What is a SWOT Analysis? // FREE Template

What is a SWOT Analysis? // FREE Template

Whether you're just starting or looking to grow your business, it's important to know what is a SWOT analysis, how to do a SWOT analysis, and the benefits of creating them. If you don't know how to do a SWOT Analysis or you're looking for a SWOT Analysis template, then you're at the right blog post. Before you begin the SWOT Analysis of a company, I'll first break all 4 variables down then explain the three different stages a company encounters where a SWOT Analysis is beneficial. I'll also be giving a great SWOT analysis example from multiple businesses and brands. This blog will help you analyze what is a swot analysis and why it is helpful for your business.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

S: Strengths | W: Weaknesses | O: Opportunities | T: Threats

SWOT Analysis stands for Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You have a competitive advantage by conducting a SWOT Analysis like better project management, business strategy, and creating a profitable strategy plan. While reading this blog, take into account the internal and external factors of your business to properly create your analysis.

1. The stage where you are considering whether or not you should go into business.

SWOT Analysis can assist you in making a logical decision on whether you should enter the line of business, as it can serve as forecast. As a new business owner, it causes you to think of what will be your strengths or niche that separate you from everyone. Also, you need to establish what your business will do well. 

Secondly, you must think of weaknesses, which is often tough to think of due to you not being in business yet, but it is imperative that you truly assess the potential weaknesses. Weaknesses are often turn offs and can be the deciding factor if the business is really worth investing in. I recommend that you research and identify weaknesses of your competitors. 

Thirdly, SWOT Analysis Opportunities are something that you really must zero in on to determine which trends that you could exploit to make your business profitable. You could start a list of opportunities and threats in business.

Lastly, it is important to know the threats that can cause your business to fail or impact its performance. In this stage of what is a SWOT analysis, the biggest threat you must consider are your competitors. list of opportunities and threats in business.

what is a swot analysis

SWOT Analysis Examples

2. The stage where you have officially started the business, but are in the beginning stages.

Now that you know what is a SWOT analysis and you have decided to go into business. Your business may be rough, doing well, or jumping off the charts. Regardless, you need to conduct another SWOT Analysis. I’ve seen many companies eventually fail because they felt the SWOT analysis didn’t no longer serve purpose due to their short-term success. This stage is where you need it the most. In fact, in this stage, I recommend you conduct or update your SWOT analysis every month. 

Strengths-You are going to identify more strengths about your business as you go. Circling back to these strengths will help you pinpoint which one you do well and can use as a marketing tool. Chick-Fil-A’s customer service is the perfect example of this. 

Weaknesses- If you conduct the SWOT analysis monthly, then you will be able to identify your weaknesses and correct them before they eventually sink your business. You need to be aware of every weakness in your business. 

Opportunities- You still need to think about trends that you can exploit. Also, think about partnerships that you can build with others outside of your industry that can be beneficial to you both. It is also not a bad idea to consider merging with competitors if the opportunity makes sense. 

Threats- Lastly, you will learn that threats will emerge at an alarming rate. Whether it’s an internal threat or an external threat that can potentially have a competitor take business from you. 

what is a swot analysis

What is a swot analysis used for?

3. The stage where your business is established.

Maybe your business is established and that is a strength of yours. You could be wondering "what is the purpose of a swot anlysis?" However, one thing we know about established businesses is that they fail once they become stagnant. It is guaranteed that your business will subside without evolution. Blockbusters is one of the many SWOT Analysis examples. Blockbusters was a very established movie and video game rental company. It is apparent to me that they did not conduct an effective SWOT analysis. The company was unaware of its weakness (being profitable due to late fees) and they did not seize opportunities, or address their threats.

SWOT analysis would have helped Blockbuster embrace the streaming platform as an opportunity instead of choosing the traditional way of renting movies and video games. Ask yourself, would we know about Netflix if Blockbuster had converted to streaming services? At this stage, it is important that you use the SWOT analysis to prevent your established business from becoming stagnant. Seek ways to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Maybe your prices are too high, or your customer service is terrible. Still exploit trends, mergers, and partnerships. Also, it is time to become innovative and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. 

what is a swot analysis
what is a swot analysis

You are now established, which means the target is on your back. Competitors will constantly keep up with everything you do and you need to do the same. It is important that you do better than your competition to keep market share. Which will ultimately lead to a higher chance of being successful.

what is a swot analysis

Looking for a SWOT Analysis Template?

We get it. You don't know where to start and sometimes it's hard or overwhelming to create and build things from scratch. We've created a custom SWOT Analysis Template to help you out whether you're a beginner or expert. Click here to download the SWOT Analysis PDF and get started on growing your business! You can use this SWOT Analysis PDF template to create a SWOT Analysis of a company or even a SWOT Analysis of a person! #HustleInspiresHustle

Alex Quin

Entrepreneur. Podcaster. Go-Getter.

Alex Quin is a full-stack marketing expert and global keynote speaker. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of UADV Marketing - a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

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