As your business grows, you need a roadmap to help you navigate the obstacles, challenges, opportunities, and projects that come your way. Enter: the SWOT analysis. This framework can help you develop a plan to determine your priorities, maximize opportunities, and minimize obstacles as you scale your business. Below we take a look at exactly what a SWOT analysis is, some examples of a SWOT analysis and how to conduct one for your business. What is a SWOT Analysis? A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique that puts your business in perspective through the following lenses: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Using a SWOT analysis will help you identify ways your business can improve and maximize opportunities, while also identifying negative factors that could hamper your chances of success. While it may seem simple on the surface, a SWOT analysis allows you to make an unbiased assessment of: Just about anything that requires strategic planning, whether internal or external, the SWOT framework can apply and help you avoid unnecessary mistakes due to lack of knowledge in the future. You may have noticed that SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The structure seems so simple that you might be tempted to stop using it and trust your intuition to take these things into account. But you should not do that. It is important to conduct a SWOT analysis. For this reason. Adding a SWOT analysis is an important step in your strategy process. You give yourself space to dream, evaluate, and worry before you act. Your insights become assets as you create the roadmap for your initiative. Instead of jumping headlong into planning and execution, take stock of all your assets and obstacles. This can help you create a more targeted and effective roadmap. By identifying vulnerabilities and threats, you can better incorporate them into your roadmap, increasing your chances of success. As your organization grows and changes, you can add and remove items from your previous SWOTs. You can look back to where you came from and look forward to what's to come. Here we cover the best way to conduct a SWOT analysis, provide a SWOT analysis template, and conduct a SWOT analysis for big brands like Apple and Starbucks. When you're done reading, you'll have all the inspiration and tactical advice you need to conduct a SWOT analysis for your business. There are several steps you should follow when Evaluation of your companyand conducting a strategic SWOT analysis. You don't have to start from scratch for your analysis. Instead, start by downloading a free editable template from HubSpot. Feel free to use the template yourself or create your own according to your needs. Download a free editable SWOT analysis template.
Importance of a SWOT analysis
How do I write a good SWOT analysis?
Examples of SWOT analysis
How to do a SWOT analysis
What is a SWOT Analysis?
Importance of a SWOT analysis
SWOT gives you the power to worry and dream.
SWOT forces you to define your variables.
SWOT allows you to consider mitigating factors.
SWOT helps you keep written records.
How do you write a good SWOT analysis?
1.Download HubSpot's SWOT analysis template.
As your business grows, you need a roadmap to help you navigate the obstacles, challenges, opportunities, and projects that come your way. Enter: the SWOT analysis.
This framework can help you develop a plan to determine your priorities, maximize opportunities, and minimize obstacles as you scale your business. Below we take a look at exactly what a SWOT analysis is, some examples of a SWOT analysis and how to conduct one for your business.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique that puts your business in perspective through the following lenses: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Using a SWOT analysis will help you identify ways your business can improve and maximize opportunities, while also identifying negative factors that could hamper your chances of success.
While it may seem simple on the surface, a SWOT analysis allows you to make an unbiased assessment of:
Just about anything that requires strategic planning, whether internal or external, the SWOT framework can apply and help you avoid unnecessary mistakes due to lack of knowledge in the future.
You may have noticed that SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The structure seems so simple that you might be tempted to stop using it and trust your intuition to take these things into account.
But you should not do that. It is important to conduct a SWOT analysis. For this reason.
Adding a SWOT analysis is an important step in your strategy process. You give yourself space to dream, evaluate, and worry before you act. Your insights become assets as you create the roadmap for your initiative.
Instead of jumping headlong into planning and execution, take stock of all your assets and obstacles. This can help you create a more targeted and effective roadmap.
By identifying vulnerabilities and threats, you can better incorporate them into your roadmap, increasing your chances of success.
As your organization grows and changes, you can add and remove items from your previous SWOTs. You can look back to where you came from and look forward to what's to come.
Here we cover the best way to conduct a SWOT analysis, provide a SWOT analysis template, and conduct a SWOT analysis for big brands like Apple and Starbucks. When you're done reading, you'll have all the inspiration and tactical advice you need to conduct a SWOT analysis for your business.
