SWOT Analysis / PEST Analysis

“I got known as the school swot, which wasn’t me at all.” – Andrew Lloyd Webber


SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is an extremely useful tool for understanding your business and then using the information to allow for decision-making.  SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

The SWOT headings provide a good framework for reviewing the strategy, position and direction of a company or business proposition.

Completing a SWOT analysis is very simple, and is a good subject for business reviews and planning sessions.  SWOT analysis also works well in brainstorming meetings and is yet another method for just encouraging you to think about your business from all angles.

Use SWOT for business planning, strategic planning, competitor evaluation, marketing, business and product development and research reports.  You can also use SWOT analysis exercises for team building games.

In addition to this 2×2 matrix method, this analysis is also a widely recognized method for gathering, structuring, presenting and reviewing extensive planning data within a larger business or project planning process.

PEST analysis

PEST analysis is a useful tool for understanding market growth or decline, and as such the position, potential and direction for a business.  A PEST analysis is a business measurement tool but don’t get hung up, it is just another way of thinking about the business you are planning to launch or develop.

PEST is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors, which are used to assess the market for a business or organizational unit.

The PEST analysis headings are a framework for reviewing a situation, and can also, like SWOT, be used to review a strategy or position, direction of a company, a marketing proposition, or idea.

Completing a PEST analysis is very simple, and is a good subject for workshop sessions.  PEST analysis also works well in brainstorming meetings.

Use PEST analysis for business and strategic planning, marketing planning, business and product development and research reports.  You can also use PEST analysis exercises for team building games.

PEST analysis is similar to SWOT – it’s simple, quick, and uses four key perspectives.  As PEST factors are essentially external, completing a PEST analysis is helpful prior to completing a SWOT analysis (a SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – is based broadly on half internal and half external factors).

Please note: If you use SWOT Analysis as a 2×2 matrix method , then technically Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors (generally the case anyway), whereas Opportunities and Threats are external factors (this can be more difficult, since it requires you to ignore internal threats and opportunities).

It is the process of producing these documents that is powerful, not the finished article themselves. Use help from mentors, advisor’s or experienced business people to get the most out of the process.

SWOT Analysis thinking from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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