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SWOT Analysis

Understanding your business, informing your strategy.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

Key Takeaways:

SWOT stands for S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats.

A "SWOT analysis" involves carefully assessing these four factors in order to make clear and effective plans.

A SWOT analysis can help you to challenge risky assumptions, uncover dangerous blindspots, and reveal important new insights.

The SWOT analysis process is most effective when done collaboratively.

What Is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a SWOT analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business.

SWOT Analysis is a tool that can help you to analyze what your company does best now, and to devise a successful strategy for the future. SWOT can also uncover areas of the business that are holding you back, or that your competitors could exploit if you don't protect yourself.

A SWOT analysis examines both internal and external factors – that is, what's going on inside and outside your organization. So some of these factors will be within your control and some will not. In either case, the wisest action you can take in response will become clearer once you've discovered, recorded and analyzed as many factors as you can.

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

Why Is SWOT Analysis Important?

SWOT analysis can help you to challenge risky assumptions and to uncover dangerous blindspots about your organization's performance. If you use it carefully and collaboratively, it can deliver new insights on where your business currently is, and help you to develop exactly the right strategy for any situation.

For example, you may be well aware of some of your organization's strengths, but until you record them alongside weaknesses and threats you might not realize how unreliable 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.

How to Write a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis involves making lists – but so much more, too! When you begin to write one list (say, Strengths), the thought 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 likely notice connections and contradictions, which you'll want to highlight and explore.

You'll find yourself moving back and forth between your lists frequently. So, make the task easier and more effective by arranging your four lists together in one view.

A SWOT matrix is a 2x2 grid, with one square for each of the four aspects of SWOT. (Figure 1 shows what it should look like.) Each section is headed by some questions to get your thinking started.

Figure 1. A SWOT Analysis Matrix.

Swot analysis template.

When conducting your SWOT analysis, you can either draw your own matrix, or use our free downloadable template .

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Avoid relying on your own, partial understanding of your organization. Your assumptions could be wrong. Instead, gather a team of people from a range of functions and levels to build a broad and insightful list of observations.

Then, every time you identify a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, or Threat, write it down in the relevant part of the SWOT analysis grid for all to see.

Let's look at each area in more detail and consider what fits where, and what questions you could ask as part of your data gathering.

Strengths are things that your organization does particularly 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 strong set of manufacturing processes.

Your strengths are an integral part of your organization, so think about what makes it "tick." What do you do better than anyone else? What values drive your business? What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others can't? Identify and analyze your organization's Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and add this to the Strengths section.

Then turn your perspective 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 strength if it brings you a clear advantage. For example, if all of your competitors provide high-quality products, then a high-quality production process is not a strength in your market: it's a necessity.

Weaknesses, like strengths, are inherent features of your organization, 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 as soon as possible.


Opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to happen, but you'll need to claim them for yourself!

They usually arise from situations outside your organization, and require an eye to what might happen in the future. They might arise as developments in the market you serve, or in the technology you use. Being able to spot and exploit opportunities can make a huge difference to your organization's ability to compete and take the lead in your market.

Think about good opportunities that you can exploit immediately. These don't need to be game-changers: even small advantages can increase your organization's competitiveness. What interesting market trends are you aware of, large or small, which could have an impact?

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

Threats include anything that can negatively affect your business from the outside, such as supply-chain problems, shifts in market requirements, or a shortage of recruits. It's vital 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 product to market and selling. You may notice that quality 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 technology is an ever-present threat, as well as an opportunity!

Always consider what your competitors are doing, and whether you should be changing your organization's emphasis to meet the challenge. But remember that what they're doing might not be the right thing for you to do. So, avoid copying them without knowing how it will improve your position.

Be sure to explore whether your organization is especially exposed to external challenges. Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems, for example, that could make you vulnerable to even small changes in your market? This is the kind of threat that can seriously damage your business, so be alert.

Use PEST Analysis to ensure that you don't overlook threatening external factors. And PMESII-PT is an especially helpful check in very unfamiliar or uncertain environments.

A SWOT Analysis Example

Imagine this scenario: a small start-up consultancy wants a clear picture of its current situation, to decide on a future strategy for growth. The team gathers, and draws up the SWOT Analysis shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. A Completed SWOT Analysis.

As a result of the team's analysis, it's clear that the consultancy's main strengths lie in its agility, technical expertise, and low overheads. These allow it to offer excellent customer service to a relatively small client base.

The company's weaknesses are also to do with its size. It will need to invest in training, to improve the skills base of the small staff. It'll also need to focus on retention, so it doesn't lose key team members.

There are opportunities in offering rapid-response, good-value services to local businesses and to local government organizations. The company can likely be first to market with new products and services, given that its competitors are slow adopters.

The threats require the consultancy to keep up-to-date with changes in technology. It also needs to keep a close eye on its largest competitors, given its vulnerability to large-scale changes in its market. To counteract this, the business needs to focus its marketing on selected industry websites, to get the greatest possible market presence on a small advertising budget.

Frequently Asked Questions About SWOT Analysis

1. who invented swot analysis.

Many people attribute SWOT Analysis to Albert S. Humphrey. However, there has been some debate on the originator of the tool, as discussed in the International Journal of Business Research .

2. What Does SWOT Analysis Stand For?

SWOT Analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

3. What Can a SWOT Analysis Be Used For?

SWOT analysis is a useful tool to help you determine your organization's position in the market. You can then use this information to create an informed strategy suited to your needs and capabilities.

4. How Do I Write a SWOT Analysis?

To conduct a SWOT analysis, you first need to create a 2x2 matrix grid. Each square is then assigned to one of the four aspects of SWOT. You can either draw this grid yourself or use our downloadable template to get started.

5. How Do SWOT Analysis and the TOWS Matrix compare?

While SWOT analysis puts the emphasis on the internal environment (your strengths and weaknesses), TOWS forces you to look at your external environment first (your threats and opportunities). In most cases, you'll do a SWOT Analysis first, and follow up with a TOWS Matrix to offer a broader context.

6. What Are the Biggest SWOT Analysis Mistakes?

  • Making your lists too long. Ask yourself if your ideas are feasible as you go along.
  • Being vague. Be specific to provide more focus for later discussions.
  • Not seeing weaknesses. Be sure to ask customers and colleagues what they experience in real life.
  • Not thinking ahead. It's easy to come up with nice ideas without taking them through to their logical conclusion. Always consider their practical impact.
  • Being unrealistic. Don't plan in detail for opportunities that don't exist yet. For example, that export market you've been eyeing may be available at some point, but the trade negotiations to open it up could take years.
  • Relying on SWOT Analysis alone. SWOT Analysis is valuable. But when you use it alongside other planning tools (SOAR, TOWS or PEST), the results will be more vigorous.

How to Use a SWOT Analysis

Use a SWOT Analysis to assess your organization's current position before you decide on any new strategy. Find out what's working well, and what's not so 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 likely be faced with a long list of potential actions.

But before you go ahead, be sure to develop your ideas further. Look for potential connections between the quadrants of your matrix. For example, could you use some of your strengths to open up further opportunities? And, would even more opportunities become available by eliminating some of your weaknesses?

Finally, it's time to ruthlessly prune and prioritize your ideas, so that you can focus time and money on the most significant and impactful ones. Refine each point to make your comparisons clearer. For example, only accept precise, verifiable statements such as, "Cost advantage of $30/ton in sourcing raw material x," rather than, "Better value for money."

Remember to apply your learnings at the right level in your organization. For example, at a product or product-line level, rather than at the much vaguer whole-company level. And use your SWOT analysis alongside other strategy tools (for example, Core Competencies Analysis ), so that you get a comprehensive picture of the situation you're dealing with.

SWOT Analysis Tips

Here are four tips for getting more out of a SWOT analysis:

  • Be specific. The more focused and accurate you are about the points you write down, the more useful your SWOT analysis will be.
  • Work backwards. Experiment with filling in the four sections of your SWOT analysis in a different order, to stimulate new ways of thinking. Working backwards, in particular, from threats to strengths, may cast new light on the situation.
  • Get together. Highlight the most useful people to contribute to your SWOT analysis, then gather information and ideas from them all.
  • SWOT your competition ! To stay ahead of your competitors, carry out a regular SWOT analysis on them . Use everything you know about them to evaluate their situation, and use SWOT analysis to plan your competitive strategies accordingly.

It's also possible 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

See SWOT Analysis represented in our infographic :

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 organization's position before you decide on any new strategy.

Use a SWOT matrix to prompt your research and to record your ideas. Avoid making huge lists of suggestions. Be as specific as you can, and be honest about your weaknesses.

Be realistic and rigorous. Prune and prioritize your ideas, to focus time and money on the most significant and impactful actions and solutions. Complement your use of SWOT with other tools.

Collaborate with a team of people from across the business. This will help to uncover a more accurate and honest picture.

Find out what's working well, and what's not so good. Ask yourself where you want to go, how you might get there – and what might get in your way.

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Personal swot analysis.

Seeing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

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SWOT is useless. When you try it and you find Weaknesses box bulging, but Strengths & Opportunities completely empty, what can that possibly achieve?

assignment about swot analysis

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23 Best Personal SWOT Analysis Examples for Students

swot analysis example describing strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

It’s common for students to have a complete mind blank when asked to write a SWOT analysis. It can be hard to step back and objectively figure out what to place in each box in the analysis matrix.

However, by looking at some examples from other students, you can start to conceptualize what’s expected of you and even find yourself agreeing with some of their points.

Take a look at these personal SWOT analysis examples and see if you can cherrypick some key points that might resonate with you.

Pick and choose the points that resonate most with you so you can create your own unique SWOT chart.

Personal SWOT Analysis Examples for Students

1. swot analysis template.

Goal: Write down what your goal is.

2. Personal SWOT Analysis Example

Goal: To gain confidence at university.

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3. Academic Writing Example

Goal: To get an A in an essay this semester.

4. New Student Example

Goal: To Get into a Routine and Comfortable on Campus.

5. College Student Example

Goal: To raise my GPA by 0.5 this year.

6. International Student Example

Goal: To gain confidence in a new society and develop cultural competencies.

7. Education Student Example

Goal: To develop skills and knowledge in teaching.

8. Sociology Student Example

Goal: To figure out how to use my sociology degree to get a career job.

9. Bachelor of Arts Student Example

Goal: To figure out what I want my major to be

10. High School Student Example

Goal: To develop the skills that I’ll need at college next year

11. Math and Science Example

Goal: To get a job in the science field following graduation.

12. Digital Marketing Example

Goal: To improve my skills in digital marketing while still at university.

13. Masters Degree Example

Goal: To complete my masters degree within 3 years

14. Business Student Example

Goal: To gain the skills I need to start my own business in the future.

15. Nursing Student Example

Goal: To get a job in nursing after I graduate with a good GPA.

16. Teacher Example

Goal: To gradually improve my pedagogical competencies in the next 12 months.

17. PhD Student Example

Goal: To make it through the first year of doing a PhD.

18. Internship or Practicum Example

Goal: To grow my confidence in a workplace situation and see if I like this career path.

19. Exchange Student Example

Goal: To broaden my horizons for an exchange semester.

20. Thesis or Dissertation Example

Goal: To get a high grade for my dissertation.

21. Teamwork and Groupwork Example

Goal: To complete our team project and get the best grade in the class.

22. Psychology Student Example

Goal: To get a career in clinical psychology.

23. Graduating Student Example

Goal: To smoothly transition into an entry-level position in my career choice

What does SWOT Analysis Stand For?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These are the four key categories that you need to look at to develop an action plan for improving your skills as a student.

Under each column think about what you will write:

  • Strengths: What are you aware that you’re good at right now? Make sure it’s relevant to your goal. For example, if your goal is to gain confidence at university, make it relevant to that and not something completely different (being really good at hotdog eating contexts is irrelevant to becoming a more confident student!)
  • Weaknesses: What do you struggle with right now? Again, keep it relevant to your goal. If your goal is to get an A in your next paper, reflect on your weaknesses in essay writing.
  • Opportunities: What can you think of that might be a valuable resource, support network, or another type of opportunity that can help you to meet your state goal?
  • Threats: What can you think of that might make it hard to meet your goals? It’s good to know these so you can prepare ahead and minimize the chance that they will become major obstacles.

What is the Purpose of a SWOT Analysis?

The point of the SWOT analysis is to get you thinking about how you can prepare for improvement. If you know your weaknesses, opportunities, and potential challenges, you can work on the weaknesses, embrace the opportunities, and avert the threats. This will help you get closer to your goals.

Another alternative type of reflective analysis is the Johari Window , which is best completed in teams where your team members can provide input for you.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

What to write for strengths.

When writing about strengths on a SWOT Analysis, you want to write about things that you’re personally good at.

These strengths are ‘internal’, meaning they’re features about you that make you good at things. They’re things under your direct control.

One problem students come across is that they don’t focus on strengths that are relevant to your goals . So, focus on strengths that can help you achieve your goals.

Key considerations when writing about strengths include:

  • What do you do well (in relation to your goal)?
  • What study skills do you currently have?
  • What academic writing and research skills do you currently have?
  • What workforce skills do you currently have?
  • What soft skills do you currently have?
  • What hard skills do you currently have?

We have a list of 110 strength examples for a SWOT analysis that you can browse to find ones that work for you.

What to Write for Weaknesses

When writing about weaknesses on a SWOT Analysis, you want to write about things that you’re personally not very good at.

These weaknesses are ‘internal’, meaning they’re features about you that you know are not your strongest trait. Like strengths, these weaknesses need to be things under your direct control.

Remember ot keep them relevant to your goals . So, focus on weaknesses that might prevent you from achieving your goals.

Key considerations when writing about weaknesses include:

  • What do you think you’re not very good at (in relation to your goal)?
  • What do you struggle with when studying?
  • What are your weaknesses in regards to academic writing and researching?
  • What workforce readiness skills do you lack?
  • What soft skills do you lack?
  • What hard skills do you lack?

We have a list of 79 weaknesses examples for a SWOT analysis that you can browse to find ones that work for you.

What to Write for Opportunities

When writing about opportunities on a SWOT Analysis, you want to write about things that you can rely on to help you reach your goals.

These opportunities are ‘external’, meaning they’re not personal features about you, but resources, people, or events that you turn to for help.

Again, remember to talk about opportunities that are relevant to your goals .

Key considerations when writing about opportunities include:

  • Are there upcoming seminars, classes, or lectures that can help you improve?
  • Do you have access to resources to help you improve?
  • Do you have access to people or friends who can help you out?