There are several steps you should follow when Evaluation of your companyand conducting a strategic SWOT analysis.
You don't have to start from scratch for your analysis. Instead, start by downloading a free editable template from HubSpot. Feel free to use the template yourself or create your own according to your needs.
Download a free editable SWOT analysis template.
2. Organize each section into a four-quadrant table.
Whether you use the template above or create your own, a table format can help you visualize your SWOT analysis. This can be accomplished by placing each of the four sections in separate quadrants.
3. Identify your goal.
Before you start writing things down, you need to figure out what you're measuring with your SWOT analysis.
Be specific about what you want to analyze. Otherwise, your SWOT analysis could become too broad and you will experience analysis paralysis in your reviews.
When building a new social media program, you should conduct analytics to inform your content creation strategy. When you launch a new product, you want to understand its potential placement in space. When thinking about rebranding, consider existing and future brand concepts.
These are all examples of good reasons to do a SWOT analysis. By identifying your goal, you can adjust your assessment to uncover more actionable insights.
4. Identify your strengths.
"Strengths" refers to what you are currently doing well. Think about the factors working in your favor and the things you offer that your competitors just can't match.
Suppose you want to use a SWOT analysis to evaluate your new social media strategy.
If you're looking for a new social media program, you might want to assess how the public perceives your brand. Is it easily recognizable and familiar? Even if it's not popular with a general group, does it resonate well with a specific audience?
Then think about your process: is it effective or innovative? Is there good communication between marketing and sales?
Finally, evaluate your social media messaging and specifically how it differs from the rest of the industry. I'm willing to bet you can make a long list of some of your social media strategy's top strengths over your competitors and then try to dive into your strengths from there.
5. Identify your weaknesses.
As opposed to your strengths, what are the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals? What is still a thorn in your side when it comes to your competitors?
This section is not about dealing with the negatives. Instead, it's important to anticipate potential roadblocks that could limit your success.
When identifying areas of weakness, consider which areas of your business are the least profitable, where you lack certain skills, or what is costing you the most time and money. Get feedback from people in different departments, as they're likely to see weaknesses that you haven't considered.
When looking for a new social media strategy, you can start by asking yourself the following questions: First, if I were a consumer, what would stop me from buying this product or getting involved in this business? What would make me click away from the screen?
Second, what do I see as the biggest impediment to my employees' productivity or ability to do their jobs efficiently? What's getting in the way of your social media efforts?
6. Consider your options.
This is your chance to dream big. What are some possibilities for your social media strategy that you're hoping for but not necessarily expecting?
For example, maybe you're hoping that your Facebook ads will appeal to a new and broader audience. Maybe you're hoping your YouTube video will get 10,000 views and increase sales by 10%.
Either way, it's important to include potential opportunities in your SWOT analysis. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which technologies should my company use to become more efficient?
- Which new target group do I want to reach?
- How can the company differentiate itself more in today's industry?
- Is there anything our customers are complaining about that we can fix?
The category of opportunities goes hand in hand with the category of weaknesses. Once you've made a list of weaknesses, it should be easy to make a list of potential opportunities that could arise if you address your weaknesses.
7. Think about your threats.
Chances are, especially if you're worried that you already have a whole list of threats running through your head.
If not, get your co-workers together and brainstorm. Start with these questions:
- What obstacles can prevent us from achieving our goals?
- What is happening in the industry or with our competitors that could reduce our success?
- Is there a new technology that could conflict with our product?
Writing down your threats will help you assess them objectively.
For example, maybe you list your threats in terms of least likely and most likely to occur, and divide and conquer each. If one of your biggest threats is your competitor's popular Instagram account, you can work with your marketing department to create content that showcases your product's unique attributes.
Examples of SWOT analysis
The template above will help you get started with your own SWOT analysis.
But if you're like me, seeing a model isn't enough. To fully understand a concept, you need to see how it works in the real world.
These SWOT examples are not complete. However, they are a good starting point to get inspiration for your own SWOT analysis.
See how we would conduct a SWOT analysis at Apple.
First, strengths. Although Apple has many strengths, let's name the three most important ones:
- brand perception.
- Innovative products.
- Easy to use.
