Sure, it's always good to do SWOT at any point of time in business. It gives you a perspective on what's going right and what might go wrong. Critical it is to undertaking enhancements in your business and marketing strategy. It can also drive you towards innovation. Go ahead and do that!
My suggestion is doing this type of exercise once a year. From my experience as start up consultant this should be done at the moment of business planning and then periodically.
However SWOT analysis is not the only valuable tool you have: you need to combine this exercise with other strategic tools (for instance value chain analysis, review of market trends, BCG matrix and more).
Give a particular relevance to the analysis of external factors, since, again from my experience, those ones have a critical impact on the medium term sustainability of your start up.
Good luck with your business and keen to connect in case of questions.
As a startup a SWOT analysis is a very important part of your business plan that should be conducted on both Yourself and Your Co - founder/ business partners as well as the actual business itself. You want to know if you yourself and co founder have the Entrepreneurial Mindset necessary to start and run a business for the long term. You want to know what skills and resources you bring or need to acquire for the success of your business. You want to do a SWOT analysis on your business during your pro-type launch stage to learn what your target audience think about your product/service. And every stage there after. So in short a start up should have already thought about their SWOT analysis on themselves as owners prior to launching. A SWOT at pro-type launch and another SWOT analysis after using the feedback from pro-type launch to improve and every 6months their after to remain aware of any opportunities and needs
Absolutely. This is a visual element that I feel like should be incorporated more into a start up business! When we visually see strengths, weaknesses , opportunities, and threats we are better prepared with what needs to stay consistent or areas where we should step up the game plan.
SWOT is an excellent strategic tool that opens the big picture and therefore it is definitely smart to do it regularly and often from the Very Beginning!!!
We live in rapidly changing time where strategic thinking and strategic planning which SWOT is part of should be used regularly. Hope this helps.
Ah...yes. They should be thinking in those terms well before product launch. A formal SWAT analysis is simply a tool to help you think about those 4 important areas.
Strengths - what is it about you that makes you superior to other potential competitors
Weakness - what are your internal flaws that threaten your success
Opportunities - who are the most likely customers/markets for you, and why
Threats - who could eat your lunch, derail your product and steal your customers.
Here's a good visual representation that can help:
I'm an experienced CEO, entrepreneur, strategist, and operator having grown and turned around businesses in a range of industries (digital health, financial services, telecom, aerospace) and in companies of all sizes from brand new start-ups to much larger firms like Goldman Sachs.
SWOT Analysis works for some people. Never for me. I find it to be a bit too academic and less action-oriented for my tastes, especially in start-ups where you have to think and move fast.
I've used other frameworks but more importantly, ways to think about thorny business problems that makes sense. I'd love to learn more about what you are facing, and I can give you some pointers. Please set-up a call if you'd like.
I’ll provide a different perspective. As a startup, your single focus in the early stage is to achieve P/M fit. If a SWOT analysis helps to conceptualize to you, who your customer is, what the problem you’re solving for that customer is etc, then yes, go ahead. But don’t do it just for the sake of having a SWOT analysis. Most startups don’t actually even understand the problem they are solving or have a clear value proposition (simply a number of hypothesis that they’re trying to prove or disprove). From that context a SWOT isn’t the most useful tool. After all, if you don’t know what your offering actually means to the customer (or don’t really understand who the customer is), how can you build a SWOT for it?
This is best done before a business is ever designed, focusing on the Market Affinity of the principles.
In other words, stick with Markets you know inside out.
Most SWOT approaches are overly complex.
Here's my 1x question SWOT template.
"Stick with anything you've done for the past 10 years + you'll do again for then 10 years, with or without pay."
Tip: Anything you do for 10, 20, 30+ years, you'll have some much muscle memory SWOT data in your cells, no competitor can touch your business.
SWOT analysis for a startup in the initial days may give results that are likely to be discouraging.The reason for saying so is that like a growing baby the strengths of the organization still require time to mature. Also the weakness and threats will seem larger (depending on the competition) at earlier stage. So only Opportunities are the driving factor and those opportunities were the trigger for starting up too. the situation does not change that much in the early days of the business
However in Lieu of SWOT analysis, I will suggest PEST analysis that will help you focus more on defining the target market and customer segments.