We have a list of 61 opportunity examples for a SWOT analysis that you can browse to find ones that work for you.

What to Write for Threats

When writing about threats on a SWOT Analysis, you want to write about things that are outside of your direct control that might interfere with you achieving your goals.

These external threats are examined so you can predict them and think about ways to either avoid or mitigate their effects.

Remember to talk about threats that are relevant to your goals .

Key considerations when writing about threats include:

  • What contextual factors might get in the way of your goals?
  • What obstacles can you predict that might interfere with your plans?
  • What resources do you lack that would otherwise be helpful?

A SWOT analysis is designed to get you thinking about how to use your personal strengths and opportunities to your advantage, while also improving your weaknesses and mitigating threats that you can predict.

While these examples can help get you mind turning, remember that your SWOT Analysis needs to be unique to you. So, use these personal SWOT analysis examples by students to get your mind turning, but write your own unique SWOT matrix that’s an honest reflection of your own situation.


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ Social-Emotional Learning (Definition, Examples, Pros & Cons)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is Educational Psychology?
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ What is IQ? (Intelligence Quotient)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University

2 thoughts on “23 Best Personal SWOT Analysis Examples for Students”

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Dr Chris… Excellent article and it was really helpful for me to set SWOT analysis for my students. The content of the article is highly useful and practical too to adopt for educational institutions. Thank You Dr Shyam prasad TS Asst Prof, RV Institute of legal studies , Bengaluru, India [email protected]

' src=

Thank you so much for the detailed SWOT for my learners.

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SWOT analysis: Examples and templates

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshot

A SWOT analysis helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for a specific project or your overall business plan. It’s used for strategic planning and to stay ahead of market trends. Below, we describe each part of the SWOT framework and show you how to conduct your own.

Whether you’re looking for external opportunities or internal strengths, we’ll walk you through how to perform your own SWOT analysis, with helpful examples along the way. 

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a technique used to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your business or even a specific project. It’s most widely used by organizations—from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises—but a SWOT analysis can be used for personal purposes as well. 

While simple, a SWOT analysis is a powerful tool for helping you identify competitive opportunities for improvement. It helps you improve your team and business while staying ahead of market trends.

What does SWOT stand for?

SWOT is an acronym that stands for: 


Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

When analyzed together, the SWOT framework can paint a larger picture of where you are and how to get to the next step. Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these terms and how they can help identify areas of improvement. 

Strengths in SWOT refer to internal initiatives that are performing well. Examining these areas helps you understand what’s already working. You can then use the techniques that you know work—your strengths—in other areas that might need additional support, like improving your team’s efficiency . 

When looking into the strengths of your organization, ask yourself the following questions:

What do we do well? Or, even better: What do we do best?

What’s unique about our organization?

What does our target audience like about our organization?

Which categories or features beat out our competitors?

 Example SWOT strength:

Customer service: Our world-class customer service has an NPS score of 90 as compared to our competitors, who average an NPS score of 70.

Weaknesses in SWOT refer to internal initiatives that are underperforming. It’s a good idea to analyze your strengths before your weaknesses in order to create a baseline for success and failure. Identifying internal weaknesses provides a starting point for improving those projects.

Identify the company’s weaknesses by asking:

Which initiatives are underperforming and why?

What can be improved?

What resources could improve our performance?

How do we rank against our competitors?

Example SWOT weakness:

E-commerce visibility: Our website visibility is low because of a lack of marketing budget , leading to a decrease in mobile app transactions.

Opportunities in SWOT result from your existing strengths and weaknesses, along with any external initiatives that will put you in a stronger competitive position. These could be anything from weaknesses that you’d like to improve or areas that weren’t identified in the first two phases of your analysis. 

Since there are multiple ways to come up with opportunities, it’s helpful to consider these questions before getting started:

What resources can we use to improve weaknesses?

Are there market gaps in our services?

What are our business goals for the year?

What do your competitors offer?

Example SWOT opportunities:

Marketing campaign: To improve brand visibility, we’ll run ad campaigns on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Threats in SWOT are areas with the potential to cause problems. Different from weaknesses, threats are external and ‌out of your control. This can include anything from a global pandemic to a change in the competitive landscape. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to identify external threats:

What changes in the industry are cause for concern?

What new market trends are on the horizon?

Where are our competitors outperforming us?

Example SWOT threats:

New competitor: With a new e-commerce competitor set to launch within the next month, we could see a decline in customers.

SWOT analysis example

One of the most popular ways to create a SWOT analysis is through a SWOT matrix—a visual representation of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The matrix comprises four separate squares that create one larger square. 

A SWOT matrix is great for collecting information and documenting the questions and decision-making process . Not only will it be handy to reference later on, but it’s also great for visualizing any patterns that arise. 

Check out the SWOT matrix below for a simple example. As you can see, each of the quadrants lists out the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

[Inline illustration] SWOT analysis (Example)

When used correctly and effectively, your matrix can be a great toolkit for evaluating your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. 

How to do a SWOT analysis, with examples 

A SWOT analysis can be conducted in a variety of ways. Some teams like to meet and throw ideas on a whiteboard, while others prefer the structure of a SWOT matrix. However you choose to make your SWOT analysis, getting creative with your planning process allows new ideas to flow and results in more unique solutions. 

There are a few ways to ensure that your SWOT analysis is thorough and done correctly. Let’s take a closer look at some tips to help you get started.

Tip 1: Consider internal factors 

Often, strengths and weaknesses stem from internal processes. These tend to be easier to solve since you have more control over the outcome. When you come across internal factors, you can start implementing improvements in a couple of different ways.

Meet with department stakeholders to form a business plan around how to improve your current situation.

Research and implement new tools, such as a project management tool , that can help streamline these processes for you. 

Take immediate action on anything that can be changed in 24 hours or less. If you don’t have the capacity, consider delegating these items to others with deadlines. 

The way you go about solving internal factors will depend on the type of problem. If it’s more complex, you might need to use a combination of the above or a more thorough problem management process.

Tip 2: Evaluate external factors

External factors stem from processes outside of your control. This includes competitors, market trends, and anything else that’s affecting your organization from the outside in. 

External factors are trickier to solve, as you can’t directly control the outcome. What you can do is pivot your own processes in a way that mitigates negative external factors. 

You can work to solve these issues by:

Competing with market trends

Forecasting market trends before they happen

Improving adaptability to improve your reaction time

Track competitors using reporting tools that automatically update you as soon as changes occur 

While you won’t be able to control an external environment, you can control how your organization reacts to it. 

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re looking to compete with a market trend. For example, a competitor introduced a new product to the market that’s outperforming your own. While you can’t take that product away, you can work to launch an even better product or marketing campaign to mitigate any decline in sales. 

Tip 3: Hold a brainstorming session

Brainstorming new and innovative ideas can help to spur creativity and inspire action. To host a high impact brainstorming session, you’ll want to: 

Invite team members from various departments. That way, ideas from each part of the company are represented. 

Be intentional about the number of team members you invite, since too many participants could lead to a lack of focus or participation. The sweet spot for a productive brainstorming session is around 10 teammates. 

Use different brainstorming techniques that appeal to different work types.

Set a clear intention for the session.

Tip 4: Get creative

In order to generate creative ideas, you have to first invite them. That means creating fun ways to come up with opportunities. Try randomly selecting anonymous ideas, talking through obviously bad examples, or playing team building games to psych up the team.

Tip 5: Prioritize opportunities

Now, rank the opportunities. This can be done as a team or with a smaller group of leaders. Talk through each idea and rank it on a scale of one through 10. Once you’ve agreed on your top ideas based on team capabilities, competencies, and overall impact, it’s easier to implement them.

Tip 6: Take action

It’s all too easy to feel finished at this stage —but the actual work is just beginning. After your SWOT analysis, you’ll have a list of prioritized opportunities. Now is the time to turn them into strengths. Use a structured system such as a business case , project plan, or implementation plan to outline what needs to get done—and how you plan to do it.

SWOT analysis template

A SWOT analysis template is often presented in a grid format, divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant represents one of the four elements. 

Use this free SWOT analysis template to jump-start your team’s strategic planning.

Identify the strengths that contribute to achieving your objectives. These are internal characteristics that give you an advantage. Some examples could be a strong brand reputation, an innovative culture, or an experienced management team.

Next, focus on weaknesses. These are internal factors that could serve as obstacles to achieving your objectives. Common examples might include a lack of financial resources, high operational costs, or outdated technology. 

Move on to the opportunities. These are external conditions that could be helpful in achieving your goals. For example, you might be looking at emerging markets, increased demand, or favorable shifts in regulations.

Lastly, let's address threats. These are external conditions that could negatively impact your objectives. Examples include increased competition or potential economic downturns.

Why is a SWOT analysis important?

A SWOT analysis can help you improve processes and plan for growth. While similar to a competitive analysis , it differs because it evaluates both internal and external factors. Analyzing key areas around these opportunities and threats will equip you with the insights needed to set your team up for success.

Why is a SWOT analysis important?

A SWOT analysis isn’t only useful for organizations. With a personal SWOT analysis, you can examine areas of your life that could benefit from improvement, from your leadership style to your communication skills. These are the benefits of using a SWOT analysis in any scenario. 

1. Identifies areas of opportunity

One of the biggest benefits of conducting an analysis is to determine opportunities for growth. It’s a great starting point for startups and teams that know they want to improve but aren’t exactly sure how to get started. 

Opportunities can come from many different avenues, like external factors such as diversifying your products for competitive advantage or internal factors like improving your team’s workflow . Either way, capitalizing on opportunities is an excellent way to grow as a team.

2. Identifies areas that could be improved

Identifying weaknesses and threats during a SWOT analysis can pave the way for a better business strategy.

Ultimately, learning from your mistakes is the best way to excel. Once you find areas to streamline, you can work with team members to brainstorm an action plan . This will let you use what you already know works and build on your company’s strengths.

3. Identifies areas that could be at risk

Whether you have a risk register in place or not, it’s always crucial to identify risks before they become a cause for concern. A SWOT analysis can help you stay on top of actionable items that may play a part in your risk decision-making process. 

It may be beneficial to pair your SWOT analysis with a PEST analysis, which examines external solutions such as political, economic, social, and technological factors—all of which can help you identify and plan for project risks .

When should you use a SWOT analysis?

You won’t always need an in-depth SWOT analysis. It’s most useful for large, general overviews of situations, scenarios, or your business.

A SWOT analysis is most helpful:

Before you implement a large change—including as part of a larger change management plan

When you launch a new company initiative

If you’d like to identify opportunities for growth and improvement

Any time you want a full overview of your business performance

If you need to identify business performance from different perspectives

SWOT analyses are general for a reason—so they can be applied to almost any scenario, project, or business. 

SWOT analysis: Pros and cons

Although SWOT is a useful strategic planning tool for businesses and individuals alike, it does have limitations. Here’s what you can expect.

The simplicity of SWOT analysis makes it a go-to tool for many. Because it is simple, it takes the mystery out of strategic planning and lets people think critically about their situations without feeling overwhelmed. 

For instance, a small bakery looking to expand its operations can use SWOT analysis to easily understand its current standing. Identifying strengths like a loyal customer base, weaknesses such as limited seating space, opportunities like a rising trend in artisanal baked goods, and threats from larger chain bakeries nearby can all be accomplished without any specialized knowledge or technical expertise.


Its versatile nature allows SWOT analysis to be used across various domains. Whether it’s a business strategizing for the future or an individual planning their career path, SWOT analysis lends itself well. 

For example, a tech start-up in the competitive Silicon Valley landscape could employ SWOT to navigate its pathway to profitability. Strengths might include a highly skilled development team; weaknesses could be a lack of brand recognition; opportunities might lie in emerging markets; and threats could include established tech giants. 

Meaningful analysis

SWOT excels in identifying external factors that could impact performance. It nudges organizations to look beyond the present and anticipate potential future scenarios. 

A retail company, for example, could use SWOT analysis to identify opportunities in e-commerce and threats from changing consumer behavior or new competitors entering the market. By doing so, the company can strategize on how to leverage online platforms to boost sales and counteract threats by enhancing the customer experience or adopting new technologies.

Subjectivity and bias

The subjective nature of SWOT analysis may lead to biases. It relies heavily on individual perceptions, which can sometimes overlook crucial data or misinterpret information, leading to skewed conclusions. 

For example, a manufacturing company might undervalue the threat of new entrants in the market due to an overconfidence bias among the management. This subjectivity might lead to a lack of preparation for competitive pricing strategies, ultimately affecting the company's market share.

Lack of prioritization

SWOT analysis lays out issues but falls short on prioritizing them. Organizations might struggle to identify which elements deserve immediate attention and resources. 

For instance, a healthcare provider identifying numerous opportunities for expansion into new services may become overwhelmed with the choices. Without a clear way to rank these opportunities, resources could be spread too thinly or given to projects that do not have as much of an impact, leading to less-than-ideal outcomes.

Static analysis

Since SWOT analysis captures a snapshot at a particular moment, it may miss the evolving nature of challenges and opportunities, possibly leading to outdated strategies. An example could be a traditional retail business that performs a SWOT analysis and decides to focus on expanding physical stores, overlooking the growing trend of e-commerce. As online shopping continues to evolve and gain popularity, the static analysis might lead to investment in areas with diminishing returns while missing out on the booming e-commerce market trend.

SWOT analysis FAQ

What are the five elements of swot analysis.

Traditionally, SWOT stands for its four main elements: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. However, a fifth essential element often overlooked is "actionable strategies." Originally developed by Albert Humphrey, SWOT is more than just a list—it's a planning tool designed to generate actionable strategies for making informed business decisions. This fifth element serves to tie the other four together, enabling departments like human resources and marketing to turn analysis into actionable plans.

What should a SWOT analysis include?

A comprehensive SWOT analysis should focus on the internal and external factors that affect your organization. Internally, consider your strong brand and product line as your strengths, and maybe your supply chain weaknesses. Externally, you'll want to look at market share, partnerships, and new technologies that could either pose opportunities or threats. You should also account for demographics, as it helps in market targeting and segmentation.

How do you write a good SWOT analysis?

Writing an effective SWOT analysis begins with research. Start by identifying your strengths, like a strong brand, and your weaknesses, like a small human resources department. Following that, look outward to find opportunities, possibly in technological advancement, and threats, like fluctuations in market share. Many businesses find it helpful to use a free SWOT analysis template to structure this information. A good SWOT analysis doesn't just list these elements; it integrates them to provide a clear roadmap for making business decisions.

