Strengths must consider what the organization can do with the internal resources. Any asset of the firm could be classified as strength, but the extent of contribution to the competitive situation of the firm can fluctuate greatly. A reputed brand-name, popular customer service, and/or exclusive access to systematic supply chain network are strengths.
Any area in which the organization lacks strength is weakness. Poor product positioning, outdated production equipment, and poor customer service are weaknesses. High employee turnover that leads to loss of talent is a major weakness of the firm.
In general, changes in the external environment that may uplift the company can be an opportunity to the firm. Weakening of competitors by a poor cash-flow position is an opportunity to capture market share. Similarly, changes in tax structure, progress in economic trends, or the passage of favorable laws are all opportunities.
Threats stem from a deficiency of opportunities or from the strengths of competitors. Changes in consumer preferences, new competitor innovations, restrictive regulations, and unfavorable trade barriers are all examples of threats.
After completing the SWOT analysis, the company should be able to configure its overall position in the marketplace. This is an important step in strategic management. However, every opportunity cannot be pursued and every strength is not necessarily an advantage. The organization should choose the factors to exploit to take complete advantage of its position. Similarly, the organization should seek to minimize weaknesses and threats.