The Apple brand is undeniably strong and their business is considered the most valuable in the world. Because it's easily recognizable, Apple can produce new products and almost guarantee a degree of success by the brand name itself.
Apple's highly innovative products are often at the forefront of the industry. One thing that sets Apple apart from the competition is the interconnectivity of its products.
For example, an Apple user can easily sync their iPhone and iPad with each other. They can access all their photos, contacts, apps and more no matter what device they use.
Finally, customers appreciate how easy Apple products are to use. With a sleek and simple design, each product is designed so that most people can quickly learn to use it.
Next, let's look at three of Apple's weaknesses.
- high prices
- closed ecosystem
- lack of willingness to experiment
While high prices don't deter Apple's middle-income customer base, they do hinder Apple's ability to reach a lower-income audience.
Apple also suffers from its own exclusivity. Apple controls all of its services and products internally, and while many customers become loyal brand ambassadors because of this, it means the entire burden falls on Apple employees.
Ultimately, Apple's tight control over who sells its products limits its market reach.
After all, Apple has a high standard when it comes to creating and distributing products. The Apple brand has a high prestige. This notoriety prevents Apple from taking risks and freely experimenting with new products that might fail.
Now let's take a look at the possibilities for Apple.
It's easy to see room for improvement given Apple's weaknesses. Here's a list of three we've created:
- Expand the distribution options.
- Create new product lines.
- Technological progress.
One of Apple's greatest weaknesses is its distribution network, which remains relatively small in the name of exclusivity. If Apple expanded its network and allowed third-party companies to sell its products, it would be able to reach more people around the world while relieving some of the stress currently placed on internal employees.
There are also many opportunities for Apple to develop new products. Apple could consider developing more affordable products to reach a broader demographic, or move into new sectors: maybe Apple's self-driving cars?
After all, Apple could continue to push the technology of its products. Apple can take existing products and refine them to ensure each product offers as many unique features as possible.
Finally, let's take a look at the threats facing Apple.
Believe it or not, they exist.
These are three of Apple's biggest threats:
- Strong competition.
- Judicial Actions.
- international problems.
Apple isn't the only innovative tech company, and it continues to face stiff competition from Samsung, Google, and other big powers. Actually,Samsung sold more smartphones than Apple in the first quarter of 2022, outsells Apple by 17 million units and holds 24% of the market share.
Many of Apple's weaknesses impede Apple's ability to compete with tech companies that have more freedom to experiment or that don't operate in a closed ecosystem.
A second threat to Apple is lawsuits. Apple faced many lawsuits, mainly betweenApple and Samsung. These lawsuits damage Apple's reputable image and may encourage some customers to shop elsewhere.
Finally, Apple needs to improve its international reach. the company is not Number one in Chinaand does not have a very positive relationship with the Chinese government. In India, one of the largest consumer markets in the world, Apple's market share is small., and the company is struggling to get business into the Indian market.
Unless Apple can compete globally like Samsung or Google, it risks falling behind in the industry.
Starbucks SWOT Analysis
Now that we've explored the nuances associated with a SWOT analysis, let's complete a SWOT template using Starbucks as an example.
Here's how we would fill out a SWOT template if we were Starbucks:
Download this template for free
SWOT analysis for small hospitality businesses
Some small business marketers may have trouble digging into the SWOTs of big brands like Apple and Starbucks. This is an example of how a Thai restaurant might visualize each item.
Small restaurants can leverage their culinary knowledge and service skills to find opportunities for growth and brand awareness. A SWOT analysis can also help identify weaknesses that can be improved, such as: B. Menu variance and pricing.
While a restaurant might not be as concerned about high-profile lawsuits, a small business might be more concerned about competitors or disruptors that might come onto the field.
In another small business example, let's look at a SWOT analysis for a local boutique.
This store may be well known in your neighborhood, but it can also take time to establish an online presence or source your products from an online store.
Because of this, some of your strengths and opportunities may be related to physical factors, while your weaknesses and threats may be related to online situations.
How to do a SWOT analysis
After doing a SWOT analysis, you might be wondering what's next?
Creating a SWOT analysis is just one step. Implementing the insights identified through analysis is just as important, if not more so.
Turn your ideas into reality by following the steps below.
Use your strengths.