What are four examples of threats in SWOT analysis?

New technologies: Rapid technological advancement can make your product or service obsolete.

Supply chain disruptions: Whether due to natural disasters or geopolitical tensions, an unstable supply chain can seriously jeopardize your operations.

Emerging competitors: New players entering the market can erode your market share and offer alternative solutions to your customer base.

Regulatory changes: New laws or regulations can add costs and complexity to your business, affecting your competitiveness.

How do you use a SWOT analysis?

Once you've completed a SWOT analysis, use the results as a decision-making aid. It can help prioritize actions, develop strategic plans that play to your strengths, improve weaknesses, seize opportunities, and counteract threats. It’s a useful tool for setting objectives and creating a roadmap for achieving them.

Plan for growth with a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can be an effective technique for identifying key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Understanding where you are now can be the most impactful way to determine where you want to go next. 

Don’t forget, a bit of creativity and collaboration can go a long way. Encourage your team to think outside of the box with 100+ team motivational quotes .

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How to Write a SWOT Analysis (Template and Examples Included)


Written by  Scribendi

Planning for the Future

Where do you see yourself in five years? How about your career? Your business? 

These questions keep a staggering amount of people awake at night. All too often, the future can seem like a dark, ominous cloud that looms just out of view. As the old proverb goes, we fear the unknown—and little can possibly be more unknowable than the future.

While there is no crystal ball that can accurately predict future market trends or the steps you should take to optimize your productivity and sharpen your competitive edge, we can offer some advice: Reframe the question. Rather than trying to pinpoint where you think you might be in five years, think about where you want to be at that point in time. Once you have a destination in mind, you can start planning a route to get there. After all, maps are great tools, but they can't help you if you don't know where you're going.

So, what's the metaphorical map in this scenario? We present to you the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.

How to Write a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analyses are great strategic tools that are useful in project planning, business development , financial strategizing, and personal advancement . Simple, honest, and to-the-point, they facilitate a profound understanding of your or your business's current standing. Essentially, a SWOT analysis is a comparative list of all your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

There's more power in this process than you might think. You may be only hazily aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. However, thoughtfully recording and reflecting on them creates a thorough, conscious familiarity with both the resources available to you and the obstacles standing in your way. This awareness allows you to map out a path toward your goals with great precision and purpose. Writing a SWOT analysis will help you clearly evaluate whether your goals are feasible according to your resources and needs.

In this guide, we'll break down exactly how to write a SWOT analysis and provide a few examples along the way. Feel free to use our SWOT analysis template, given below, to write your own!

Our SWOT Analysis Template

assignment about swot analysis

Your list of strengths should focus on your current resources and abilities. It should relate to things that you do or that your company does well. These might be your or your company's accomplishments—both great and small—and the assets that you or your company have. Your strengths give you your greatest edge; they are the resources that propel you forward and that you can continue to develop as you progress.

When you draw up your first SWOT analysis, you may find yourself at a loss. Don't worry—it's difficult for most people to come up with an objective list of strengths and weaknesses on the spot. For your convenience, we've included a list of questions you can ask yourself to get started.

These questions should help you identify a few of your strengths. Remember, while our example questions mostly relate to business strengths, they can also apply to personal strengths. Go ahead and boast as much as you can.

  • What sets your company apart from others?
  • What do you have that other companies don't?
  • What are you most proud of about your company?
  • What makes clients come back to you?
  • What does your company do well?
  • What assets do you have access to?
  • What qualities does your company have that other companies try to emulate?
  • What has always been easy for your company? 

Listing your weaknesses might be a little more uncomfortable than detailing your strengths, but trust us—doing so will help you in the long run. Understanding the obstacles in your path and the elements of your business or skills you may need to improve is just as important as appreciating your strengths. Once you're aware of your weaknesses, you can start working on them and building your next steps around them.

Your list of weaknesses should pertain to any current problems and challenges. Check out the list of questions below—it should give you an idea of where to start. Again, if you'd rather focus on your personal or career growth, feel free to alter these questions to suit your needs.

  • What makes your company blend in with its competition?
  • What do other companies have that you don't?
  • What are the most common criticisms that you receive from clients?
  • Why have certain clients not returned to you?
  • What does your company need to improve upon?
  • What kind of feedback do you receive from your employees?
  • What might your competition consider to be a weakness?
  • What has always been difficult for your company?
  • What are you unwilling to do or change?


Think about the opportunities available to you as potential future strengths. Your opportunities are the assets, resources, and events that could be beneficial to you in some way in the future. You may need to change some of your current approaches or adapt in other ways to capitalize on these opportunities, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify your potential opportunities:

  • What is happening in the current market that you could capitalize upon?
  • What changes have you been making that have returned positive results?
  • What is working for other companies?
  • How could you introduce new technology to make your processes more efficient?
  • What costs can you cut?
  • Could you access new sectors or demographic groups?
  • How can you improve or modernize your marketing techniques?
  • How can you remove existing obstacles?


Just as your opportunities are based on potential, so are your threats; these are the possible obstacles or issues that are not yet directly affecting your progress. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't start thinking about them! Being aware of the challenges that you may encounter will help you either plan around them or confront them with solutions. Try to come up with several future events that may realistically hinder the momentum you build from engaging with your strengths and opportunities.

To get started, take a peek at our list of questions:

  • What obstacles might your weaknesses create?
  • Do changing market trends negatively affect your competitive edge?
  • What might stand in the way of the changes you make to accommodate your strengths and opportunities?
  • Do you have a lot of debt?
  • Could your competition exploit your weaknesses?

How did you do? Do you feel like you've listed everything? Or do you think you're missing something? Below, we've drafted examples of a business and a personal SWOT analysis to provide you with some perspective on what a completed one might look like.

An Example of a Personal SWOT Analysis

assignment about swot analysis

An Example of a Business SWOT Analysis  

assignment about swot analysis

Final Words

The humble but effective SWOT analysis will produce a detailed map of your current environment—its hills and valleys alike. Knowing how to write a SWOT analysis will provide you with the vantage point you need to choose a direction and blaze a trail toward your goals. SWOT analyses may not be crystal balls, but they are something like compasses. Use them wisely, and you will never be lost.

Image source: cookelma/unspla sh.com

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Use a personal SWOT analysis to discover your strengths and weaknesses


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What’s a personal SWOT analysis?

How to conduct a personal swot analysis, 23 personal swot analysis examples, after your analysis, final tips when performing a personal swot analysis, face the truth, find success.

If a company wants to scale up its workforce, branch into a new market, or set quarterly objectives, it must first assess the risks and benefits of these changes. Much like creating a pros and cons list for a personal decision, a leadership professional will perform a SWOT analysis to examine the organization’s s trengths, w eaknesses, o pportunities, and t hreats.

This analysis has been a crucial part of corporate planning for over 50 years, but did you know it’s also a great tool for your professional development ?

A personal SWOT analysis helps you look critically at the value you bring to the workplace and ways to improve your performance. This tool is especially effective when making strategic career moves, whether you want to change jobs or receive the promotion you’ve been eyeing.

A personal SWOT analysis is a self-assessment tool focused on outlining your professional strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats to your success.

Conducting a SWOT analysis is helpful when setting professional development goals. This insight offers a clear picture of where you shine, areas you can improve, and opportunities that lead to success. But the process is only effective if done correctly.

When learning how to do a personal SWOT analysis, start by dividing a sheet of paper or digital document into four quadrants (one for each SWOT section). Then, it’s time to ask the hard questions, using humility and self-awareness to respond without self-serving biases . You want your analysis to be as effective as possible, and that means being honest.

Unbiased assessments are hard to come by. A Businessweek survey asked 2,000 Americans, “Are you one of the top 10% of performers in your company?” Across all subgroups (job title, age, etc.) at least 80% of respondents answered positively . While confidence is encouraged , try to be as realistic as possible when conducting your SWOT analysis.

That said, you might be working to overcome insecurities at work. Don’t downplay your employee strengths and overfocus on your weaknesses. This type of unbalanced assessment can be demotivating, disheartening, and ultimately a form of self-sabotage .

To help you create a balanced and effective analysis, here’s how to fill out each of the four sections. 

Start your analysis by writing down all your personal strengths. 

This is an essential part of the assessment because writing down your strengths starts the whole process off positively, which might boost your self-image.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I naturally good at?
  • What advantages do I have that others don’t?
  • What would my boss or coworkers say are my strengths?
  • What achievements (education, skills, etc.) set me apart from my colleagues?
  • What connections or resources do I have that can help me achieve my goals ?

Include strengths related to natural talent, work experience, and hard and soft skills . Take note of them all — you never know which proficiency will be the key to your success.


Now, it’s time to humble yourself (just a little) by examining your personal weaknesses. 

Write down the places where you have room to improve, the bad habits you need to ditch , and anything else that might prevent you from being your best self at work. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are my negative habits or personality traits ?
  • Are there areas where my education, training, or skills are lacking compared to my peers?
  • Which skills do I want to improve?
  • What do I avoid because I lack confidence ?
  • If I think about a time when I “messed up” at work, what did I do?

This part of your SWOT analysis encourages you to look honestly at yourself to make the changes and build the habits that will lead to your success. And, as a bonus, this exercise makes answering “ What are your weaknesses? ” easier in a job interview.


So far, you’ve focused on your individual work performance. It’s time to broaden your scope and look at career opportunities. 

Consider potential growth within your industry, company, and current position. Are you currently poised for the career growth you want? To find out, ask yourself questions like:

  • What’s the current state of my industry? Is it growing?
  • What new technology could help me achieve my goals?
  • How could my network help me take the next step?
  • What new skills can I acquire to increase my value as an employee?
  • Are there professional moves (like a career change or lateral shift ) that would help me reach my goals more efficiently?


Finally, address the potential threats that could get in the way of meeting your goals. These include external factors, like an unstable economy or competition from your coworkers, and internal struggles, like bad habits or a lack of education. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Who’s my workplace competition?
  • Is my industry changing direction?
  • Do technological advancements threaten my position?
  • Do any of my weaknesses threaten my career success?
  • What’s the current state of the economy?

Now, your personal SWOT analysis is complete. Use this document to brainstorm goals and strategize action plans as you advance your career.

It’s clear that a SWOT analysis is essential for strategic career planning. But what does this analysis look like in practice? Here are several examples to help you understand how to complete this self-assessment.

  • I’m a creative thinker , which helps me solve problems for my team in original and effective ways.
  • I work well under pressure and in a fast-paced environment. 
  • I’ve earned an advanced degree , demonstrating my willingness to work hard and my expertise in my field.
  • I’m organized and detail-oriented .
  • I’m personable and friendly, and I’ve built an extensive network of friends throughout my industry. 
  • I’m resourceful and always try to solve issues myself before bothering coworkers or managers. 
  • I ask good questions , which means I gain valuable and informative responses back and the listener feels I care about what they have to say.
  • I sometimes lack the willpower to complete my projects, leading to procrastination and rushed work. 
  • I’m often late to work because I lose track of time or oversleep in the mornings . 
  • I previously had issues with a difficult coworker , and the disagreement made higher-ups see us both negatively.
  • I don’t have as much AI technology experience as another colleague applying for the same position. 
  • I’m often too shy to speak up during team meetings.
  • I have presentation anxiety , and this causes me to turn down valuable opportunities to share my expertise and put myself out there.


  • My company isn’t reaching a critical market at the moment. I could draft a proposal for reaching that market and make a great impression on my boss.
  • Technology advances like ChatGPT and other AI tools could help me become more productive at work . 
  • I could contact one of my mentors for career advice or a recommendation for the position I’m applying for. 
  • I could take an online course to build my skill set during my off hours. 
  • I could work with a career coach to improve my interviewing skills before I apply for a new position. 
  • As technology advances, my position may require more education or specialization. 
  • I often complete projects more slowly than my colleagues.
  • My bad habits (procrastination, tardiness, etc.) could make recruiters and managers view me as unreliable. 
  • AI programs might make my job obsolete , so I should prepare for a career change if necessary.
  • My industry is growing rapidly, and new talent fresh from college is always joining the company, increasing my competition. 

Your SWOT analysis is like a roadmap, showing you the paths you can take for self-improvement . But having a map is only one step of your journey — now you need to chart your course. 

After completing your assessment, make an action plan that helps you achieve your goals. Here are two ways of doing this: 

Matching categories means using your strengths to correct your weaknesses. This is a great method for mitigating threats, as you use your skill set to improve overall performance.

Let’s say you listed “ creativity ” as a strength and “ time management ” as a weakness. Look for ways to use your creativity to manage your time more effectively. You might start bullet journaling to track your schedule and daily goals. 

Spinning the negative involves turning threats into positives by being proactive. Recognizing career development threats early on means you can take steps to avoid them before they block your path.

If you listed “increased competition” as a risk to your position, consider taking some online courses or in-person seminars to pad your portfolio. This might set you apart from your colleagues and secure your job. 


With a definition, guide, and examples in hand, you’re bound to conduct a good analysis. Make it great by following these tips:

Ask for help: While this analysis is personal, that doesn’t mean you need to go about it alone. And an outsider’s perspective might offer new insights.

Ask a trusted friend, coworker, or mentor to consider analysis questions with you, like what you’re naturally good at and whether your industry is changing. Their input offers you a more well-rounded and objective analysis. 

Dig deeper: When considering your strengths and weaknesses, a couple things might pop up immediately. Maybe your parents have always ragged on you for being a perfectionist, or your friends regularly affirm your loyalty.

While these are great aspects to devote time to, you might be surprised what you find if you dig deeper, and this deeper dive might reward you with more fulfilling growth.

For example, you might discover that you tend to micromanage your direct reports. If you hadn’t taken your search a level further you mightn’t have stumbled upon this important improvement area.

Reward yourself with self-care: Conducting these analyses is hard and emotionally challenging work. You might not love the weaknesses or risks you stumble across, and it takes grit to continue forward, completing your analysis and working toward improvement. Reward yourself for all this hard work with some self-care , like a bath or some reading.

Leverage motivational techniques: Post-analysis, use techniques like creating a vision board , reciting positive affirmations , and journaling to help you reach your self-improvement goals. These tools will help you focus on your objectives and remind you of the finish line when you need more motivation. 

A personal SWOT analysis is an excellent tool for setting professional development goals . Whether you’re a new graduate starting your career, a seasoned professional climbing the ladder, or a worker looking to make a big change, this assessment defines your path forward. 

