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What Is a SWOT Analysis?

Evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will help you gain a competitive edge with your marketing efforts.

This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Teen Startups.

Q: What is a SWOT analysis, and how can it help me?

A: Marketing is probably the most fun aspect of small-business management. It involves direct communication with your customers and clients and allows you the opportunity to share what you bring to the marketplace in a creative way. Unlike most other elements of your business, marketing does not have rigid boundaries. You can be as formal as you like by mapping out marketing plans and strategies, or you can practice grassroots/guerrilla marketing as your budget allows. But before you begin any marketing campaign, you should perform a SWOT analysis of your business. This acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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