Does this word SWOT look familiar to you? For those of you who have not taken any marketing-related course, it is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

SWOT analysis is a very useful tool. It is not only a marketing tool for companies, it can be applied to many areas as well. For example, if you are undecided between which cars to buy,use this method to evaluate your decision. It offers a wider view of the advantages and disadvantages of the product.

It can also be done to an individual. Identity your strengths, build on your weaknesses, explore opportunities around you and eliminate the threats you might be facing. Result? A better and more efficient person!

In fact, Swot analysis has been used thousands of years ago. As Sun Tzu Art of War states:

Know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

Would you interpret this quote? Do an assessment on yourself and your competitors so as to gain the upper hand in the battle?

How to analyse

Strengths and weaknesses: These two attributes are mainly internal factors, coming from within, or simply micro-environment. It is usually areas which can be improved and controllable conditions.

Opportunities and threats: These are usually external factors. Areas which are unavoidable but can be minimized in a macro-environment. Example; Natural disasters, Political unrest and food inflation.

To provide a better view, I have provided a humble analysis of Info barrel. Please note this is my personal view, it is not meant to promote or tarnish the reputation of the company. This is just an example.


  1. Attractive proposition for end-users. Zero cost and get paid for your content. You write, we do the rest.
  2. Offers one of the highest ad revenue sharing with authors among the article-writing market.
  3. Potential to grow with the social-networking/internet marketing sector.
  4.  User friendly interface; Ease of use of its writing software.
  5. Point system in rewarding users. Retaining loyal and good authors.
  6.  Over 300 sites of consumer-based networking sites to link to your article.
  7. Strong relationship base; User promotes the website for more traffic. Win -Win situation.
  8. Huge target market; anyone who uses the internet and writes.


  1. Technical glitch on writing software; bugs might surface with new OS
  2. Articles cannot be reviewed and submitted efficiently.
  3. Stiff competition from similar websites.
  4. Not enough advertising for the company.


  1. Expansion of the company operations globally.
  2. Product differentiation in terms of writing language. Mandarin, French German, Italian, Spanish etc.
  3. Pay for articles vice versa; Attract top talents and ensure good content.
  4. Create own ad space for advertisers instead of using a third party
  5. Form strategic alliance with big players in the internet marketing business.


  1. Bugs or viruses may surface globally as seen with the Y2K bug
  2. Not enough traffic to sustain the business; interest from both users and consumers die off gradually with no results.
  3. Server bandwidth may not be able to support the increase influx of users.