As a college student, the most beneficial piece of information I have learned so far in the higher education system is how to conduct a SWOT analysis. I feel that no matter what your major is or what job you hold, you should know the basics of how to conduct a SWOT analysis for a business/organization. When entering into the workforce, you will need to know how the business runs and how they can improve. I feel that this piece of knowledge is vital because when every employee understands how the company is running, then that might help improve their performance within. The ability to critically think and think outside of the box are vital when conducting a productive analysis. Research is primarily important before beginning the process. Start by looking at the organization strategically. Once you have the material gathered begin to look into the SWOT- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. What are the strengths of the organization? What are the Weaknesses? Threats? Opportunities?
I like the term “Environmental Scanning”. I first heard my professor, Dr. Freberg, explain this term. Scanning the environment and conducting the actual research in a effective manor are what make for an effective/productive SWOT analysis. Look at every angle possible!!! Do not limit yourself to just scanning the surface of the material provided! In class, we are conducting a SWOT Analysis in regards to a social media campaign we are proposing for our University of Louisville based clients. We have to strategically examine each step. However, not just look at the surface of the organization, but dig deep to find information through interviews, articles, reviews, feedback, primary research and general observations. These analysis should be as detailed as possible in order to be most useful. The more detail, the better. I am in the process of conducting a SWOT Analysis for my client and, I have found it most helpful to talk directly to the people associated with the organization. I think it is beneficial to learn directly from the people involved in a company because they work with the business all day everyday and can give you personal feedback on each category. I then look at research and different sources to help back up with individuals portray.
The SWOT Analysis is the starting point, in my opinion, to begin proposing change to a company. Lay out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a efficient way to receive the best outcome. The picture below breaks down the SWOT into internal and external analysis’. Internal, meaning within the company and external, meaning outside of the company. It is very important to remember that when writing out the analysis. Internal and External are very different in terms of how the business runs and can improve. Furthermore, the key component is to take your time when conducting and keep your “strategic thinking cap” on through the process… Your results are unlimited!!!