Now all you have to do is take the first step on your roadmap.

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Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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assignment about swot analysis

How to Do a SWOT Analysis in Project Management: Template & Examples

assignment about swot analysis

As project managers, we’re lucky to have a full set of tools available to help us approach any project challenge. We have tools that bring our teams together, uncover issues, guide a project to an end, and everything in between. (I’m still waiting on that “easy” button, though!)

Determining what tool should be used in each situation can feel daunting. There are definitely some I pull out for every project, while others collect a bit more dust. 

The SWOT analysis is one I’ve left in the toolbox a bit too often. It’s probably not fair though. It’s a great tool that can bring the team together, create transparency around tough issues, and identify key risks and opportunities that will help with project planning . 

Let’s take a deeper look to see when and why you should give a SWOT analysis a bigger spotlight in your projects. 

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that allows you and your team to determine organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s typically represented as a table or matrix with each element in its own section or quadrant. 

A SWOT analysis assesses both internal and external factors:

  • Internal factors are aspects within your control. They include skills, assets, resources, and competitive advantages. They are typically the strengths and weaknesses categories in the SWOT matrix.
  • External factors are outside of your control. They might be major events, economic changes, marketplace shifts, pandemics, and more. These are the opportunities and threats. 

You can use a SWOT analysis to evaluate a project, business plan, content strategy, and even yourself. It’s very adaptable to many situations.

This type of analysis can be useful in project management because it allows you to identify areas of risk and growth within a project or team. From there, you and your team can use those findings to create a strategic plan that improves your chance of project success. 

Elements of the SWOT framework with examples

A SWOT analysis is made up of 4 core elements:

  • S = Strengths
  • W = Weaknesses
  • O = Opportunities
  • T = Threats

Let’s dive into what each SWOT component means and explore simple examples of each one.

Strengths are factors within your control that will help the project succeed. They might include a person, existing skill set, how the organization is positioned, or a specific aspect about the scoped project. I recommend listing out your strengths first to create a clear understanding of what success looks like and start your SWOT analysis on a positive note. 

Examples of project strengths

  • Your team has experience delivering a similar custom application.
  • The client team has full authority to make decisions.
  • Leadership is on board and already started a company-wide digital strategy conversion.
  • The budget has contingency built in.
  • Your content team is fully staffed for the project.
  • Your team has done 4 sites in that vertical in the last year.
  • You already have detailed specifications of the product scope.
  • A full brand redesign is already complete.

Weaknesses are internal factors that could negatively impact the project and make it difficult to succeed. Some strengths on your list might lead to a clear weakness, while weaknesses can help you identify opportunities in the next step.

Talking about weaknesses can be uncomfortable because no one likes dwelling on the gaps. If you do a SWOT analysis with an external client, let your team know what’s okay to call out in front of the client vs what’s best discussed internally. For example, it's good to alert your client to the fact your team is working on 2 projects at once because it sets clear expectations around your availability and response time.

Examples of project weaknesses

  • Your team has never worked together.
  • The client has all new leadership.
  • Your team is allocated to 2 projects at the same time.
  • Your client lacks resources in content, media production, or other areas.
  • Your client has multiple levels of stakeholders.
  • Project funding is limited and must be spent by a certain date.
  • All content needs to pass through the legal department.
  • Your team and clients use different project tools.


Opportunities are factors that can help your project succeed—or save it from failure—if correctly executed. The tricky thing is, they’re a bit outside of your control. They might be opportunities that already exist but haven’t been acted on, or they might be future wins that will come with the completion of the project. 

Reviewing the strengths and weaknesses you’ve already captured in your SWOT analysis will help you get ideas for this list. Just be sure any opportunities you include are concrete and realistic.

Examples of project opportunities

  • Moving a more experienced team member to your project team
  • Creating new channels for the company to capture revenue
  • Obtaining a discount from a vendor
  • Receiving another grant to fund the project
  • Hiring someone new on the client side to support the work
  • Attending an upcoming conference with access to real users
  • Capturing new leads because of the project

Threats are external factors that could hurt the success of your project and are often out of your control. Identifying these factors before the project begins can help you set expectations with your team and stakeholders around potential points of failure. 

Examples of project threats

  • A competitor is releasing a similar product on a faster timeline.
  • The software code base for a section was recently released and could be buggy.
  • A project vendor hasn’t been responsive.
  • A team member is on maternity leave for 3 months.
  • The client won’t give you access to other stakeholders.
  • You don’t have access to users (or don’t think it’s important).

What are the benefits of using a SWOT analysis in project management?

A SWOT analysis is a simple yet powerful exercise that can easily flow into a project manager’s strategic planning process. It gives you and your team space to worry and dream and can also bring the project and its variables into more focus.

But how you complete the analysis—and what you do with its findings—determines the true value of the tool. Let’s look at several advantages a SWOT analysis can provide when it’s done right.

Identify (and address) project risks and gaps

Conducting a SWOT analysis enables you to identify areas of weakness and potential project gaps from the start. That way, you can address any concerns with a proactive project plan. Of course, not all risks are factors you can control, but at least knowing them allows you to create a better strategy. 

Set a positive tone

Performing a SWOT analysis also gives you the chance to discuss strengths and opportunities. Focusing on the good aspects of your project and team sets a positive tone right from the start. It also shines a light on skills and aspects you might not have realized you have available to you. 

Uncover client expectations

As a project manager, I’m always thinking, “But what do they really want?” I know a lot of time goes into the project scope, but the client always forgets to mention something. 

Think of your SWOT analysis as a free-form brainstorming session that gives you another chance to listen and learn. It’s always easier to work new insights or hidden scope into the plan at the beginning of a project instead of the middle or end.

Identify new revenue

Doing a SWOT analysis before a project begins can also uncover new project opportunities. While some of these items might be addressed in the current scope, many will not. This opens the door to discuss phase 2 work that could generate additional revenue for both you and the client.

Establish a framework for red flags

When reviewing a project’s contract scope, I always find red flags—those pesky items that keep every project manager up at night. 

A SWOT analysis makes it easy to sneak those concerns in with the positives so you don’t have to be a downer in your first meetings. It also gives others a chance to raise red flags so the bad news isn’t always coming from you. Discussing these upfront makes everyone aware of the risks, not just select stakeholders. 

Build a foundation for team communication

Completing this activity as a team with different levels of stakeholders from both sides can set the stage for effective communication . Establishing an open, transparent, direct, and welcoming environment early on can help everyone navigate future conversations—no matter how tricky. 

It also builds a culture of collaborative problem-solving. As a project manager, you might feel like you have to solve all the hard issues yourself. But creating a team approach can lift some of that weight right off your shoulders.

When should you skip a SWOT analysis?

While a SWOT analysis can be a useful planning tool in project management, other tools are too. So when does it make sense to leave this tool in the toolbox?

Here are a few reasons a SWOT analysis might not be a productive use of your time.

You lack stakeholder access

Sometimes a client limits your access to their team, leaving you with only 1-2 people to talk to on the client side. If you can’t pull a diverse group of stakeholders together from both sides, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to build a comprehensive and effective SWOT matrix. 

You and/or your client can’t be honest

The reality is, you won’t have an open and transparent relationship with every client. It might be because they’re new or have a different culture of communication in their organization. Or maybe your sales team committed to a project they shouldn’t have. 

Whatever the reason, if you or your client can’t be transparent about weaknesses and threats, your SWOT analysis won’t be very useful.

You have limited resources

If your budget is small, you likely have limited resources to complete the project—and that includes your own time as a project manager. 

While conducting a SWOT analysis workshop is a relatively quick task, it’s not going to be effective unless you spend time creating and executing an action plan afterwards. If you can’t reasonably take action on what you may uncover, go ahead and skip the SWOT analysis. 

You’re working with a repeat client

If you’ve worked with a client several times before and don’t appear to be solving a new, hard problem—or approaching a new product or revenue stream—there’s no need to go through the motions of a SWOT exercise.

Your project has an unclear scope

Are you managing a project with muddy goals and a scope that’s constantly changing (even though somehow a contract got signed)? If so, it’s best to put all your energy into workshops and tools that focus on clearly defining what you’re doing. In my experience, projects like these just lead to vague SWOTs anyway.

How to do a SWOT analysis for a project

There’s no wrong way to complete a SWOT analysis. It just depends on the project and the preferences of your team and stakeholders. Just be sure whatever process you use effectively brings everyone together. 

Here are the key steps I recommend taking to execute a good SWOT analysis. 

1. Identify your SWOT analysis goal

Every good process starts with a clear goal. If you know why you’re doing a SWOT analysis and what you hope to achieve, you can tailor your approach and conversations accordingly. This clarity might even lead you to other tools in your project manager toolbox that will help you reach your goals.

2. Determine your stakeholders

Next, figure out who needs to participate in the SWOT analysis for you to achieve your goal. While there might be times you need to do this exercise quickly on your own, working as a team that includes both internal and external stakeholders will give you a more comprehensive analysis.

Participants should represent different groups at all levels of the organization to bring a full and diverse perspective. They should also be willing to participate fully, honestly, and kindly in the conversation and be open to talking about some tough topics. For example, someone might have a role in a weakness or threat that ends up on the list. If people aren’t willing to dig in, you’ll end up with a surface-level analysis that’s less useful.

Including more people in the conversion will encourage teamwork and transparency—all things you want for the rest of your project. Of course, too many people could cause chaos and a lack of focus, so shoot for around 10 or fewer participants.

3. Identify which tool you’ll use for the SWOT analysis

Next, decide where you’ll create your SWOT analysis. Many folks love working within the classic SWOT matrix, and you can easily create one using Word or PowerPoint.

If you’re conducting your workshop remotely—or want folks to add ideas before, during, or after the meeting—consider using a collaborative tool instead. You could use an interactive whiteboard tool to create a shared matrix or set up a list or Kanban board in TeamGantt. What’s nice about a tool like TeamGantt is you can immediately transform items from your SWOT analysis into tasks with deadlines and responsibilities assigned.

Lay a clear path to success with a visual plan that’s easy to understand, and keep everyone in sync with flexible workflows and team collaboration.

assignment about swot analysis

4. Prepare your team 

One of the most important steps you can take is effectively preparing your team for the workshop. I have to admit, I’ve been lazy about this step at times in the past, but it’s really critical if you want people to be successful in the meeting.

Send the team attending the SWOT analysis workshop the following items ahead of time:

  • The goal of the SWOT analysis
  • Why they’ve been chosen to participate in the workshop
  • An explanation of how the SWOT analysis will work
  • What they should do to prepare for the meeting and how much time they need to set aside to prep
  • Access to the tool you’ll use to conduct the SWOT analysis so they can get in and comfortable with it beforehand
  • Next steps they can expect after the meeting (even if it doesn’t involve them) 
  • Gratitude in advance for their thoughts, respect, and time

5. Conduct the SWOT analysis workshop

Use this workshop to brainstorm project strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a team. Guide the discussion to make sure the thoughts are clear and specific. If more information has to be gathered for a couple of items after the meeting, that’s okay, but the majority shouldn’t need follow-up.

Since I include both my team and the client in a project SWOT analysis, I like to keep the format simple. While I talk about the concept of internal vs external factors, I don’t build my matrix or workshop around it. In my experience, it’s just another layer for folks to process. Participants should be focused on brainstorming—not figuring out how to work within a complex framework. 

Try to fill in 2-3 items for each box of the SWOT matrix ahead of time to jump start the conversation. If the room gets quiet, give folks 10 minutes to gather thoughts and then share back. You could also use starter questions like the ones below to get ideas rolling.

Example questions to guide your SWOT analysis workshop

  • What do your customers love about what you do?
  • Does anyone have expertise in this subject or scope? 
  • What resources are available in-house?
  • What advantages do you have over your competitors?


  • What do your customers dislike about what you do?
  • Could any organizational factors negatively impact this project?
  • Are there any gaps in team or project knowledge?
  • Do you have any hard limits on the project (e.g., timeline, budget, scope)?


  • What can you do to compete better in your market?
  • What resource changes or additions would help you?
  • What tools will help you be effective?
  • Can you help other areas of the business?
  • Do other business initiatives depend on project completion and success? If so, how?
  • Are your competitors doing anything related to your project?
  • Are you working with any new or untested tools or software?
  • Do you rely on any outside vendors?

Download an expanded list of example questions.

6. Prioritize and confirm

In this step, you’ll want to rank the factors from most to least important. Since time is usually limited, I focus on prioritizing the opportunities and threats lists. 

Questions like these can help you weigh the importance of each item on your list:

  • Will it impact the project the most? 
  • Is it something you can actually do something about? 
  • Are there things you can’t address unless the project has more budget? 

You can either jump into prioritization at the end of your brainstorming session or tackle it online as a team after your SWOT workshop.

Once you feel good about the priorities you’ve set, clean up your SWOT analysis document, and send it to all your stakeholders to confirm everyone’s on the same page. 

7. Create and execute an action plan

Now it’s time to create a clear plan of action to execute on. Your to-do list might only take a couple of weeks to knock out, or it might take longer to work through. Either way, you’ll want to jump on an action plan quickly to show participants you took their feedback seriously and are committed to making the project a success.

It’s probably easiest to start with the internal SWOT factors you have control over, so focus on maximizing strengths and mitigating weaknesses first. Your action plan might include rearranging your team, finding a new tool, adding more resources, talking to sales, or more. 

Once these internal factors are in motion, take a look at the threats and opportunities that are more outside of your control. Work closely with your primary stakeholder or client-side project manager to determine the best course of action, including how you’ll handle any new opportunities or threats that may arise.

After you have a game plan, schedule any necessary meetings. Then create a clear plan with deadlines, and assign tasks to team members. Using an online project planner like TeamGantt makes it easy to communicate priorities to your team and report back to stakeholders so they know what steps have been taken and what’s to come. 

Get your action plan off the ground faster with one of our free project templates!

8. Monitor and revisit your SWOT strategy

If time allows, go back to your SWOT analysis throughout the project, as well as at the end. See if you’re accomplishing what you set out to do or if you have room to tackle any additional items now.

Self-reflection and solid data can help you hone your skills as a project manager and improve projects over time.

SWOT analysis example

To help you get a better understanding of how this process might work, let’s take a look at a sample SWOT analysis for a new marketing website build. Our example project also features a large lead-capture component that connects to Salesforce.

