EVALUATION OF SWOT ANALYSIS AS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS TOOL TO ENHANCE ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY OF SME CONTRACTORS IN SOUTH AFRICA
This study aims to analyse the applicability of SWOT analysis as a strategic business tool towards enhancing SME contractors’ capability to identify, assess and utilised identified critical factors that are considered as attributes of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats towards growing economic sustainable firms in South African construction industry. Many scholars and researchers have acknowledged that one of the major causes of premature SMEs failure would be linked to their inability to strategically undertake internal and external business analyses (conscious application of SWOT analysis) that would assist them in identifying business attributes of strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats in their business operating environment. Thus, this study adopted a qualitative research approach in which unstructured interview was utilised for primary data collection with 33 SME contractors within the CIDB register of contractors within grades 4 to 6 in Port Elizabeth. The research findings revealed that the conscious application of SWOT analysis as a business would enhance SME contractors' survival and capability to achieve economic sustainability, thus reducing ongoing premature business failure. This research concludes that conscious application of SWOT analysis will significantly assist struggling SMEs or start-up contractors to identify and ascertain their business strengths (positive attributes and internal factors), weaknesses (competitive disadvantage, negative attributes, hindering internal factors), opportunities ( attractive external factors) and threats (external risk factors) in planning, developing and growing economically sustainable construction business in South Africa. Thus, the conscious application of SWOT analysis is recommended to struggling SMEs and start-up contractors as it would assist them in ascertaining to a large extent the potentiality of their business survival at an early stage of business development.
Business Survival, Construction, Critical Factors, Sustainable Business, Swot Analysis.