A firm should not necessarily pursue the more lucrative opportunities. Rather, it may have a better chance at developing a competitive advantage by identifying a fit between the firm's strengths and upcoming opportunities. In some cases, the firm can overcome a weakness in order to prepare itself to pursue a compelling opportunity.
To develop strategies that take into account the SWOT profile, a matrix of these factors can be constructed. All the best management models have four quadrants, and the SWOT matrix is no exception. You use each of the four quadrants in turn to analyze where you are now, where you want to be, and then make an action plan to get there. The SWOT matrix (also known as a TOWS Matrix) is shown below:
SWOT / TOWS Matrix
- S-O strategies pursue opportunities that are a good fit to the company's strengths.
- W-O strategies overcome weaknesses to pursue opportunities.
- S-T strategies identify ways that the firm can use its strengths to reduce its vulnerability to external threats.