  • Our development team has completed several Salesforce integrations.
  • This project is a top priority for the client. Leadership has given staff permission to set other initiatives aside to help with the project.
  • The core team has been through a website redesign in the past.
  • The strategists are available right now and can jump into discovery and research.
  • The new brand has already been created and approved, and all website assets are available.
  • We don’t have much user data or feedback collected yet.
  • The timeline is immovable.
  • This is the project’s first phase, so the full team has not worked together.
  • The company’s top 3 leadership positions changed in the last 6 months.
  • The best new feature of the project won’t be ready until launch, so no video or images will be available for the website.
  • The client has strict security procedures, and we need to work solely in Microsoft to share documents. However, our team is used to using Google.
  • The Salesforce implementation contractor has offered to scale up their team to help implement the tool quickly.
  • The client views this launch as phase 1 and has funding for 2 more phases.
  • If the dev team gets stuck on another project, we have other dev team members we can move over to start all builds, except the Salesforce integration. 
  • For another project, our team created a revenue-generating resource library. It could be another source of income.
  • We’ve identified that 75% of site visitors don’t go past the homepage.
  • The client doesn’t like their current workflow for lead capture, but they’re arguing internally about how it should change.
  • The client has not used Salesforce before.
  • The client’s main competitor just launched a new, sleek website. 
  • The launch date is set for 4 months. We think the project needs 6 months. 
  • Launch is expected to happen right after the December holidays.
  • Our dev team has another project to wrap up before starting this project, and it’s been known to miss all its deadlines.

SWOT analysis example in matrix format

While the matrix format provides a nice visual in the meeting, it doesn’t transition nicely into your next steps as a project manager. Here’s how you might adapt this example to a Kanban board that allows you to prioritize action items easily, assign deadlines and people to tasks, add notes, etc.

Example of a SWOT analysis using a Kanban board format

Free SWOT analysis templates

If you're looking for a SWOT analysis template, a free one is always a great place to start. We created a few different options to help you save time preparing for and creating a SWOT analysis of your own. 

  • SWOT analysis planner template [PDF] : Use these example questions to guide discussions around project strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • SWOT analysis template [Word] : Download this editable SWOT analysis template to create a simple one-page matrix for your project.
  • SWOT analysis template [PowerPoint] : Use this SWOT analysis template to present your final analysis to your project team and/or stakeholders.

Take easy action on your SWOT analysis with TeamGantt

Want to make a SWOT analysis everyone can collaborate on? Try TeamGantt for free , and use our board feature to create and prioritize your SWOT analysis as a team. 

Once your analysis is done, transform action items into a plan that’s easy to schedule, manage, and track. Check out our free project template hub for ideas you can use to get your plan off the ground faster.

About the author: Lynn Winter

Lynn is a freelance Digital Strategist who combines 20+ years of experience in content strategy, user experience, and project management to bring a holistic approach to her work. She has spoken at numerous local and national conferences and hosts an annual conference for Digital Project Managers called Manage Digital ( http://managedigital.io/ ). You can connect with her at lynnwintermn.com .

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A SWOT analysis can help a small business owner or business assess a company’s position to determine the most optimal strategy going forward. This business practice can help you identify what you’re doing well, what you want to do better, and what kinds of obstacles you might encounter along the way.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about a SWOT analysis: what it is, how it works, and how to do it. We’ll also include an example and a template to help guide you as you perform your own SWOT analysis.

What Is a SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique that outlines an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Assessing business competition in this way can help an organization plan strategically and execute more effectively.

The 4 Parts of a SWOT Analysis

Your business’s strengths SWOT section should include anything that your business does differently or better than competitors. Think about your unique value proposition, trends you’ve noticed in positive customer feedback, operational strengths, and company culture. This section is the perfect place to name and celebrate anything you’re already doing well.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn (while also remaining objective). Clearly identifying your business’s strengths not only helps you keep your spirits balanced as you address your weaknesses, it will also give you a sense of where to concentrate your resources. It’s easier to build a successful business when you’re working towards something, rather than acting in opposition.

Questions to help you determine your strengths:

  • What is your business’s unique value proposition?
  • What common compliments do you receive from your customers?
  • What does your business do particularly well?
  • How do you operate differently from your competitors?
  • What gives you an edge on the competition ? (This can include something product-related like “better access to raw materials” or “lower cost of goods,” or it can be an internal strength like “strong company culture” or “employee motivation.”)
  • What might your competitors name as your strengths?

Your weaknesses are the areas in which the business has room for improvement. You should include structural weaknesses in this section—those that relate to your systems, procedures, resources, and personnel. This is a great place to look at common feedback from employees (either from exit interviews, anonymous surveys, or other sources) and recurring customer complaints.

Questions to help you determine your weaknesses:

  • What areas of your business could stand to improve?
  • What are common hiccups in your customer experience ?
  • How do you use your resources? Is there room for improvement?
  • What improvements are needed in your employee experience?
  • What weaknesses might your customers see that you tend to overlook?
  • What weaknesses might your competitors think you have?


Your opportunities are the positive, external factors that your business might benefit from… but cannot directly control. That might include market opportunities, consumer purchasing trends, legal or regulatory changes, population changes, the cost of raw materials, and more. For example, businesses that provide accessibility for aging seniors might recognize the forthcoming “silver tsunami” of Baby Boomers entering the target demographic. This would be a clear opportunity to expand their customer base.

Questions to help you determine your opportunities:

  • What trends might affect your industry?
  • How might the right talent create new opportunities?
  • your customers ask for anything you don’t offer (but could)?
  • How might population changes affect your business opportunities? (think: generational shifts)
  • Is there a need in the industry that you’re not creating, but could?
  • Do your competitors have any weaknesses that could be opportunities for you?
  • Is there a way to repackage current products to demand a higher price?
  • Are there any new, or potential, regulatory or tax changes that might provide a new opportunity?

Your threats are the external factors that have the potential to negatively affect your business. A threat can be specific and competitor-based or more structural. buy clomid online buy clomid online no prescription Examples of structural threats could be supply chain challenges, shifts in market requirements, talent shortages, or changes to social media algorithms (especially if your business heavily relies on social media marketing). You might also face a threat (or threats) from your competitors. This can include the way they operate, how they’re marketing, or the products they offer.

Identifying every external threat your business faces is essential for your business to identify how it must adapt in order to meet and overcome these challenges.

Questions to help you determine threats:

  • What happens if a supplier or manufacturer runs out of materials you use?
  • What if a natural disaster (like a pandemic) strikes? buy amitriptyline online buy amitriptyline online no prescription
  • Is your market shrinking?
  • What are your competitors offering? Are they expanding or offering different products?
  • How are your competitors marketing?
  • What technological threats are you vulnerable to (website security, social media algorithm changes)?
  • Are there any businesses that aren’t competitors now but could become competitors in the future?

The Benefits of a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analyses offer a variety of benefits for businesses and personal brands. Here are some of the most common benefits of a SWOT analysis:

  • You can use it to determine a strategic plan.
  • You can use it to drive an innovative, informed marketing plan.
  • It can help you identify external opportunities.
  • It can help you identify external threats.
  • It can reveal environmental factors that might affect your business, either positively or negatively.
  • You can develop a plan for how to tackle internal weaknesses.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

You can approach SWOT analyses in multiple ways. You can conduct a personal SWOT analysis for yourself as an individual, you can perform a marketing SWOT analysis to determine a competitive advantage in your marketing , or you can use a SWOT analysis as a part of broader strategic planning.

Whatever your end goal for a SWOT analysis, follow these steps.

1. Create a SWOT Matrix

Use a SWOT template or create your own. You can create your SWOT framework on the computer or on a whiteboard—if you choose to do the latter, be sure that someone is in charge of recording the responses so that you don’t lose key insights (you can also take a picture at the end of the SWOT session).

2. Assemble Key Stakeholders

A SWOT analysis is most effective when it collects a variety of perspectives. Gathering key stakeholders with various perspectives will help you see more than you would have seen alone. Marketing leaders might be able to give you a more specific sense of the opportunities and threats related to your content marketing efforts. Your people team is closest to all personnel changes and feedback, so they’ll have the clearest sense of an organization’s strengths and what is driving employee retention (or challenging it). Sales leaders can help translate opportunities into a cohesive business strategy.

It’s simple: when it comes to a SWOT analysis, more heads are better than one.

3. Brainstorm Around Your Companies’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Go through each field of the SWOT diagram, spending some time with each one. Ask the group the guiding questions to ensure you’re developing a comprehensive picture of the internal and external environment. There are no bad ideas in brainstorming. You’re just trying to get thoughts flowing. Something that feels like a “bad idea” might lead to discovering a potential threat you’d never thought of before or nuanced analysis of how you stack up to your nearest competitor. The key here is to keep the brainstorm going.

4. Record Relevant Thoughts in Their Respective Sections

As you brainstorm, record points and ideas when they are relevant. At the end of the session, your SWOT analysis should leave you with a clear sense of the organization’s strengths and company’s weaknesses that you can use to guide your strategy formulation.

5. Edit Your List

Revisit the SWOT diagram at a later time and edit it, culling out anything you don’t really need. You can also polish up some of the key insights gleaned in the brainstorming session. This is especially important if you plan to use your SWOT analysis as a more formal document that might be disseminated broadly.

6. Create a More Formal Version (Optional)

The final step, if you choose to do it, is to take your SWOT takeaways and put them together in a polished document that you can share.

A SWOT Analysis Example

It can be easier to understand how to approach a SWOT analysis if you’ve seen a SWOT analysis example. For the sake of this example, we will imagine a hypothetical company and what its SWOT analysis might look like.

The Business

An Instagram-friendly fitness business offering virtual workouts.

  • The business is not limited to a specific geographic area.
  • The company offers great benefits so employees tend to stay.
  • Workouts look really good, so they market well on social media (particularly Instagram).
  • The app experience can be glitchy.
  • High customer churn rate.
  • Competitors let you filter classes by the instructor. Ours doesn’t offer that.
  • There is growing interest in our type of workout.
  • As a result of the pandemic, consumers are more interested in at-home workouts.
  • We could start offering retail products and branded workout equipment like our competitors do.
  • Our app is vulnerable to hacking.
  • If Instagram changes its algorithm, we may become wholly dependent on paid ads instead of organic posts.

A SWOT Analysis Template

Use this template to create your own SWOT analysis.

Strengths Section: What Your Company Does Well

Weaknesses section: what your company could improve, opportunities section: external factors you could use to your advantage, threats section: external factors that could harm your business, owning the hard truths of a swot analysis.

A SWOT analysis can bring up a lot of hard truths. It’s difficult to confront your company’s weaknesses and sometimes looking at threats can make them feel like the existential kind. Overcome these obstacles and give yourself the fortitude to confront business challenges head on with the Mental Toughness mini-course. The best part? It’s free.

assignment about swot analysis

About Mary Kate Miller

Mary Kate Miller writes about small business, real estate, and finance. In addition to writing for Foundr, her work has been published by The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Bustle, and more. She lives in Chicago.

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assignment about swot analysis

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Blog Marketing 20+ Free SWOT Analysis Templates

20+ Free SWOT Analysis Templates

Written by: Midori Nediger Oct 12, 2023

Free SWOT Analysis Templates Header

You know what you need if you’re contemplating producing a new product line, jumping into a new industry, or even just working on a company analysis for a school assignment?

A SWOT analysis chart.

SWOT analysis is a great way to effectively evaluate a person, campaign, strategy or product — and if you want to create a SWOT table that impresses (your stakeholders or your college professor), you need a SWOT analysis template.

Read on to see different types of SWOT analysis templates you can create with Venngage, plus top tips and plenty of SWOT analysis examples.

Click to skip ahead:

SWOT analysis templates for strategic decision making

How to do a swot analysis, swot analysis best practices & design tips (+examples).

Ready to dive into your SWOT analysis? I’ve got some cool templates lined up that you can use as a starting point:

SWOT analysis templates for Word

Swot analysis templates for powerpoint, personal swot analysis templates, company swot analysis templates, marketing swot analysis templates, nonprofit swot analysis templates, exec swot analysis templates, consultant swot analysis templates.

You can actually edit any of our SWOT analysis templates above and add them to your Word document as an image file. We offer PNG or PNG HD download options.

Here’s another example of a SWOT analysis template you can create for your Word or Google Docs file:

swot analysis template for word

Note: download capability is only available in a paid Venngage plan .

To create a SWOT analysis for PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation, you can edit one of Venngage’s professionally designed SWOT analysis templates and download them as a PNG. A Venngage Business user can also download the template as a PPTX file and upload it directly to your presentation as a slide.

Besides simple SWOT analysis templates, we also offer presentation templates containing SWOT charts:

business proposal swot analysis

To use a Personal SWOT analysis template, first, identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Prioritize and make action plans for personal and professional growth based on the analysis.

Comparing strengths and weaknesses directly can help give you clarity over areas that you can improve, like in this personal SWOT analysis example.

Personal swot analysis template

Rather than thinking about competitors or change in the market, think more about things that may hold you back personally – i.e. a lack of business finances , or an upcoming relocation, as you can see in this SWOT analysis example.

business employee swot analysis template

When composing a SWOT analysis for a company, start by taking stock of the company’s internal capabilities. This includes what the company excels at, such as a strong brand or skilled workforce. Be honest about areas where there’s room for improvement.

Next, consider external factors that can impact the company. This could involve exciting possibilities like new markets or technological advancements. Be mindful of potential challenges like increased competition or economic instability.

It aids in understanding the competitive landscape, customer preferences and market trends, allowing companies to make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies and market expansion.

assignment about swot analysis

Simultaneously, honestly identify internal weaknesses such as inadequate resources, operational inefficiencies or gaps in skills.

To thoroughly assess the external environment, remain attentive to emerging market trends and potential growth areas as opportunities, while also considering potential threats such as evolving consumer preferences, regulatory changes or intensified market competition.

assignment about swot analysis

It is crucial to maintain objectivity, involve key stakeholders and consider the analysis in the context of both short-term and long-term business objectives. That way, you can ensure the strategic insights gleaned from the SWOT analysis are effectively translated into actionable plans and initiatives.

Analyzing your marketing plan with a SWOT template is a strategic approach. Simply list your marketing strengths (brand recognition, creative content) and weaknesses (limited budget, outdated website).

Then, consider external factors like new social media trends or increased competition. By understanding these elements, you can craft a plan to leverage strengths for new opportunities, address weaknesses to not miss out, and adapt to external challenges.

Most importantly, don’t forget to regularly revisit this analysis to stay on top of the ever-changing marketing landscape.

assignment about swot analysis

Equally, by looking at opportunities you can begin to understand potential new markets, as well as under-served areas that you already market within. Marketers, consultants and freelancers often include SWOT analyses in competitor analysis reports .

