How to do a SWOT Analysis? [Template & Examples]

Jakub Spiryn Jakub Spiryn
January 3, 2023 ・ 7 min read

Conducting a SWOT analysis is one of the first steps to building a business strategy. Today you will learn what SWOT is, find some examples, and download a ready template. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

How to do a SWOT Analysis

As you might have guessed after reading the intro, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s one of the fundamental business analysis strategies that most people learn while attending business schools.

Now that you know what stands behind the acronym, let’s find out how to perform a good SWOT breakdown and increase sales.

Table of contents:

SWOT: expanding the acronym

A SWOT analysis consists of the strengths and weaknesses of your company and the opportunities and threats in the market. 

  • Strengths

In this part of the SWOT analysis, you need to think of all strengths of your businesses.

Think of what your company is good at. What’s something your competitors don’t do? Which actions bring the most revenue?

In this part of the analysis, you can also list your strong human resources. Perhaps you have a great sales team? Or highly-skilled IT specialists?

  • Weaknesses

Now it’s time to list all your weaknesses that stand in the way of success.

As opposed to the company’s strengths, think of what you are bad at. What do you lack when comparing your organization to competitors? What part of your company and business strategy needs improvement?

Do you have an incomplete marketing team? Maybe there’s too much on your plate and need to ramp up your hiring?

  • Opportunities

After you define strengths and weaknesses, time to research opportunities and threats.

Opportunities are both internal and external factors that can boost your company’s performance.

Maybe you can enter new markets? Or are there new trends you can partake in that will boost your brand awareness?

  • Threats

Finally – threats.

Are there any internal factors that can threaten your market position, such as gaps in human resources? Or maybe there are some external factors, such as problems with shipping and rising operation costs?

In this part of the SWOT analysis, you need to list all factors that can threaten your company and revenue.

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What’s the purpose of SWOT analysis?

The simple answer is to define every strength, and weakness, every threat and opportunity, that can either boost your business or force you to make unplanned additional spending.

If you want to do strategic planning for your company development, you need to know what lies ahead of you and how to use your resources to maximize income and lessen the risks.

Organizations do SWOT analyses to scope the market and position themselves against competitors.

It’s crucial to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. By knowing the strengths, you can grasp the opportunities that appear in your niche. Conversely, if you are aware of your weaknesses, you can better prepare yourself for potential threats that may appear in your path.

This strategic planning technique allows you to be more familiar with your organization, what it can and cannot do at the moment, and to find room for improvement.

SWOT table [downloadable template]

Although the SWOT framework doesn’t require complicated templates, you can download a sample below.

I created a SWOT matrix with examples of each part of the analysis, along with questions that will help you define internal qualities and external factors for your company.

Click here to download the SWOT analysis matrix.

Examples of SWOT analysis

Although SWOT analysis is fairly easy to understand, it’s always good to look at some examples.

Here’s a SWOT analysis example for a local restaurant:

STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES
High-qualified staff
Good recognition in the region
High spending on ingredients
Too little place to store resources
OPPORTUNITIESTHREATS
New trends in local cuisine
Location in a busy area
Increasing inflation may discourage clients from coming
Low availability of some ingredients on the market

Do you want more SWOT analysis examples? Here’s one for a digital marketing agency:

STRENGTHSWEAKNESSES
Long-term clients happy with the results
A well-optimized webpage (SEO)
Contact with many digital marketing influencers
Low brand awareness
Insufficient human resources
Underdeveloped content marketing strategy
OPPORTUNITIESTHREATS
Budget for new in-house positions
Business-related local events
Opportunity to get high SEO rankings due to good optimization
Competitive market
Targeted companies prefer in-house marketing
Worldwide inflation decreases the income

Do you understand how it works? Let’s see what else may help you in your own SWOT analysis.

Helpful SWOT questions

To outline the internal and external factors for the SWOT analysis, you can use these questions to guide you through the process. Feel free to brainstorm ideas with other team members to develop more issues. The more strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you find, the better.

Internal factors: strengths and weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are considered internal factors. For this part of the analysis, you should think of what’s inside your organization that makes it powerful or weak.

Sample questions you can ask yourself:

  • What unique resources do you have?
  • What unique knowledge do you have?
  • What resources are available?
  • What is your organization praised for?

And on the other hand:

  • What resources do you lack?
  • What people outside the organization think you do badly?
  • What are the most common customer complaints?

External factors: opportunities and threats

On the opposite, opportunities and threats are external factors that have an impact on your brand. Think of everything that you don’t have an impact on that affects your work.

Sample questions:

  • How well are you prepared for market changes?
  • How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
  • How does the external environment positively impacts your brand?
  • Are there any positive trends in the market that you already participate in?

For threats:

  • Are there any changes in the market niche that you are not prepared for?
  • Are there any external factors that may threaten your company’s well-being?
  • What obstacles are you facing  at the moment?
  • Does your organization have a lot of strong competitors?

You need to address those and similar questions to find out what are your organization’s strengths and make any business decision that will help you to avoid threats and gain competitive advantages.

Read also: Digital Marketing Trends for 2023

Benefits of SWOT analysis

Companies perform a SWOT analysis as a part of their business strategies to determine what are their strong points and find room for improvement.

Identifying opportunities and threats can prepare you for future trends, both positive and negative ones. If you do your SWOT analysis well, there should not be any external forces that can put your company at risk.

Being conscious of your own organization is a powerful weapon. Bad CEOs don’t know much about the company they are leading. A good CEO is aware of every resource at hand, and with a well-performed SWOT analysis, they would know when to use the strengths and how to improve the weaknesses.

A SWOT analysis is something that should be done when preparing a go-to-market strategy, but it’s also a good idea to perform it regularly to identify your weaknesses and strengths and be prepared for market changes.

Where to start with SWOT and what’s next?

Now that you know precisely what SWOT means, it’s time to sit on your own. Define your internal strengths and external opportunities and work with your team on improving your strategic business planning.

After performing a SWOT analysis and making changes to your strategic management, you might want to see how your brand is performing. You can use a media monitoring tool to check brand awareness, social media reach, and much more. We offer a 14-day free trial at Brand24. During the two weeks, you can check what people really think about your product or services, and check your reach and engagement. Sounds interesting? Use the button below to register.

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Now that you are ready to make the SWOT analysis, I highly recommend checking other types of business analyses. A natural continuation of establishing SWOTs is to perform a PEST analysis.