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SWOT Research

This research guide will help students find information needed for a SWOT analysis. It includes databases, websites and videos showing how look for the different factors.

What are Strengths?

What are Strengths?

A firm’s strengths are its resources and capabilities that can be used for developing a competitive advantage.   Examples of strengths are:

  • strong brand names
  • unique resources
  • patented products or services
  • a good reputation
  • most valuable assets
  • positive financials
  • access to resources
  • unique or innovative technologies

Finding Sources to Support your Company's Strengths

Review each tab in this box to discover what source types will be most useful to you when searching for information on the Strengths for your company. 

Finding a Company Profile

To understand your company’s strengths, you must begin with a thorough understanding of

  • what the company does
  • its area of business
  • and its revenue streams

In order to research this, you’ll want to find your company’s profile from one of the databases listed below on this page.  When you read through a company profile you can find all the positives (strengths) about a company such as it's financial position, market position, unique resources or technologies.

For specific instructions on how to find a company profile, see here:

Finding a 10-K Report

You can also learn a great deal about a company from its 10-K report and should be able to find out all the positive things a company did in the past year.  A 10-K is an annual report required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that gives a comprehensive summary of a public company’s performance. Generally, item 7 of the 10-K is the company's analysis of its financial condition.

*  You will only find a 10-K report for public companies.  

If the company is publicly traded, you can find its 10-K and Annual or Quarterly Reports:

How to Search EDGAR for 10-K Reports

In order to find your company's strengths, be sure to 

1. Review the news/PR section of a company's website. Here they will talk about all the positive things the company is doing.

2. Search for new articles in NexisUni and ProQuest Central using terms such as:

  • Name of company and "market share" (how much of the market share do they have?)
  • Name of company and competition (to find out what they are doing better than their competitors)
  • Name of company (and then sort results by date to find the most recent news of the company)

Questions to Ask To Identify Strengths for Your Company