWOT Analysis work?

A SWOT Analysis uses a template that allows you to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats in different ways. Firstly like this:

  • Helpful things: The Strengths & Opportunities work together so that you identify opportunities based on your strengths.
  • Harmful things: The Weaknesses & Threats work together so that you check can work on the weakness to ensure that the threats are not made worse.

Secondly like this:

  • Internal Factors: Strengths & Weaknesses. These are internal to your company or  They can be changed by you & your company.
  • External Factors: Opportunities & Threats. These are things that are outside of your control & influence the way that your business can grow.

When should I use a SWOT Analysis?

 

A SWOT analysis can be used for all sizes of goals – from starting a company to expanding a company; researching a new product or service, or improving your career.

You can also use a SWOT Analysis for checking that the companies (suppliers & distributers, or subcontractors) that work with you are not increasing your threats or weaknesses, but are improving your strengths & opportunities.

 

Examples of a SWOT Analysis

  • Should I start up my own business?

 

HELPFUL FACTORS NEGATIVE FACTORS
INTERNAL FACTORS STRENGTHS:
Founder is qualified
Start-up costs covered
WEAKNESSES:
Never run own business
No staff to help
EXTERNAL FACTORS OPPORTUNITIES:
Gap in Market
Interest in product
THREATS:
Other businesses doing similar work
Supplier price may go up
  • Should I invest in new technology?

 

HELPFUL FACTORS NEGATIVE FACTORS
INTERNAL FACTORS STRENGTHS:
Excellent reputation
Good customer base
WEAKNESSES:
Declining market share
Old technology
EXTERNAL FACTORS OPPORTUNITIES:
New technology will allow staff to complete work more quickly   
THREATS:
Other businesses investing in new technology

 

  • Should I get a new PA job?
Decisions-made-by-PA-Support-using-SWOT
SWOT Analysis for PA Support decisions

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