Use your strengths to leverage your analytical capabilities.
For example, if we look at the local boutique example above, the strength of being affordable can be a value proposition. You can highlight your affordable prices on social media or open an online store.
Address your weaknesses.
Going back to the example of the boutique: one of its weaknesses is its low presence on social networks. To mitigate this, the boutique could hire a social media consultant to improve its strategy. You can even tap into the expertise of a socially savvy employee.
Heed the threats.
Threats are often external factors that cannot be controlled. Therefore, it is best to monitor the threats outlined in your SWOT analysis to understand their impact on your business.
When should a SWOT analysis be used?
While the examples above focus on overall business strategy, you can also use a SWOT analysis to evaluate and predict how a particular product will perform in the market.
Finally, a SWOT analysis can measure and address challenges big and small, from deciding whether or not to launch a new product to refining your social media strategy.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated for completeness.
Subjects: Conducting market studies
- Determine your objective.
- Do your research: explore areas in your industry, market, and competitors. ...
- Make a list of company strengths.
- Make a list of company weaknesses.
- Make a list of possible opportunities.
- Make a list of possible threats.
- Choose a facilitator. Organizational leaders typically carry out SWOT analyses and rely on other team members to conduct a thorough evaluation. ...
- Identify strengths. ...
- Determine weaknesses. ...
- Analyze opportunities. ...
- Identify threats.
- First, Determine the Strengths of your Business.
- Second, Determine the Weaknesses of your Business.
- Third, Determine the Opportunities for your Business.
- Fourth, Determine the Threats to your Business.
- Taking Action after your SWOT Analysis.
- As a Conclusion,
The basic SWOT matrix template is a four-quadrant table that includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a color-coded grid.How do you start a SWOT analysis summary? ›
- Step 1: Determine Your Objective. A SWOT analysis can be broad, though more value will likely be generated if the analysis is pointed directly at an objective. ...
- Step 2: Gather Resources. ...
- Step 3: Compile Ideas. ...
- Step 4: Refine Findings. ...
- Step 5: Develop the Strategy.
Examples of opportunities for a SWOT analysis might include training, internships, or career moves. Opportunity examples for businesses include market growth, new technologies, or new investments.What is the best way to explain SWOT analysis? ›
SWOT analysis is a framework for identifying and analyzing an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These words make up the SWOT acronym. The primary goal of SWOT analysis is to increase awareness of the factors that go into making a business decision or establishing a business strategy.What are the simple rules for SWOT analysis? ›
Six Simple Rules for a Successful SWOT Analysis
SWOT should always be specific. Avoid grey areas. Stay focused on the topic being analyzed, in this case, the workforce. Always apply SWOT in relation to your competition, i.e. better than or worse than your competition.
- List your relevant strengths. Think about the strengths you have that can help you reach your goal. ...
- Review your relevant weaknesses. ...
- Define any opportunities available to you. ...
- Understand any potential threats. ...
- Make an informed decision.
A SWOT matrix is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that you face. This helps you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
Examples of weaknesses for a SWOT analysis might include lack of motivation, lack of a clear vision, or poor time management skills.How do you make a SWOT analysis strategic plan easy? ›
- Create a SWOT matrix. ...
- Gather the right participants. ...
- List your strengths. ...
- List your weaknesses. ...
- Identify your opportunities. ...
- Identify your potential threats. ...
- Examine your matrix for connections.
Introduction to SWOT Analysis
Before you can get employee feedback on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business and before you ask them to help you analyze them, it's helpful if you first introduce them to the concept.
- Get help on projects.
- Propose working groups.
- Get testers for new ideas or products.
- Create a team to work on an idea you have.
- Share your expertise or best practices in a particular field.
- Strengths - Excellent sales staff with strong knowledge of existing products - Good relationship with customers - Good internal communications - High traffic location - Successful marketing strategies - Reputation for innovation.
- Weaknesses - Currently struggling to meet deadlines - too much work? -
- Social perception. With the rise of social media, consumers are increasingly aware of the business practices of the companies they support. ...
- Natural disasters. ...
- Technological changes. ...
- Legislation. ...
- Competition. ...
- Globalization. ...
- Data security. ...
- Rising costs.
