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70 Examples of SWOT Weaknesses

 , updated on October 21, 2023
SWOT analysis weaknesses are competitive disadvantages in your current environment. This includes anything that can prevent you from reaching goals in the context of constraints and competition. The following are illustrative examples.
Inconsistent strategy & direction
Poor alignment of goals across teams
Limited financial resources
Inefficient resource allocation
High debt levels
High operating costs
Limited product range
Inefficient processes
Overly complex processes
Negative customer reviews
Declining sales
High customer attrition
Inadequate loyalty programs
Dependence on a few customers
Dependence on a single product
Dependence on a partner
Dependence on key employees
High employee turnover
Employee absenteeism
Overreliance on a single supplier
Slow decision-making
Low employee morale
Low productivity
Insufficient product quality
Poor branding
Low brand recognition
Inconsistent branding
Excessive bureaucracy
Lack of creativity
Failure to meet deadlines
Failed projects
Resistance to change
Unreliable vendors
Aging products
Outdated technology
Poor system usability
Poor product usability
Poor cost control
High overhead costs
Inadequate risk management
Ineffective marketing campaigns
Inadequate employee training
Uncompetitive prices
Inconsistent pricing
Difficulty in scaling operations
Inefficient tools
Inconsistent policies
Compliance issues
Customer service issues
Supply chain issues
Difficulty recruiting talent
Unclear product positioning
Inadequate quality control
Inaccurate forecasts
Poor inventory management
Cybersecurity issues
Data quality issues
Negative environmental impact
Unresponsive to customer feedback
Poor customer support
Slow turnaround time for customer requests
Delayed customer orders
Insufficient metrics, reporting and visibility
Overfocus on a particular metric
Lack of standards
Lack of processes
Excessive cost cutting
Reactive approach to problems
Overemphasis on short-term goals
Lack of collaboration between teams

Customer Experience Weaknesses

Issues with your customer experience such as unreliable products and long wait times for support.

Employee Related Weaknesses

Employee related weaknesses such as an advertising team that lacks training and experience with digital advertising.

Operational Weaknesses

The efficiency and quality of your operations. For example, a speaker manufacturer that produces a large number of quality control failures due to aging equipment.

Management Weaknesses

Shortfalls of strategy, planning, direction and change. For example, projects that conflict and fail to align across teams.

Financial Weaknesses

Financial weaknesses such as higher overhead or unit costs than the competition. For example, an organic farmer who produces apples for $8 a bushel when the average competitor achieves a cost of $7.
More examples:

Knowledge

A lack of know-how such as a solar panel manufacturer that doesn't know how to make their products as durable as the competition.

Prices

Prices and price structures that aren't as attractive as the competition. For example, a telecom company that charges for bandwidth when the competition offers attractive unlimited plans.

Supply Chain

Suppliers and supply chain competition. For example, an ecommerce company that requires at least 3 business days to deliver an order when a competitor can deliver in 24 hours.

Distribution

Your ability to reach the customer to sell to them and deliver your obligations. For example, a sushi restaurant that is 4 blocks from a busy shopping street when a competitor has three locations on the street itself.

Brand

Poor brand recognition and brand image as compared to competitors. For example, an electronics manufacturer with a high quality product but a brand that the target market do not recognize such that they are hesitant to buy.

Customer Service

Customer service shortfalls such as a firm that doesn't measure customer satisfaction at the interaction level such that employees who consistently displease customers aren't detected as low performers.

Customer Relationships

Customer relationship issues such as a sales team that has seen significant turnover such that sales representatives are strangers to major accounts.

Quality

The quality of your products and services. For example, a non-alcoholic beer that tastes bad versus one that tastes good.

Customer Perceptions

Negative customer perceptions such as a technology brand that is associated with a legacy technology such that the brand sounds outdated to many customers in its target market.

Positioning

The valuable uniqueness of your products relative to the competition. For example, an organic coffee product that has nothing special about it as compared to the other product's on the shelves of supermarkets.