Looking for more marketing resources?

  • How to conduct a SWOT analysis in marketing (+examples)
  • The complete guide to marketing infographics
  • How to use SEO in your visual marketing
  • How to make a marketing plan

Nonprofit organizations can use SWOT analyses to help inform their strategic planning.

A SWOT is a great way to understand how your nonprofit fits into the market, and how you can maximize your impact by running effective targeted campaigns and fundraising initiatives. This SWOT analysis example showcases areas where a nonprofit can improve.

Beige SWOT Analysis Template

Especially in nonprofits, you often don’t have the luxury of testing out multiple ideas or strategies due to time and budget constraints. Conducting a SWOT analysis early on in your strategy development can help you make the most informed decisions. This SWOT analysis example highlights the threats that a nonprofit should be looking to overcome soon.

assignment about swot analysis

Looking for more nonprofit guides?

  • The complete nonprofit marketing guide
  • Nonprofit communication resources
  • Nonprofit storytelling examples

Execs have to wear many different hats within their roles and organizations. Business development is a crucial part of company success, and being fully aware of your organizational strengths and weaknesses is invaluable. For example, there are numerous opportunities in this SWOT analysis example.

Gradient Column SWOT Analysis Template

When going through a period of rapid growth within your business, you should take some time to conduct a SWOT analysis. This will help to ensure that you are able to reach your growth goals. Doing a SWOT also helps you identify any possible weaknesses that may become issues for your growth further down the line.

The weaknesses in this free SWOT analysis template for Word should be addressed quickly before they become a threat to the company.

Company SWOT Analysis

A SWOT diagram can also be used to help evaluate employees’ work. You can assess your employees’ performances and provide detailed feedback, like in this SWOT analysis example.

Bold swot analysis template

Interested in more resources?

  • Business letterhead templates
  • Mind map templates
  • Business pitch deck templates
  • How to write a project plan

Consultants are in a unique position because they are looking to market themselves. Starting out as a consultant can be difficult, but conducting a SWOT analysis of yourself as a consultant can help you discover any unique selling points for your services.

You might also want to conduct a SWOT analysis when delivering work for clients. A SWOT can help inform any project or growth plans that you are recommending. The SWOT analysis example below makes a strong case for the business.

Orange Brewery SWOT Analysis Template

Take a look at page 4 of this consulting proposal template for an example of how to use SWOT analyses in a consulting proposal :

swot chart in a consulting proposal template

Looking for more consulting templates?

  • Consulting proposal templates
  • Business proposal templates
  • Job proposal templates

A SWOT analysis helps you understand your business’s current position in the market and aids in developing strategies to leverage strengths, mitigate weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities and counter threats.

Follow these simple steps to create a comprehensive SWOT analysis:

  • Identify strengths: Recognize internal positive attributes that are within your control, such as unique selling points, skilled workforce or strong brand recognition.
  • Pinpoint weaknesses: Assess internal areas that need improvement, such as lack of resources, inefficient processes or poor brand reputation.
  • Recognize opportunities: Analyze external factors that could benefit your business, such as emerging markets, technological advancements or changes in consumer behavior.
  • Acknowledge threats: Consider external factors that could potentially harm your business, such as new competitors, changing regulations or economic downturns.

Whilst a SWOT diagram is a fairly straightforward evaluation model, there are a couple of SWOT best practice tips you should follow in order to maximize the effectiveness of your SWOT:

Use measurable and quantifiable statements in your SWOT

You should be able to evidence all of the points in your SWOT template, aka prove that you are good at the thing you said you are good at. Highlighting quick delivery is great, but specifying delivery times, like in the template below, is even better:

assignment about swot analysis

Make sure all areas of your business are represented when developing the SWOT

Get feedback from different departments on both what their strengths/weaknesses are, but ask what they think your strengths/weaknesses are. This SWOT analysis example has gathered feedback from multiple teams.

B2C Client Consulting Presentation Template

Try and keep the lists an even number

If you have 5 strengths, find 5 weaknesses. For every opportunity, try and write down a threat. This makes it easier to compare the categories in your SWOT template.

assignment about swot analysis

Have a goal in mind when doing your SWOT analysis

Whether this is developing a new project plan or business, or scaling your revenue – a SWOT diagram is particularly useful when there’s a definitive outcome you’re trying to achieve.

When doing your SWOT analysis, explicitly tie each strength, weakness, opportunity and threat back to how it impacts achieving your goal with this template:

assignment about swot analysis

Don’t aim for the perfect SWOT list straight away

When you’re customizing your SWOT analysis template, start with much longer lists gathered in a brainstorming session and whittle the lists down.

Talk about each factor in a category and figure out which ones matter the most to have your SWOT analysis focusing on the most important stuff. Methods like voting or group agreement typically work in this type of setting.

Using online templates or ready-made structures can help organize your thoughts and brainstorming sessions. Here’s one to help you capture your ideas easily.

assignment about swot analysis

Make sure your SWOT is thorough

Make sure you’ve thought about every possible strength, weakness, threat, and opportunity. A SWOT is only as valuable as the information you include, so make sure you do your due diligence during the analysis. Take inspiration from this SWOT analysis example.

Business Growth Client Consulting Proposal Template

Format your SWOT in a way that makes sense for multiple uses

If you plan to present your SWOT analysis to an executive at your company, make sure it is clear to understand, and presented in a way that makes it easy to take in all of the information at once – such as a 2×2 grid template. If it’s for a company presentation, use a horizontal SWOT analysis template for PowerPoint.

Business Strategy Mindmap Template

Think short, mid and long term impacts

Your product might be great now, but what could be happening in the next 6 months that might affect that? What about within the next year? Sure that competitor could be small fish now, but what about if they have an aggressive growth plan in place? You need to be prepared for that to stay ahead of the game, and that’s where a SWOT analysis template comes in.

For example, in this SWOT analysis, both short and long term opportunities were taken into consideration:

assignment about swot analysis

Use clever design tricks

Use color in your SWOT matrix to help grab attention. Differentiate different areas of your SWOT, as this SWOT analysis template does.

Vibrant B2C Consulting Proposal Template

Are you ready to create your SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is an invaluable tool for evaluation and is particularly useful for small businesses or businesses in times of change. Make sure you follow these SWOT analysis best practice tips to maximize your evaluation opportunities and further your evaluation by conducting a thorough Competitor Analysis .

All of the SWOT analysis examples featured in this blog post are fully customizable SWOT analysis templates available for use on Venngage.  You can also use our Smart Templates to create documents easily.

Once you’ve created your business or personal SWOT analysis, make sure to keep a copy safe for the next time you conduct an evaluation. With Venngage you can keep your work online or download a SWOT analysis PDF if you’re a Business user.

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Strategic Management Insight

SWOT Analysis – How to Do It Properly

SWOT analys

SWOT analysis involves the collection and portrayal of information about internal and external factors that have, or may have, an impact on business. [2]

SWOT is a framework that allows managers to synthesize insights obtained from an internal analysis of the company’s strengths and weaknesses with those from an analysis of external opportunities and threats. [3]

What is SWOT Analysis

What is SWOT analysis? The answer to the question is simple: it’s a tool used for situation (business or personal) analysis! SWOT is an acronym that stands for:

S trengths: factors that give the company an edge over its competitors. W eaknesses: factors that can be harmful if used against the firm by its competitors. O pportunities: favorable situations which can bring a competitive advantage. T hreats: unfavorable situations that can negatively affect the business.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company and can be directly managed by it, while the opportunities and threats are external and the company can only anticipate and react to them. Often, SWOT is presented in a form of a matrix as in the illustration below:

SWOT matrix that is divided into 4 areas (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and 2 categories (helpful, harmful and internal, external) factors.

SWOT is a widely accepted tool due to its simplicity and value of focusing on the key issues which affect the firm. The aim of SWOT is to identify the strengths and weaknesses that are relevant in meeting opportunities and threats in particular situation. [4]

SWOT tool has 5 key benefits:

  • Simple to do and practical to use.
  • Clear to understand.
  • Focuses on the key internal and external factors affecting the company.
  • Helps to identify future goals.
  • Initiates further analysis.


Although there are clear benefits of doing the analysis, many managers and academics heavily criticize or don’t even recognize it as a serious tool. [2] According to many, it is a ‘low-grade’ analysis. Here are the main flaws identified by the research: [2][5]

  • Excessive lists of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • No prioritization of factors.
  • Factors are described too broadly.
  • Factors are often opinions, not facts.
  • No recognized method to distinguish between strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

How to perform the analysis?

SWOT can be done by one person or a group of members who are directly responsible for the situation assessment in the company. Basic SWOT analysis is done fairly easily and comprises of only a few steps:

Step 1. Listing the firm’s key strengths and weaknesses Step 2. Identifying opportunities and threats

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses are the factors of the firm’s internal environment. When looking for strengths, ask what you do better or have more valuable than your competitors have. In case of the weaknesses, ask what you could improve and at least catch up with your competitors?

Where to look for them?

Some strengths or weaknesses can be recognized instantly without deeper studying of the organization. But usually, the process is harder and managers have to look into the firm’s:

  • Resources: land, equipment, knowledge, brand equity, intellectual property, etc.
  • Core competencies
  • Capabilities
  • Functional areas: management, operations, marketing, finances, human resources and R&D
  • Organizational culture
  • Value chain activities

Strength or a weakness?

Often, a company’s internal factors are seen as both strengths and weaknesses at the same time. It is also hard to tell if a characteristic is a strength (weakness) or not. For example, a firm’s organizational structure can be a strength, a weakness or neither! In such cases, you should rely on:

Clear definition . Very often, factors that are described too broadly may fit both strengths and weaknesses. For example, “brand image” might be a weakness if the company has a poor brand image. However, it can also be a strength if the company has the most valuable brand in the market, valued at $100 billion. Therefore, it is easier to identify if a factor is a strength or a weakness when it’s defined precisely.

Benchmarking . The key emphasis in doing SWOT is to identify the factors that are the strengths or weaknesses in comparison to the competitors. For example, a 17% profit margin would be an excellent margin for many firms in most industries, and it would be considered as a strength. But what if the average profit margin of your competitors is 20%? Then company’s 17% profit margin would be considered as a weakness.

VRIO framework . A resource can be seen as a strength if it exhibits VRIO (valuable, rare and cannot be imitated) framework characteristics. Otherwise, it doesn’t provide any strategic advantage for the company.

Opportunities and threats

Opportunities and threats are the external uncontrollable factors that usually appear or arise due to the changes in the macro environment, industry or competitors’ actions. Opportunities represent the external situations that bring a competitive advantage if seized upon. Threats may damage your company so you would better avoid or defend against them.

PESTEL . PEST or PESTEL analysis represents all the major external forces (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) affecting the company so it’s the best place to look for existing or new opportunities and threats.

Competition . Competitors react to your moves and external changes. They also change their existing strategies or introduce new ones. Therefore, the company must always follow the actions of its competitors as new opportunities and threats may open at any time.

Market changes . The most visible opportunities and threats appear during the market changes. Markets converge, starting to satisfy other market segment needs with the same product. New geographical markets open up, allowing the firm to increase its export volumes or start operations in a new country. Often niche markets become profitable due to technological changes. As a result, changes in the market create new opportunities and threats that must be seized upon or dealt with if the company wants to gain and sustain a competitive advantage .

Opportunity or threat?

Most external changes can represent both opportunities and threats. For example, exchange rates may increase or reduce the profits gained from exports. This depends on the exchange rate, which may rise (opportunity) or fall (threat) against the home country’s currency. The organization can only guess the outcome of the change and count on analysts’ forecasts. In such cases, when an organization cannot identify if the external factor will affect it positively or negatively, it should gather unbiased and reliable information from external sources and make the best possible judgment.

Guidelines for successful SWOT

The following guidelines are very important in writing a successful SWOT analysis. They eliminate most of the SWOT limitations and improve it’s results significantly:

  • Factors have to be identified relative to the competitors. It allows specifying whether the factor is a strength or a weakness.
  • List between 3 – 5 items for each category. Prevents creating too short or endless lists.
  • Items must be clearly defined and as specific as possible. For example, firm’s strength is: brand image (vague); strong brand image (more precise); brand image valued at $10 billion, which is the most valued brand in the market (very good).
  • Rely on facts, not opinions. Find some external information or involve someone who could provide an unbiased opinion.
  • Factors should be action-orientated. For example, “slow introduction of new products” is action orientated weakness.

SWOT analysis example A

This is a basic example of the analysis:

You can find an extensive list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats by looking at our examples of SWOT analyses , which include Alphabet (Google) SWOT , Amazon.com SWOT , Apple Inc. SWOT , The Coca Cola Company SWOT , Ford Motor Company SWOT , McDonald’s Corporation SWOT , PepsiCo Inc. SWOT , Samsung Electronics SWOT , Starbucks Corporation SWOT , Walmart Stores, Inc. SWOT and many more swot analyses.

Advanced SWOT

At the most, SWOT is considered to be only a reference to further analysis as it has too many limitations and cannot be used alone in the situation analysis. The previous guidelines identified in this article meet most of the SWOT limitations except one: “prioritization of factors”. An advanced SWOT goes a step further and eliminates this important drawback.

In a simple SWOT, strengths and weaknesses or opportunities and threats are equal to each other. Therefore a minor weakness can balance a major strength. Without prioritization, some factors might be given too much or too little emphasis and the most relevant factors might simply be overlooked.

The aim of advanced SWOT is to identify the most significant factors of the analysis from all the items listed in it. How to perform it?

Step 1. Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Step 2. Prioritize them.

(The first step was discussed earlier so please refer to it when doing an advanced SWOT analysis. See example B when reading further instructions.)


Strengths and weaknesses are evaluated on three categories:

  • Importance . Importance shows how important a strength or a weakness is for the organization in its industry as some strengths (weaknesses) might be more important than others. A number from 0.01 (not important) to 1.0 (very important) should be assigned to each strength and weakness. The sum of all weights should equal 1.0 (including strengths and weaknesses).
  • Rating . A score from 1 to 3 is given to each factor to indicate whether it is a major (3) or a minor (1) strength for the company. The same rating should be assigned to the weaknesses where 1 would mean a minor weakness and 3 a major weakness.
  • Score . Score is a result of importance multiplied by rating. It allows for prioritizing the strengths and weaknesses. You should rely on your most important strengths and try to convert or defend your weakest parts of the organization.