Write your opportunities in plain language—use simple words and phrases. Use full office names instead of acronyms, and avoid using office-specific slang. Include links to relevant resources that will help participants understand what they will be doing.What is the first step to write a good SWOT analysis? ›
Ideally, there are two stages of action you should take upon completing a SWOT analysis. First, you should attempt to match your strengths with your opportunities. Next, you should try to convert weaknesses into strengths. Let's take a look how this works.How can you turn your strengths into opportunities examples? ›
- Define your strengths. Before you can leverage your strengths, you need to understand your unique abilities. ...
- Set professional goals. ...
- Show evidence of your strengths. ...
- Strengthen your strengths. ...
- Choose strength-building behaviors.
This method has you focusing your analysis on the 3C's or strategic triangle: the customers, the competitors and the corporation.
The following SWOT analysis questions are asked to identify the possible threats. What are the negative aspects in the current market? Are there potential competitors who can give you a competition in the future? What are the obstacles you are facing in the current mission?What is an example of a strength in SWOT analysis about yourself? ›
I am always prepared and will think ahead to make sure I have everything I need for any event. I am adaptable to changes in events and timelines. This makes me a good team member and very good at achieving most goals I set myself. I am an empathetic person which makes me great when working with others or in a team.How do you answer opportunities and threats? ›
- Strengths: what do you do well? What do other people see as your strengths?
- Weaknesses: what areas need development? What should you avoid?
- Opportunities: what possibilities are open to you? What resources do you have? ...
- Threats: what might cause you difficulties? What responsibilities do you have?
- Lack of knowledge of particular software.
- Public speaking.
- Taking criticism.
- Lack of experience.
- Inability to delegate.
- Lack of confidence.
Example: “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of a project. I'm the biggest critic of my work. I can always find something that needs to be improved or changed. To help myself improve in this area, I give myself deadlines for revisions.What are examples of personal threats? ›
|Financial Losses||Health Problems|
|Lack of Funding||Lack of Support|
|Lack of Time||Legal Disputes|
|Performance Failures||Personal Losses|
What are the elements of a SWOT analysis?
|Strengths Assets Resources Opportunities Prospects||Weaknesses Limitations Restrictions Threats Challenges|
Open your PowerPoint presentation, go to your Add-Ins and select Lucidchart within the Insert tab. Select your SWOT analysis diagram from your documents to insert into PowerPoint. Open this SWOT analysis chart template in Lucidchart or open up a blank document.Is there a SWOT template in Google Docs? ›
Personal SWOT Analysis Template for Google Docs
This template includes prompts that can help you organize your thoughts about the task at hand. Use this fully customizable template for any personal decision analysis needs.
Your strengths and weaknesses should reflect the requirements of the role. Ensure that you highlight your skills that are listed in the job description, and explain how you will gain or improve critical skills that you lack. In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience.
They highlight the internal strengths that you or your organization might be able to take advantage of to meet your goals. Examples of strengths for a SWOT analysis might include motivation, a clear vision, or having strong prior knowledge. Who Invented the SWOT Analysis?What are 5 examples of weakness in SWOT analysis? ›
- Weak brand(s)
- Higher-than-average turnover.
- High levels of debt.
- Inadequate supply chain.
- Lack of capital.
- Inefficient systems, tools, processes.
- Poor customer experience, service, reviews.
Excel Business Plan SWOT Analysis Template
You can also analyze and plan for your upcoming business objective or product launch. This SWOT template gives you a place to analyze your business plan and identify its strengths and weaknesses.
The template starts off with an introductory slide where you can project some basic ideas or key points of the analysis in a SWOT diagram. This is followed by four slides, each for presenting the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in detail.How do you turn a SWOT analysis into a strategic plan? ›
- Step 1: Identify strategic alternatives. ...
- Step 2: Prioritize your strategic alternatives. ...
- Step 3: Balance your priorities. ...
- Step 4: Build a roadmap.
On your computer, go to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms. At the top right , click Template Gallery. Click the template you want to use.How can I make a template in Google Docs? ›
- From the Google Docs home page, under Start a new document, select Blank. ...
- Create your new template. ...
- Save the document with a unique title.
- From the Google Docs home screen, select Template gallery > your organization's name > Submit template.