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SWOT Analysis: Threats

Researching & analyzing a company's internal & external environment.

Identify Threats

Ask the following questions:

  • What negative trends in the environment may impact a company's performance? 
  • Are any economic, political, regulatory, or social factors changing how the industry operates?
  • Are any social or cultural changes affecting the company's customer base?
  • What are competitors doing that could pose a threat?

Self-Identifying Threats

In its 10-K report, the company itself identifies risks in the external environment.  Look for risks in :

  • Item 1. Business
  • Item 1A. Risk
  • Item 7. Management Discussion

Form 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 and is the most exhaustive source of current corporate information. It may be obtained through corporate websites by clicking on "About Us" or "Investor Relations" links. The following websites and databases are also authoritative sources for Form 10-K.

Research Competitors

Use the databases below to research a company and look for competition or information on its competitive position using the following subject headings:

  • New products
  • Strategic planning
  • Technological innovations
  • Market entry
  • Investments

Or, alternatively, identify & research company competitors and the threats they might pose. Search using the competitor's company name and one of the subject headings above.