Opportunities and threats are prioritized slightly differently than strengths and weaknesses. Their evaluation includes:

  • Importance . It shows to what extent the external factor might impact the business. Again, the numbers from 0.01 (no impact) to 1.0 (very high impact) should be assigned to each item. The sum of all weights should equal 1.0 (including opportunities and threats).
  • Probability . The probability of occurrence shows how likely the opportunity or threat will have any impact on business. It should be rated from 1 (low probability) to 3 (high probability).
  • Score . Importance multiplied by probability will give a score by which you’ll be able to prioritize opportunities and threats. Pay attention to the factors having the highest score and ignore the factors that will not likely affect your business.

SWOT analysis example B

This SWOT example is adopted from the previous example and additionally includes prioritization. Highlighted cells point to the most significant factors affecting the organization.

Advanced SWOT of Company X

  • Thompson, J. and Martin, F. (2010). Strategic Management: Awareness & Change. 6th ed. Cengage Learning EMEA, p. 140, 817
  • Pickton, D.W. and Wright, S. (1998). What’s SWOT in strategic analysis? Strategic Change Vol. 7, pp. 101-109, 105-106
  • Rothaermel, F. T. (2012). Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, p. 105-106
  • Johnson, G, Scholes, K. Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring Corporate Strategy. 8th ed. FT Prentice Hall, p. 156, 160
  • Coman, A. and Ronen, B. (2009). Focused SWOT: diagnosing critical strengths and weaknesses. International Journal of Production Research Vol. 40, Issues 20, pp. 5677–5689
  • Kotler, P. (1991). Marketing Management. 7th ed. Prentice-Hall
  • David, F.R. (2009). Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases. 12th ed. FT Prentice Hall, p. 125-126, 166-168
  • Virtual Strategist (2008). SWOT analysis: How to perform one for your organization (VIDEO). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNXYI10Po6A
  • Wikipedia (2013). SWOT analysis. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
  • SWOT Analysis of Walt Disney 2023
  • SWOT Analysis of Blackberry 2023
  • SWOT analysis of BMW 2023
  • SWOT Analysis of eBay 2023
  • SWOT Analysis of Dell 2023

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The Ultimate Guide to SWOT Analysis

Yes, this is the only guide to SWOT Analysis you’ll ever need…🕶️

10 min read

Diagram showing SWOT in SWOT Analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Table of Contents

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is commonly displayed as a 2×2 matrix and is a popular tool used by businesses all over the world.

You’ve likely heard of SWOT, in fact it’s sometimes even used in personal development to look at an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

This guide will provide you with everything you need to become an expert in SWOT Analysis. We’ve got information, frequently asked questions, video support, examples, and pointers on where you can complete your SWOT Analysis.

So without further ado, let’s begin our ultimate guide to the most famous strategic tool…

Want to grow?

Beginner Guide to SWOT

Link: An Introduction to SWOT Analysis

If you have never encountered or heard of a SWOT Analysis before then this is the place to start. This in-depth introductory guide will provide you with all the answers to common questions about SWOT. It covers the following topics in detail:

  • Definition of SWOT Analysis
  • Imagery around SWOT Analysis
  • When to use the tool
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Preparation and risks
  • Complementary tools and frameworks
  • Difference between SWOT and TOWS
  • Common questions asked
  • History of the tool and examples

So if you’re looking for a starter to get to know the SWOT Analysis in more detail there is no better place to begin. We’d recommend reading through this article before looking at the other resources in this ultimate guide. If you have already heard of SWOT you may be better off with some of the resources below.

Creating a SWOT Analysis

Link: 5 Steps to creating a SWOT Analysis

Completing a SWOT Analysis is a really effective way of mapping out factors that impact your strategic decision making, which is what this next resource is all about. If you’re looking for the steps on how to develop your own SWOT for you or your business then this is the article for you. It’s the best guide to creating a SWOT Analysis (ok, we’re biased… but it’s pretty damn good! 😎) This article will take you through the following:

  • Step by step guide on how to develop a SWOT
  • Example list of Strengths
  • Example list of Weaknesses
  • Example list of Opportunities
  • Example list of Threats
  • Key questions to ask yourself as you develop your SWOT
  • Suggested ways to refine your SWOT
  • Suggested next steps from your SWOT
  • Methods of reusing your SWOT

There are a few options and templates for creating a SWOT matrix, as you’ll see later in this article, but if you’re looking to start from scratch then this is the resource for you!

Want to grow?

Examples of SWOT Analysis

No matter what your company or industry is, it should be possible to find a suitable SWOT examples to get you thinking. There’s a number of resources to discover them, including many within Lucidity itself. Outside of the platform we’ve put together a number of potential SWOT examples that may be of use including:

Leisure Centre: A look at what a SWOT may be like for an independent Leisure Centre.

Budget Supermarket: Some examples around a budget supermarket in the UK.

The Body Shop: What factors may be under consideration for The Body Shop in their SWOT.

Gym: How an independent gym may be addressing their SWOT.

Mars Confectionary: And to balance that gym example, here’s a tasty look at a SWOT for Malteasers

If you’re looking for a more in-depth discussion, here’s a look at a SWOT applied in the retail space , with some considerations about the conclusions you might draw. Of course, every SWOT is different, but looking at examples is a great way to stimulate discussion and get ideas for elements that may be impacting your own business positively and negatively.

SWOT Toolkits

There are a number of ways to create your own SWOT Analyses from DIY templates to software. Here are some of the common approaches:

Word & PowerPoint: Creating a 2×2 in Word & PowerPoint is probably the most common way a SWOT is created for business planning. It’s effective because it’s quick, easy to build, and easy to edit. There are some disadvantages to this approach though. You may find many versions of the same framework and have difficulty with version control or consistency. It’s also often the case that this approach can lead to your SWOT being done, filed and forgotten…

Whiteboard: Maybe less popular since Covid, but the classic approach of a whiteboard and post-it notes is probably the most popular way a SWOT has been run within a strategy workshop. The interactive nature of this approach works really well. You can break into teams to look at specific areas, it’s also easy to group and refine attributes. The disadvantage is where you put the outcomes, as you’re probably often back to Word, PowerPoint, or worse… email! Again, often filed and forgotten.

SWOT Software: Hello! 👋 Yes, we’d have to mention this one… there’s a number of systems to create a SWOT Analysis. In the Lucidity strategy software you can create your SWOT and store it within your strategic plan. Disadvantages? We can’t think of any… 😂

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SWOT Video Guide

Link: How to complete a SWOT Analysis video guide

If you prefer to watch a bitesized video rather than read a guide then you’re in luck! We’ve put together this short video that goes through a SWOT Analysis. In just under 2 minutes 30 seconds we cover:

  • What is a SWOT Analysis
  • Structure of a SWOT
  • Considerations prior to completing SWOT
  • Tips on how to complete SWOT
  • Example Strengths
  • Example Weaknesses
  • Example Opportunities
  • Example Threats
  • Helpful questions
  • Example refinements

So grab the popcorn and enjoy…🍿

SWOT Tips & Tricks

We can reveal a few tips around SWOT Analysis to help you out with the planning processes. Let’s start with a list of things you should do…

  • Prepare well. Make sure you’ve spoken to customers and employees about the company.
  • Balance your time and devote equal amounts to the S,W,O and T.
  • Get a wide range of people from the company to feed in, you want team members who look inwards and outwards.
  • It can help to get the views of someone external

To counter the above, here are some of the things you should avoid:

  • Don’t make this the world’s longest list! Keep it high level to the important factors.
  • Don’t be subjective, use data to support your reasoning
  • Don’t do the SWOT and ignore it – take key actions, make decisions using it

We’ve also gathered a few quotes from strategy consultants and experts on SWOT… 🤔

"SWOT is a great way to summarise the key points from an external and internal analysis and provides a great platform to agree objectives and a suitable strategy." René Moolenaar , Senior Lecturer at University of Sussex

"The simplicity of SWOT means it’s easy to rush it and not get the real value. A comprehensive and discussed SWOT can really alter your strategic decisions. Spend time on it, openly discuss the different areas, and use it as a way to capture conclusions from your other frameworks like PESTLE or Five Forces . Once done you can move on to developing tangible actions…" Mike Fahey

"For me a SWOT Analysis is not the answer in itself is what you do with it that counts so Weaknesses become Strengths and Threats Opportunities. It’s a living document." Nigel Allman, Ashton Consulting

"Recognise, invest in & protect your Strengths. It’s good for a CEO to spend time in the Weaknesses box because you can deal with those issues quicker than a manager can, some of those things can be legacy issues that are quite thorny to resolve. For Opportunities, it’s all about choosing which ones to focus on and – just as important – which ones not to focus on… and lastly remember, you can’t ignore the Threats box. Hope isn’t a strategy so you have to deliberately mitigate and avoid whatever is in there." Tom Ricca-McCarthy

Taking SWOT Further: TOWS Analysis

TOWS Analysis stands for Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Strengths, but it’s not just a simple 2×2. It’s an extension of SWOT that focuses on the relationships between each internal and external factor you list. There are a couple of articles to help…

Link: Introduction to TOWS Analysis

If you’ve not heard of TOWS before then this is the place to start. It’s a resource full of questions and answers around the model, explaining the following:

  • Definition of TOWS
  • Example diagram
  • Preparation and advice on usage

Link: Guide to TOWS Analysis

This is the perfect guide on how to complete a TOWS Analysis, ideal if you’ve just finished your SWOT or if you’re starting from scratch and interested in how to develop your analysis. In this guide we go through:

  • Developing key actions
  • Focusing on what is important

Finally, if you’d like to see an example then check out this TOWS Analysis for a bus company.

Although less common than SWOT, TOWS is a much more effective way to develop key actions for your business and should always be considered as a framework to use.

SWOT in Communication: SOAR Analysis

SOAR Analysis is a 2×2 matrix that is a very positive framework, focusing on Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. SOAR is sometimes used as a way to communicate a SWOT with teams and people in a very positive manner, it’s also a way to map a set of Strengths and Opportunities into real world results.

Link: Introduction to SOAR Analysis

If you’ve not heard of SOAR before then this article will take you through the key facts about this framework including:

  • Definition of SOAR Analysis
  • Preparation and advice

Link: Guide to SOAR Analysis

If you’ve completed a SWOT or you’re aware of SOAR, then this guide will take you through how to develop your own SOAR Analysis in 5 steps. It includes everything you’d need including:

  • Example factors to consider
  • Helpful questions to ask at each stage
  • Structure of the matrix

SOAR is a useful framework, but keep in mind you can’t ignore the negatives within a business. We’d always recommend you do a SWOT prior to completing a SOAR Analysis.

SWOT Checklist

It wouldn’t be an ultimate guide without a checklist, now would it? As we reach the end here’s a list of items you can tick off to ensure you get the most out of your SWOT Analysis.

✅ Ask customers for their input ✅ Involved a wide range of team members ✅ Don’t restrict feedback or be biased ✅ Create a positive and open feedback culture ✅ Refine your list so you have the key factors ✅ Examine the whole company – even the internal operations like Finance & HR! ✅ Be data driven in your analysis ✅ Create tangible actions from the work ✅ Communicate your findings

This concludes our guide to SWOT, we hope you’ve liked it!

There are hundreds of potential strategic frameworks but SWOT has stood out as the most famous and popular tool for many years. It’s a powerful, comprehensive, yet extremely simple framework that is accessible to all practitioners and professionals, regardless of their strategy experience.

Good luck with your SWOT!

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assignment about swot analysis

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Your Full Guide on How to Write a SWOT Analysis

assignment about swot analysis

SWOT analysis is one of those tools that you'll come across in any field. For example, it's used to define a product's competitive advantage, create a strategic plan for a business, and gain insights into consumer behavior. 

But it's not just businesses that benefit from this technique. Personal SWOT analysis helps people plan their careers in the most optimal way possible, too.

As versatile as it is, SWOT analysis is not at all complicated. That's why its adoption rate is through the roof. And that's why you should learn how to take advantage of it, whether for an assignment or not.

To help you out with that, let's rely on our rich writing services experience and use it to break down in detail:

  • What a SWOT analysis is;
  • How it's applied in business strategies and marketing efforts;
  • How to use the SWOT framework for any task;
  • 4 real-world SWOT analysis examples.

What Is SWOT Analysis, Exactly?

Any SWOT analysis template contains four sections, presented in a two-by-two matrix:

What Is SWOT Analysis, Exactly

  • Strengths – your inherent qualities, resources, or skills that set you apart from the rest;
  • Weaknesses – whatever is or may be stopping you or the business from performing well;
  • Opportunities – external factors that you can use to your advantage to become more competitive;
  • Threats – external factors that may harm your performance in the short or long run.

Internal and External Factors in SWOT Analysis

Each section represents a list of factors. These sections can be grouped into two broader categories: internal and external factors.

Internal factors – Strengths and Weaknesses in the first row – are inherent to you or the company. However, you can also do something about them if need be. Think of your skills as a professional if you're working on a personal SWOT analysis, for example.

External factors – Opportunities and Threats in the second row – aren't under your personal or the company's control. But they have an impact on you or the business, nonetheless. Once-in-a-lifetime pandemics, inflation, or industry trends are good examples here.

Positive vs Negative Factors

Another way to think about the SWOT matrix is by juxtaposing negative and positive factors :

  • Strengths and Opportunities can help you or the company achieve your goal or succeed at a project. So, they represent positive factors.
  • Weaknesses and Threats can negatively impact your progress and have to be mitigated. They're negative factors.

Why is SWOT Analysis Important?

Now that the question ‘What is a SWOT Analysis?’ is answered, you must have several others on your mind. So let's answer them one by one.

Who Should Do a SWOT Analysis?

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit from SWOT analyses. So, whether you're a prospective entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a C-level executive, this technique will be a useful arrow in your quiver.

You can also benefit from conducting a personal SWOT analysis. It would be best if you did it when looking for a job or facing a major life decision.

Why Should You Do a SWOT Analysis?

At its core, SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique. It's meant to help you organize all the factors. That, in turn, enables you to gain key insights into where you stand and how you can move from point A to point B.

How does it help you in strategic planning, exactly? The SWOT matrix shows you:

  • Which strengths you should maximize and emphasize;
  • Which weaknesses you should minimize and keep at bay;
  • Which opportunities you can take advantage of;
  • Which threats you should look out for and counter.

All of this leads to one outcome: better, more informed decision-making. Plus, SWOT analysis is notorious for challenging your assumptions as long as everyone involved is straightforward and honest in their answers.

