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SWOT analysis template

Use these SWOT analysis templates for more strategic planning

Using this SWOT analysis template, you can save time, ensure consistency, and gain a clear overview of your business or project.

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Last updated

13 May 2024

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Dovetail Editorial Team

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How to use the SWOT analysis template for more strategic planning

An established business should constantly evaluate itself to remain competitive. But this recommendation isn’t limited to established businesses. Startups should also regularly take stock of where they are and what the business landscape they’re operating in looks like if they ever hope to become established.

A SWOT analysis is one of the most effective methods for this.

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a method businesses can use to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a strategic planning framework used to assess how internal and external factors impact a business’s ability to achieve its goals.

The four components of a SWOT analysis are:

  1. Strengths

    —internal factors that give the business an advantage

  2. Weaknesses

    —internal factors that prevent the business from achieving its goals

  3. Opportunities

    —external factors the business can use to its advantage

  4. Threats

    —external factors that could stand in the way of the business achieving its goals

By conducting a SWOT analysis, businesses can gain insights into their current market position, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities.

What is a SWOT analysis used for?

A SWOT analysis is a versatile tool. You can gain insights into several business questions depending on how you analyze the results.

Some of the common uses for a SWOT analysis are:

  • Business planning

    —the analysis can help you assess your current situation, identify areas for improvement, and develop a plan to grow your business.

  • Marketing strategy

    —effective marketing is all about seizing opportunities. Through a SWOT analysis, your marketing team can learn to identify new market segments or strategies.

  • Product development

    —before spending resources on developing a product, a SWOT analysis can alert you to major risks, such as competition in the area or changing market trends.

  • Competitive analysis

    —if you have identified a competitor, performing a SWOT analysis on them can help you identify their weaknesses and guide you to a more competitive strategy.

These are just a few examples. Understanding the four elements of a SWOT analysis can help you arrive at a more informed decision for nearly any business decision you need to make.

SWOT analysis examples

Below, you’ll find some very basic SWOT analysis examples for various use cases.

In a real SWOT analysis, you’ll want to be more specific, go into greater detail, and format the information in a more readable way. However, these basic examples should introduce you to the types of things a SWOT analysis might include.

Marketing SWOT analysis

  • Strengths

    : strong brand reputation, extensive market knowledge, creative team

  • Weaknesses

    : limited budget, lack of online presence, inadequate sales force

  • Opportunities

    : emerging markets, growing demand for eco-friendly products, increasing consumer interest in the brand

  • Threats

    : intense competition, changing consumer preferences, economic downturn

The marketing team might decide to leverage the brand’s strong reputation to build a larger online presence. They will also want to leverage their strong brand reputation to differentiate themselves from the stiff competition. The business might allocate resources to build a stronger sales force to capitalize on increased brand interest.

Nonprofit SWOT analysis

  • Strengths

    : strong community support, committed volunteers, experienced staff

  • Weaknesses

    : limited funding, inadequate facilities, lack of marketing expertise

  • Opportunities

    : partnerships with other nonprofits, increased government funding, growing demand for services

  • Threats

    : government policy changes, increasing competition for funding, declining public support

The nonprofit might look to explore new fundraising opportunities that take advantage of strong community support. They may look to their relationships with other nonprofits to share resources and split costs. To keep the threat of declining public support at bay, they may focus on improving their facilities to enhance the quality of service they provide.

Executive SWOT analysis

  • Strengths

    : strong leadership skills, extensive industry experience, effective communication skills

  • Weaknesses

    : lack of technical skills, poor delegation skills, limited time management skills

  • Opportunities

    : expanding the business into new markets, developing new products or services, building strategic partnerships

  • Threats

    : economic downturn, intense competition, changing industry trends

The executive can learn to delegate more, which will also aid with time management. They can hire personnel with the necessary technical skills to fill their knowledge gaps. They can pursue opportunities to expand into new markets to mitigate economic downturn. Their strong leadership and effective communication can help them train the next generation of leaders to help run these expansion opportunities.

Personal SWOT analysis

  • Strengths

    : strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, ability to learn quickly

  • Weaknesses

    : lack of experience in a specific area, poor time management, difficulty with public speaking

  • Opportunities

    : further education or training, expanding the network, taking on new challenges

  • Threats

    : economic downturn, limited job opportunities, personal or family issues

The person conducting this SWOT analysis has identified weaknesses like time management and public speaking that they can improve with training courses. They can work to gain practice in the specific area where they lack experience. They will need to learn to maintain a good work–life balance to keep personal or family issues from hurting their finances.

Best practices and design tips for conducting a SWOT analysis

Learning how to create an effective analysis will take time and practice. However, there are a few best practices you can keep in mind to get you and your team off to a good start:

  • Involve key stakeholders

    —getting a complete picture of your business requires you to involve all the key stakeholders who might have valuable insights to share.

  • Focus on key issues

    —it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae. Instead of listing every small factor, focus on the larger ones that have the most impact on the areas you’re interested in analyzing.

  • Be objective

    —bias can easily creep into a SWOT analysis. Everyone involved should be honest with themselves about the company’s strengths and struggles.

  • Use data and evidence

    —assumptions and generalizations may seem true, but they paint a false picture. Try to use hard data and solid evidence where possible.

  • Keep it simple

    —avoid using complex language or technical jargon in the SWOT analysis. Keep it simple and easy to understand.

  • Be specific

    —when you revisit a SWOT analysis at a later date, you always want to be clear about what you were identifying. Rather than vague lists of the four items on a SWOT analysis, give detailed and concrete examples.

  • Review and update regularly

    —it’s important to review and update the SWOT analysis regularly to ensure it remains relevant and accurate.

You will need to create a good template to put your data into. When designing a SWOT analysis template, consider using a matrix or a table format to organize the information. Use clear and concise headings for each section, and use color to highlight important information.

What is a SWOT analysis template?

A SWOT analysis template is a pre-formatted document that can be filled in with the four areas of analysis.

The template can be specific to a certain area, possibly providing specific instructions or guidance to help the people filling it out.

It could also be generic. Generic templates rely on the experience of the people using them to fill them out efficiently. Even a generic template can be extremely helpful if it allows the information to be presented in a compelling and readable way.

The Dovetail SWOT analysis template goes beyond simply listing the four areas you will need to fill in. It features extensive information sections, such as stakeholder interviews, market analysis, and competitor analysis.

The template provides your team with virtual whiteboards to conveniently lay out the information you have gathered. It also includes a section for recording the insights you gain from the data.

The readme included in the template will help guide you through the process of creating a SWOT analysis. This will ensure you get the most out of the template and the information you collect.

SWOT analysis template

Use this SWOT analysis template for more strategic planning

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FAQs

How do you write a good SWOT analysis?

To write a good SWOT analysis, make sure you involve key stakeholders who can help form a complete picture. During the process, focus on key issues and rely on hard data whenever possible.

How do you identify strengths and weaknesses?

Start identifying strengths and weaknesses by looking at the internal factors that impact your business. Strengths and weaknesses will reveal themselves when you compare the good with the bad.

What comes after a SWOT analysis?

After you have conducted your SWOT analysis, use the results to develop strategies that address all four areas of the analysis. These strategies should leverage strengths, address weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate risks.

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