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SWOT analysis seeks to provide information that is helpful in matching your company’s resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which you operate.

It involves defining the objective of your venture and identifying both internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable in your journey to achieve that objective. A SWOT analysis is instrumental in helping you assess the potential of prospective markets.

First, define the objective of your venture. An example would be “to open a branch in Vietnam by 2011 and to achieve sales revenue of $1 million by 2013.”

Next, understand the 4 main classifications of internal and external factors. Then identify the SWOTs based on your intended venture.

SWOT

Finally, evaluate the SWOTs and determine if your objective is attainable. If your objective appears no longer attainable, then you must identify a different objective or venture and repeat the SWOT analysis.

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STRENGTHS

  • A strong brand name
  • Patents
  • Cost advantage arising from proprietary technologies
  • Extensive knowledge about target market
  • Exclusive access to natural resources
  • Strong business connections

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Removal of trade barriers
  • Identification of unmet need
  • Positive changes in legislations
  • Emergence of new technologies
  • First mover advantage

WEAKNESSES

  • Weak brand name
  • Poor reputation
  • Weak intellectual property protection
  • High operating costs, lack of critical mass
  • Lack of access to best natural resources
  • Lack of access to distribution network

THREATS

  • Establishment of new trade barriers
  • Shift in consumer preference and taste
  • Emergence of substitute products
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