Target Market

Competitive weaknesses related to your target market such as a demographic that is shrinking. For example, a sporting goods company that is heavily associated with a sport that is less popular with younger generations.

Productivity

The productivity of your employees. For example, a graphics design shop that consumes an employee month to deliver a logo when a competitor delivers logos of similar value with less than a week of effort.

Technology

The systems and applications you use and their impact on things such as productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction, cost and the turnaround time of processes. For example, an aging technology company that uses systems that are more costly to maintain and difficult to use than the competition.

Information Security

Information security vulnerabilities such as employees who are unaware of basic defensive computing techniques.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure are basic services such as an internet connection or road. For example, a wholesaler located in a remote location on a road that is prone to traffic jams may have a competitive disadvantage to a wholesaler located near a major port with significant transportation infrastructure in the area.

People & Planet

The negative impacts of your business on the environment and communities in which you operate or sell. For example, an industry that produces $4 billion in economic goods but costs society $400 billion in economic bads might reasonably expect that they will eventually be regulated or asked to pay these costs.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture issues such as resistance to change.

Innovation

The capability to change and to develop new value that is non-obvious. For example, a technology company that is often trying to copy the competition as opposed to doing anything that creates new types of products, markets and business models.

Partnerships

Weaknesses of partners or relationships with partners. For example, a manufacturer of air conditioning units has a large number of quality control failures due to low quality parts from a supplier.

Finances

The financial position of a business. For example, an electric car manufacturer with a large debt that will have difficulty refinancing this debt if financial conditions tighten.

Processes

Business processes that fall behind the competition. For example, a university that takes a minimum of 6 months to recruit a professor when the competition can do it in 2 months. This may lead to talent flowing to competing institutions.

Concentration

Concentration risk such as a farmer who only produces one commodity crop such that they are vulnerable to price swings.

Barriers to Entry

A firm with a successful business model, product or service that is easily challenged by newcomers. For example, a small electric bus company that produces innovative vehicle models that are easily emulated by far larger competitors with more mature manufacturing capabilities.

Business Model

A flawed business model such as a company that is able to grow revenue but is not able to become profitable. This typically occurs because growth was fueled by the company offering value that exceeded price with no ability to obtain a price that's higher than cost.

Reputation

A poor reputation due to factors such as leadership, ethics and quality.
Overview: Weaknesses (SWOT)
Type
Definition
Competitive disadvantages in the current environment.
Related Concepts
Next: SWOT Strengths
More about SWOT Analysis:
Business Context
Business Swot
Competitive Factors
Definition
Economic Factors
Examples
External Factors
External SWOT
Internal Factors
Opportunities
Opportunity
Personal Swot
Political Factors
Product SWOT
Situation Analysis
Strengths
Team Strengths
Threats
Weaknesses
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SWOT Analysis

A strategy planning technique.

SWOT Analysis Examples

An overview of swot analysis with examples for a business, product, service, brand, professional, student and school.

Swot Threats

A list of threats for SWOT analysis.

SWOT Opportunities

An overview of the opportunity section of SWOT analysis with examples.

SWOT Strengths

An overview of strengths in SWOT analysis with examples.

Business Weaknesses

A list of business weaknesses for strategic planning exercises such as swot analysis.

Business Strengths

A list of business strengths for brainstorming activities such as swot analysis.

External Environment

The definition of the external environment with business examples.

Competitive Factors

A list of common competitive factors.

Competitive Disadvantage

A few examples of a competitive disadvantage.

Competitive Disadvantage Definition

A definition of competitive disadvantage.

Diseconomies Of Scale

Disadvantages faced by large organizations such as bureaucracy.

Competitive Threat

The common types of competitive threat.

Opportunity

An overview of opportunity with examples.

Business Attributes

A list of common business attributes.

Situation Analysis

An overview of situation analysis with examples.

Contingency Theory

An overview of contingency theory with examples.

Business SWOT

A list of business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Business Context

An overview of business context with examples.

Competitive Parity

The definition of competitive parity with examples.
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