Any good SWOT analysis process starts with your strengths analysis. The best way to handle the initial analysis procedure should start as a simple listing procedure. If you are completing the analysis alone, grab a legal pad and a pencil and get going. If you're working with other colleagues to complete your analysis, the best first step is for each of you to make individual lists, then compare notes. This will probably give you more overall material to work with. The strengths that you put on your list could be any number of things. Some companies choose to list things like their expertise in the given field. Another pretty simple strength could be your location. For example, if your company is located on the corner of a street that is about to be a major thoroughfare, you have a real strength on your hands. Your business could double as soon as the route becomes well traveled. Another possible strength could be your current internet presence. Your product or service could be a great strength to add to your list. If you have a very different position in your industry than your competitors, that might serve as a great strength to add to your list. If you have a particularly quality product, that would certainly be a strength that you would want to add to your list. Remember to put anything on you list that adds value to your business within the general marketplace.
When you are ready to start the process, you will want to consider the following questions to help you develop your list. First, do you have something more than the other companies do that are in the same market with you? Second, is there something that you do better than anyone else who fits within the same market category as you do? Third, are there particular things that you have access to that are different or cost-effective? For example, do you have some resource that gives you an edge over other companies? Finally, think about what your customers consider to be your strengths. Be sure to list those as well.
As you are making your list, you want to think about your strengths in two different ways. First, you need to think about them from your point of view. You, and your colleagues if they are part of this process, know best how your business is doing. You know what you do well. You know how things work on an internal level. It is essential to use your knowledge and understanding of your business to build your list. Once you've done that, try to take a moment to step outside of yourself. Think meta cognitively about your business. What might be your strengths from a customer's point of view. This, more than anything else, can help you get an overall picture of your business' strengths.