SWOT Analysis: Industry Profile

SWOT Industry Analysis

Doing SWOT analysis once each year provides a systematic look at the trends in each of the five components that affect your industry. It helps you anticipate and adjust your expectations and pressure points that may affect your company, i.e. new government policies might: encourage more regulation may cause barriers to innovation; raise taxes that may restrict available company resources to fund research and development; increase worker wages and provide more benefits for workers; might build artificial demand thru regulation for products such as electric cars which can increase costs for these vehicles and perhaps point the wrong direction by a government that has no experience in the market place of supply and demand.

Look at your industry from ALL five box perspectives to evaluate: barriers to entry; supplier power; threat of substitutes; buyer power; responses to changing tactics.

  • Barriers to entry (how to control them plays a key role to all parties):
    • Economies of scale
    • Product differentiation
    • Capital Requirements
    • Switching costs
    • Access to distribution channels
    • Cost disadvantages
    • Independent of scale
    • Government policy
    • Expected retaliation if you are entering
    • Entry deterring price
    • Experience & scale
  • Properties of entry barriers: 
    • Change as conditions change
    • Outside control of company
    • Strategic decisions have major impact
    • Skills/resources to overcome like Gillette distribution
  • Intensity of rivalry among existing competitors:
    • Numerous or equally balanced competitors
    • Slow industry growth
    • High fixed or storage costs
    • Lack of differentiation or switching costs
    • Capacity augmented in large increments
    • Diverse competitors
    • High Strategic stakes
    • High exit barriers
  • Pressure from substitute products:
    • Subject to trends improving their price/performance tradeoff with the industry’s product
    • Produced by industries earning high profits
  • Bargaining Power of Buyers:
    • They are concentrated or purchase large volumes relative to seller sales
    • The products they purchase from the industry represent a significant fraction of buyer’s costs/purchases
    • Products they purchase are standard or undifferentiated
    • Few switching costs
      Earns low profits
      Pose a credible threat of backward integration
    • Product is unimportant to the quality of the buyers’ products/services
    • Buyer has full information
  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers/Labor:
    • Dominated by a few companies & is more concentrated than the industry it sells to
    • Not obliged to contend with other substitute products for sale to the industry Industry is not an important customer of the supplier
    • Suppliers’ product is an important input to the buyers’ business
    • Supplier group’s products are differentiated or it has built up switching costs
    • Supplier group poses a credible threat to forward integrate.

For more thoughts on SWOT analysis, view the free video entitled Business Plan Development Session 1.

Copyright ©John Trenary 2019

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