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Business: Company Research: SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

SWOT  =  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. or TOWS Matrix is a variant of the classic business tool, SWOT Analysis. TOWS and SWOT are acronyms for different arrangements of the words Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

By analyzing the external environment (threats and opportunities), and your company internal environment (weaknesses and strengths), you can use these techniques to think about the strategies of your organization, your department or your team. You can also apply them in thinking about a process, a marketing campaign, or even your own skills and experience.

Analysis of these 4 qualities provides a good overview of a company's current and future prospects.  SWOT analyses can be found in the databases listed below.

If no SWOT analysis is available for your company, look at a competitor or an industry analysis.  The SWOT factors are often quite similar for companies in the same industry sector.

Theories for Situation Analysis

Situation analysis refers to a collection of methods that are used to analyze an organization's internal and external environment and to understand the organization's capabilities, customers, and business environment.

There are different business analytics tools for Situation Analysis:

5C analysis - is a method in analyzing the market environment.  It is to gain information on the internal, macro-environmental, and micro-environmental factors within the business environment.  5C is the extension of 3C [Customer, Corporation and Competitors]: Company, Customer, Competitors, Collaborators and Climate.

SWOT analysis or TOWS matrix - is for the Strengths and Weaknesses of a company (internal environment) as well as the Opportunities and Threats within the market (external environment).

Porter's Five Forces - scans the environment for threats from competitors and identifies problems early on to minimize threats imposed by competitors.

PEST Analysis - scans the macro-environmental factors: Political, Economic, Social and Technological analysis.  Some analysts added Legal factor and Environment factor to become PESTLE Analysis.

Michael E Porter Five Forces Analysis

Michael Porter, a Harvard Business school professor developed a framework that models an industry as being influenced by five forces.  In his book "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors", Five Forces Analysis is a framework of five forces to determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a market for industry analysis and business strategy development.

You can use the model to better understand the industry context in which a firm operates.

Diagram of Porter's 5 Forces (

Bear in mind that the Five Forces analysis does not supersede SWOT analysis. Five Force analysis focuses specifically on the industry in which a company operates while in a SWOT analysis focuses primarily on the company itself (the strengths and weaknesses of a company are analyzed relative to the entire industry, while the threats and opportunities originate primarily within the industry).

Philip Kolter's Marketing Management - 4P/7P

Philip Kolter, a professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, presented the Marketing Mix theory.  The  theory comprises of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. When the theory puts into intangible services, the marketing mix for a service has three additional elements: People, Process and Physical Evidence.