SWOT Analysis Model and Examples – Strategy Skills

What Is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a cram psychoanalysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business .
SWOT Analysis is a joyride that can help you to analyze what your company does best right now, and to devise a successful strategy for the future. SWOT can besides uncover areas of the business that are holding you back, or that your competitors could exploit if you do n’t protect yourself .
A SWOT psychoanalysis examines both inner and external factors – that is, what ‘s going on inside and outside your arrangement. So some of these factors will be within your restraint and some will not. In either case, the wisest action you can take in reception will become clearer once you ‘ve discovered, recorded and analyzed as many factors as you can .
SWOT seems elementary, but, if used cautiously and collaboratively, it can be very revealing. For example, you may be well aware of some of your organization ‘s strengths, but until you record them aboard weaknesses and threats you might not realize how undependable those strengths actually are. equally, you likely have reasonable concerns about some of your business weaknesses but, by going through the analysis systematically, you could find an opportunity, previously overlooked, that could more than compensate.

In this article, television and infographic, we explore how to carry out a SWOT analysis, and how to put your findings into legal action. We besides include a work example and a template to help you get started on a SWOT analysis in your own workplace .

How to Write a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis involves making lists – but so much more, besides ! When you begin to write one tilt ( say, Strengths ), the remember process and research that you ‘ll go through will prompt ideas for the other lists ( Weaknesses, Opportunities or Threats ). And if you compare these lists side by side, you will probably notice connections and contradictions, which you ‘ll want to highlight and explore .
You ‘ll find yourself moving rear and forth between your lists frequently. so, make the tax easier and more effective by arranging your four lists together in one opinion .
Draw up a SWOT Analysis matrix, or use our exempt downloadable template .
A SWOT matrix is a 2×2 grid, with one square for each of the four aspects of SWOT. ( name 1 shows what it should look like. ) Each segment is headed by some questions to get your think started .

Figure 1. A SWOT Analysis Matrix.

What do you do well ?
What singular resources can you draw on ?
What do others see as your strengths ?
What could you improve ?
Where do you have fewer resources than others ?
What are others likely to see as weaknesses ?
What opportunities are open to you ?
What trends could you take advantage of ?
How can you turn your strengths into opportunities ?
What threats could harm you ?
What is your contest doing ?
What threats do your weaknesses expose to you ?

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Avoid relying on your own, fond understand of your organization. Your assumptions could be faulty. rather, gather a team of people from a rate of functions and levels to build a broad and insightful number of observations .
then, every time you identify a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, or Threat, write it down in the relevant depart of the SWOT analysis power system for all to see .
Let ‘s look at each sphere in more detail and consider what fits where, and what questions you could ask as separate of your data assembly .


Strengths are things that your organization does peculiarly well, or in a way that distinguishes you from your competitors. Think about the advantages your organization has over other organizations. These might be the motivation of your staff, access to certain materials, or a solid set of manufacture processes .
Your strengths are an built-in separate of your organization, so think about what makes it “ tick. ” What do you do better than anyone else ? What values drive your clientele ? What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others ca n’t ? Identify and analyze your organization ‘s Unique Selling Proposition ( USP ), and add this to the Strengths incision .
then turn your position around and ask yourself what your competitors might see as your strengths. What factors mean that you get the sale ahead of them ?
Remember, any aspect of your organization is only a potency if it brings you a clear advantage. For example, if all of your competitors provide high-quality products, then a high-quality output march is not a intensity in your marketplace : it ‘s a necessity .


Weaknesses, like strengths, are implicit in features of your constitution, so focus on your people, resources, systems, and procedures. Think about what you could improve, and the sorts of practices you should avoid .
once again, imagine ( or find out ) how other people in your market see you. Do they notice weaknesses that you tend to be blind to ? Take time to examine how and why your competitors are doing better than you. What are you lacking ?
Be honest ! A SWOT analysis will only be valuable if you gather all the information you need. so, it ‘s best to be realistic now, and face any unpleasant truths a soon as possible .


Opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to happen, but you ‘ll need to claim them for yourself !
They normally arise from situations outside your arrangement, and require an eye to what might happen in the future. They might arise as developments in the commercialize you serve, or in the engineering you use. Being able to spot and exploit opportunities can make a huge remainder to your organization ‘s ability to compete and take the lead in your market .
Think about good opportunities that you can exploit immediately. These do n’t need to be game-changers : even belittled advantages can increase your organization ‘s competitiveness. What interesting marketplace trends are you aware of, large or small, which could have an affect ?

You should besides watch out for changes in government policy related to your field. And changes in social patterns, population profiles, and lifestyles can all throw up matter to opportunities .


Threats include anything that can negatively affect your business from the outdoor, such as supply-chain problems, shifts in market requirements, or a deficit of recruits. It ‘s critical to anticipate threats and to take action against them before you become a victim of them and your growth stalls .
Think about the obstacles you face in getting your intersection to market and deal. You may notice that choice standards or specifications for your products are changing, and that you ‘ll need to change those products if you ‘re to stay in the lead. Evolving engineering is an ever-present threat, ampere well as an opportunity !
Always consider what your competitors are doing, and whether you should be changing your constitution ‘s emphasis to meet the challenge. But remember that what they ‘re doing might not be the right matter for you to do. So, avoid copying them without knowing how it will improve your status .
Be certain to explore whether your constitution is specially exposed to external challenges. Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems, for exemplar, that could make you vulnerable to even small changes in your market ? This is the kind of menace that can seriously damage your occupation, therefore be alert .


