SWOT Analysis and Why You Should Do One

I know that you did this before you opened your business. We all did!

But what about the last time you adjusted your marketing plan? Or when you pivoted for Covid? Whether it’s an adjustment to your sales process or you’re developing a new marketing plan. Evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities is the perfect place to start. 

Any strategy is built from what your business does best and where you can make adjustments. That’s what makes it custom and strategic for your end goal. 

So where do you start?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a list of things that your organization does well, some places you could improve, opportunities you could take advantage of, and threats to your business’ growth. 

Having a list of these four things can help you create a strategy that helps you grow and protects you from unknown risks. 


Strengths are the things that your business does well and distinguishes you from your competitors.

For example, maybe you have a unique relationship with a shipping partner. This keeps your costs low and fulfillment is consistently fast. This is something that your competitors would have a hard time replicating, it’s unique to you. 

It could also be proprietary knowledge, connections you have in the industry, or even staff members with specific skills. These are the things that make your business run, what you do better than everyone else. It’s important to know what these things are, so that you can properly create messaging that conveys this to your customers. 

Keep in mind, your strengths need to be something your competitors would have a hard time replicating. Not something that EVERYONE is doing. High quality merchandise or good customer service is great to have, but is a necessity in most markets. 


Be honest with yourself. Where does your business fall short? Are you short on stock? Lots of SKUs that don’t ever restock? High turnover?

Think about the things that you always feel behind on, the tasks that give anxiety. The things that keep you up at night. Think about what you wish you could do, that your competitors are able to accomplish. Don’t dwell, but make sure that you admit where you’re falling short. That’s the first step in creating a strategy that helps you address these things effectively. 


This is an opening in the market. Is there a gap in your community? Do you think that your business could fill that hole?

Like maybe you have a storefront in a small town where development is booming and there’s exponential population growth. This is an opportunity and you need to figure out how you can capitalize on that before your competitors do. 

Looking for opportunities, big or small, helps to create a strategy that puts you ahead of the game and helps you solidify your strengths and values as a business.


These are the things that negatively affect your business. I bet you can think of a big one…

Potential lockdowns? Supply chain issues? Rent is going up? These are threats that can derail your goals.

You need to anticipate these threats and develop strategies that acknowledge they’re a possibility. Building out a contingency plan is a foolproof way to be ready for things that could otherwise shut you down.

Anticipating a threat can make them an opportunity instead, you just need to keep your ear to the ground. 

Now what? 

Use each of these lists to look for potential connections.

Which of your strengths can open up opportunities? Are there threats to your business caused by your weaknesses? Knowing how each of these quadrants connect to the other, helps you develop a strategy that capitalizes on your strengths and acknowledges your weaknesses. 

If you’re sitting down and creating a marketing plan for the summer, do a SWOT analysis first. Be realistic about where you stand in the market, how you stack up against competitors and what you can use to your advantage. Know what you do best and work on what you don’t. Create strategies that work for you and your goals, not just ones that look good on paper. 

Need a SWOT analysis template? We have you covered at this link. 

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