Use PEST analysis to ensure that you do n’t overlook baleful external factors. And PMESII-PT is an specially helpful check in very unfamiliar or uncertain environments .

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How to Use a SWOT Analysis

Use a SWOT Analysis to assess your organization ‘s current position before you decide on any new scheme. Find out what ‘s working well, and what ‘s not indeed good. Ask yourself where you want to go, how you might get there – and what might get in your way .
once you ‘ve examined all four aspects of SWOT, you ‘ll want to build on your strengths, boost your weaker areas, head off any threats, and exploit every opportunity. In fact, you ‘ll probably be faced with a long number of likely actions .
But before you go ahead, be certain to develop your ideas further. Look for likely connections between the quadrants of your matrix. For exercise, could you use some of your strengths to open up promote opportunities ? And, would even more opportunities become available by eliminating some of your weaknesses ?
last, it ‘s time to ruthlessly prune and prioritize your ideas, so that you can focus time and money on the most meaning and impactful ones. Refine each point to make your comparisons clearer. For case, only accept precise, verifiable statements such as, “ Cost advantage of $ 30/ton in sourcing bare-assed material ten, ” preferably than, “ Better value for money. ”
Remember to apply your learnings at the right flat in your organization. For example, at a intersection or product-line charge, rather than at the much undefined whole-company degree. And use your SWOT psychoanalysis aboard other strategy tools ( for exemplar, Core Competencies Analysis ), indeed that you get a comprehensive word picture of the situation you ‘re dealing with .


You could besides consider using the TOWS Matrix. Like SWOT, it explores Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Strengths, but it emphasizes the external environment, while SWOT leads with the internal factors .
“ How to Use SWOT ” video. Click here to view a transcript .

A SWOT Analysis Example

imagine this scenario : a small start-up consultancy wants a clear photograph of its stream position, to decide on a future scheme for growth. The team gathers, and draws up the SWOT Analysis shown in Figure 2 .

Figure 2. A Completed SWOT Analysis.


What do you do well ?
What unique resources can you draw on ?
What do others see as your strengths ?
What could you improve ?
Where do you have fewer resources than others ?
What are others likely to see as weaknesses ?
  • We are able to respond very quickly as we have no red tape, and no need for higher management approval.
  • We are able to give really good customer care, as the current small amount of work means we have plenty of time to devote to customers.
  • Our lead consultant has a strong reputation in the market.
  • We can change direction quickly if we find that our marketing is not working.
  • We have low overheads, so we can offer good value to customers.
  • Our company has little market presence or reputation.
  • We have a small staff, with a shallow skills base in many areas.
  • We are vulnerable to vital staff being sick or leaving.
  • Our cash flow will be unreliable in the early stages.
What opportunities are open to you ?
What trends could you take advantage of ?
How can you turn your strengths into opportunities ?
What threats could harm you ?
What is your rival doing ?
What threats do your weaknesses expose to you ?
  • Our business sector is expanding, with many future opportunities for success.
  • Local government wants to encourage local businesses.
  • Our competitors may be slow to adopt new technologies.
  • Developments in technology may change this market beyond our ability to adapt.
  • A small change in the focus of a large competitor might wipe out any market position we achieve.

As a result of the team ‘s psychoanalysis, it ‘s clear that the consultancy ‘s main strengths lie in its agility, technical expertness, and low overheads. These allow it to offer excellent customer service to a relatively minor customer base .
The company ‘s weaknesses are besides to do with its size. It will need to invest in coach, to improve the skills base of the modest staff. It ‘ll besides need to focus on retentiveness, so it does n’t lose keystone team members .
There are opportunities in offering rapid-response, good-value services to local anesthetic businesses and to local anesthetic government organizations. The company can probable be first to commercialize with raw products and services, given that its competitors are dense adopters .
The threats require the consultancy to keep up-to-date with changes in technology. It besides needs to keep a stopping point eye on its largest competitors, given its vulnerability to large-scale changes in its market. To counteract this, the occupation needs to focus its marketing on selected industry websites, to get the greatest possible grocery store presence on a small ad budget .


It ‘s besides potential to carry out a personal SWOT Analysis. This can be useful for developing your career in ways that take best advantage of your talents, abilities and opportunities .

SWOT Analysis Infographic

Click on the trope below to see SWOT Analysis represented in an infographic :

Key Points

SWOT Analysis helps you to identify your organization ‘s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats .
It guides you to build on what you do well, address what you ‘re lacking, seize new openings, and minimize risks .
Apply a SWOT Analysis to assess your administration ‘s position before you decide on any new strategy .
collaborate with a team of people from across the business. This will help to uncover a more accurate and honest movie .
Use a SWOT matrix to prompt your research and to record your ideas .
Find out what ‘s working well, and what ‘s not then good. Ask yourself where you want to go, how you might get there – and what might get in your manner .
Be naturalistic and rigorous. Prune and prioritize your ideas, to focus prison term and money on the most significant and impactful actions and solutions.


many people attribute SWOT Analysis to Albert S. Humphrey. however, there has been some argument on the originator of the instrument, as discussed in the International Journal of Business Research .

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