What Can SWOT Framework Be Used For?

Now, let's talk about real-life practical applications of this technique. Here are three SWOT analysis examples:

  • Choosing the business model for a new enterprise;
  • Creating a break-even analysis and a business plan;
  • Analyzing the company's quarterly and annual performance.

At a personal level, you can also conduct your own SWOT analysis to:

  • Increase your chances of landing a job;
  • Position yourself for getting a promotion;
  • Understand what needs to change in your life in general.

Stay on Top of Your SWOT Analysis Homework!

Turn to our professional writers for your upcoming assignment.

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis in 8 Steps

SWOT analysis isn't complicated to conduct, and that's why they are so popular. Yet, it might be a wrong first impression.

A good SWOT analysis can take hours and should involve multiple people in a brainstorming session. It should also be as objective as possible – which can be harder to achieve than it seems.

movie review Step-by-Step Guide

So, how do you use a SWOT analysis – and get a quality result for your strategic decision-making process? Here's your step-by-step SWOT analysis example that you can use as a guide. If you need a custom writing -address to professionals.

1. Determine Your Goal

Starting brainstorming without a goal means getting into the SWOT analysis blind. And your SWOT matrix will be useless – or misleading – in the long run.

For example, depending on your goal, the same factor can be a key strength or an irrelevant note. For example, if you aim to reach the 18-25 demographic in your marketing campaign, your active presence on TikTok will be a great asset. But if you need to find a way to attract more quality candidates in the hiring process, the TikTok presence will only help you a little.

So, zero in on what you want to achieve with this SWOT analysis. This can be a decision you or the company have to make – for example, whether to launch a certain product line. Your goal can also be to solve a certain problem or to create/reassess your strategy.

2. Do Your Research

Your research wouldn't be complete if you googled ‘What is a SWOT analysis?’ You'll need a lot of data during your brainstorming session. If you have it, you'll avoid guessing your company's or your own strengths or external threats related to your goal.

What Data to Look For

Your research should consist of two parts:

  • Internal research . You'll need every piece of information on your or the company's performance to pinpoint the internal factors in SWOT analysis. That can include financial, sales, marketing, and other reports with key metrics.
  • External research . Gather the data on your competitors, the market, the company's position and market share, and the industry as a whole. This data will be the basis for assessing your opportunities and threats.

There's one footnote, though. Depending on the goal, you'll need different data sets. So, focus on relevant data.

3. Pinpoint Your or Your Organization's Strengths

Now, it's time for the brainstorming session. If you're doing a SWOT analysis for a business, go with it: bring the right people to the table, virtual or not. It'll help you get a more objective, realistic, and complete matrix.

Start with the internal factors, namely your internal strengths: they're always easier to home in on.

Need a SWOT analysis example of a company's strengths? Here are five of them:

  • Outstanding customer service with a high satisfaction rate;
  • Strong financial performance;
  • The first-mover advantage;
  • Positive brand attributes;
  • Strong technical expertise in the field.

5 Questions to Ask

Here are five questions to kick off your brainstorming and help you discover your company's strengths – or your own:

  • What do you or the company do well?
  • What are your strongest assets?
  • Is there something only you or the company do?
  • What is your competitive edge?
  • What do customers appreciate about the company?

4. Zero in on Your or Your Company's Weaknesses

Now, it's time to move on to a more difficult part of assessing your internal factors: your weaknesses. Take a hard look at your or the business's performance and define what could be going better. Don't try to embellish the truth here!

Keep in mind: there are some weaknesses that you can eliminate and some others that you can only mitigate.

Looking for weaknesses SWOT analysis examples for students who run their businesses? Here are five of them:

  • Poor brand recognition among the target audience;
  • Suboptimal employee productivity;
  • Limited resources, human or otherwise;
  • Lack of intellectual property for key technologies;
  • Long delivery times.

To explore your personal or business weaknesses, ask the following five questions:

  • What do your competitors beat you at?
  • What do customers complain about?
  • What is holding back your or the company's success?
  • What resources do you or the company lack?
  • What are the gaps in your internal business processes?

5. Identify External Opportunities

Before you can exploit opportunities, you need to identify them in your SWOT analysis – and determine which ones are worth using, too.

For that, you'll need to turn to the external environment research you've done. Then, look at that data and pinpoint which trends or events you could take advantage of.

Need a SWOT analysis example or two here? Take a look at these three business opportunities:

  • New markets emerging within the industry;
  • New advertising channels rising to prominence;
  • Particular customer needs that remain underserved.

4 Questions to Ask

If you don't know how to start zeroing in on opportunities, start with these four questions:

  • Are there ways to gain useful resources you don't have or have little of?
  • Are there any technological advancements that can help you mitigate your weaknesses?
  • Are there any new or overlooked opportunities that you can exploit?
  • How can the current economy or market trends be of use to you?

6. Home in on Potential Threats

Time to move on to the final part of a standard SWOT analysis: threats. These external trends and events can get in your way – or already are.

If you're working on a personal SWOT analysis, threats can include:

  • High competition for the job you're after;
  • Potential layoffs due to a financial crisis.

If you're conducting one for a large company or a small business, negative external factors can include:

  • New emerging competitors, direct or indirect;
  • New regulations that can entail considerable additional costs for the business;
  • Unfavorable investment climate.

3 Questions to Ask

If you need a push in the right direction, here are three questions to help you zero in on the threats:

  • Who are your competitors, and what is their market position?
  • What is the state of the economy, industry, and market? Are they in decline?
  • Are there any new regulations that can harm the business?

7. Review Your SWOT Analysis Matrix

Having a good SWOT analysis right after brainstorming is impossible. You need to review every factor you've written down and edit the list. Leave only the elements that truly matter – and make them more specific if required.

3 Things to Pay Attention to

There are some common caveats that you can overlook if you need to be more careful during this step. Here are three of them to avoid:

  • Factors that aren't specific enough – clarify or cross them out;
  • Factors that aren't evidence-based – find proof or get rid of them;
  • Factors that are over- or underestimated – have a fresh pair of eyes to look at the list.

8. Decide on the Solution

Once you've finished filling out and editing your SWOT analysis template, your work is only beginning. Now, you need to take your SWOT matrix and use your findings to find the solution to your key issue.

4 Questions to Pose

Here are four questions to guide you in your solution-seeking:

  • How can you maximize your strengths? Which ones should be the top priority to boost?
  • How can you mitigate or eliminate your weaknesses? Which ones should be taken care of first?
  • Which opportunities should you take advantage of? Which ones will pay off the most?
  • Which threats can do the most harm? How can you limit their impact?

4 SWOT Analysis Examples for Students

Need something more than just a SWOT analysis template? Let's see how this tool can be applied to practice with these four real-world SWOT analysis examples for students.

But if these sample SWOT analysis still don't help you, don't panic just yet. You can always order an essay online and let professionals worry about it. And no, it won't cost you a small fortune!

Amazon and Tesla Analysis

Apple and personal swot analysis, are you drowning in schoolwork.

Students that need a little additional encouragement with their tasks can benefit from our top essay writing service

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  • Table of Contents
  • Troubleshooting Guide
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  • About the Tool Box
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  • Capacity Building Training
  • Training Curriculum - Order Now
  • Community Check Box Evaluation System
  • Build Your Toolbox
  • Facilitation of Community Processes
  • Community Health Assessment and Planning
  • Section 14. SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Chapter 3 Sections

  • Section 1. Developing a Plan for Assessing Local Needs and Resources
  • Section 2. Understanding and Describing the Community
  • Section 3. Conducting Public Forums and Listening Sessions
  • Section 4. Collecting Information About the Problem
  • Section 5. Analyzing Community Problems
  • Section 6. Conducting Focus Groups
  • Section 7. Conducting Needs Assessment Surveys
  • Section 8. Identifying Community Assets and Resources
  • Section 9. Developing Baseline Measures
  • Section 10. Conducting Concerns Surveys
  • Section 11. Determining Service Utilization
  • Section 12. Conducting Interviews
  • Section 13. Conducting Surveys
  • Section 15. Qualitative Methods to Assess Community Issues
  • Section 16. Geographic Information Systems: Tools for Community Mapping
  • Section 17. Leading a Community Dialogue on Building a Healthy Community
  • Section 18. Creating and Using Community Report Cards
  • Section 19. Using Public Records and Archival Data
  • Section 20. Implementing Photovoice in Your Community
  • Section 21. Windshield and Walking Surveys
  • Section 22. Using Small Area Analysis to Uncover Disparities
  • Section 23. Developing and Using Criteria and Processes to Set Priorities
  • Section 24. Arranging Assessments That Span Jurisdictions
  • Main Section

Change is an inevitable part of community organizing. If you know how to take stock of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you are more likely to plan and act effectively.

SWOT provides a tool to explore both internal and external factors that may influence your work.

What is a SWOT analysis and why should you use one?

SWOT stands for:  S trength,  W eakness,  O pportunity,  T hreat. A SWOT analysis guides you to identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses (S-W), as well as broader opportunities and threats (O-T). Developing a fuller awareness of the situation helps with both strategic planning and decision-making.

The SWOT method was originally developed for business and industry, but it is equally useful in the work of community health and development, education, and even for personal growth.

SWOT is not the only assessment technique you can use. Compare it with  other assessment tools in the Community Tool Box  to determine if this is the right approach for your situation. The strengths of this method are its simplicity and application to a variety of levels of operation.

When do you use SWOT?

A SWOT analysis can offer helpful perspectives at any stage of an effort. You might use it to:

  • Explore possibilities for new efforts or solutions to problems.
  • Make decisions about the best path for your initiative. Identifying your opportunities for success in context of threats to success can clarify directions and choices.
  • Determine where change is possible. If you are at a juncture or turning point, an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses can reveal priorities as well as possibilities.
  • Adjust and refine plans mid-course. A new opportunity might open wider avenues, while a new threat could close a path that once existed.

SWOT also offers a simple way of communicating about your initiative or program and an excellent way to organize information you've gathered from studies or surveys.

What are the elements of a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis focuses on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. 

Remember that the purpose of performing a SWOT is to reveal positive forces that work together and potential problems that need to be recognized and possibly addressed. 

We will discuss the process of creating the analysis below, but first here are a few sample layouts for your SWOT analysis.

Ask participants to answer these simple questions: what are the strengths and weaknesses of your group, community, or effort, and what are the opportunities and threats facing it?

If a looser structure helps you brainstorm, you can group positives and negatives to think broadly about your organization and its external environment.

Below is a third option for structuring your SWOT analysis, which may be appropriate for a larger initiative that requires detailed planning. This "TOWS Matrix" is adapted from Fred David's Strategic Management text. 

David gives an example for Campbell Soup Company that stresses financial goals, but it also illustrates how you can pair the items within a SWOT grid to develop strategies. (This version of the chart is abbreviated.)

This example also illustrates how threats can become opportunities (and vice versa). The limitation of tin cans (which aren't biodegradable) creates an opportunity for leadership in developing biodegradable containers. There are several formats you can use to do a SWOT analysis, including a basic SWOT form that you can use to prompt analysis, but whatever format you use, don't be surprised if your strengths and weaknesses don't precisely match up to your opportunities and threats. You might need to refine, or you might need to simply look at the facts longer, or from a different angle. Your chart, list or table will certainly reveal patterns.

Listing Your Internal Factors: Strengths and Weaknesses (S, W)

Internal factors include your resources and experiences. General areas to consider:

  • Human resources - staff, volunteers, board members, target population
  • Physical resources - your location, building, equipment 
  • Financial - grants, funding agencies, other sources of income
  • Activities and processes - programs you run, systems you employ
  • Past experiences - building blocks for learning and success, your reputation in the community

Don't be too modest when listing your strengths. If you're having difficulty naming them, start by simply listing your characteristics (e.g.., we're small, we're connected to the neighborhood). Some of these will probably be strengths.

Although the strengths and weakness of your organization are your internal qualities, don't overlook the perspective of people outside your group. Identify strengths and weaknesses from both your own point of view and that of others, including those you serve or deal with. Do others see problems--or assets--that you don't?

How do you get information about how outsiders perceive your strengths and weaknesses? You may know already if you've listened to those you serve. If not, this might be the time to gather that type of information. See related sections for ideas on conducting focus groups , user surveys , and listening sessions .

Listing External Factors: Opportunities and Threats (O, T)

Cast a wide net for the external part of the assessment. No organization, group, program, or neighborhood is immune to outside events and forces. Consider your connectedness, for better and worse, as you compile this part of your SWOT list.

Forces and facts that your group does not control include:

  • Future trends in your field or the culture
  • The economy - local, national, or international
  • Funding sources - foundations, donors, legislatures
  • Demographics - changes in the age, race, gender, culture of those you serve or in your area
  • The physical environment (Is your building in a growing part of town? Is the bus company cutting routes?)
  • Legislation (Do new federal requirements make your job harder...or easier?)
  • Local, national or international events

How do you create a SWOT analysis?

Who develops the swot.

The most common users of a SWOT analysis are team members and project managers who are responsible for decision-making and strategic planning.

But don't overlook anyone in the creation stage!

An individual or small group can develop a SWOT analysis, but it will be more effective if you take advantage of many stakeholders. Each person or group offers a different perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of your program and has different experiences of both.

Likewise, one staff member, or volunteer or stakeholder may have information about an opportunity or threat that is essential to understanding your position and determining your future.

When and where do you develop a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is often created during a retreat or planning session that allows several hours for brainstorming and analysis. The best results come when the process is collaborative and inclusive.

When creating the analysis, people are asked to pool their individual and shared knowledge and experience. The more relaxed, friendly and constructive the setting, the more truthful, comprehensive, insightful, and useful your analysis will be.

How do you develop a SWOT analysis?

Steps for conducting a SWOT analysis:

  • Designate a leader or group facilitator who has good listening and group process skills, and who can keep things moving and on track.
  • Designate a recorder to back up the leader if your group is large. Use newsprint on a flip chart or a large board to record the analysis and discussion points. You can record later in a more polished fashion to share with stakeholders and to update.
  • Introduce the SWOT method and its purpose in your organization. This can be as simple as asking, "Where are we, where can we go?" If you have time, you could run through a quick example based on a shared experience or well-known public issue.
  • The size of these depends on the size of your entire group – breakout groups can range from three to ten. If the size gets much larger, some members may not participate.
  • Give the groups 20-30 minutes to brainstorm and fill out their own strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats chart for your program, initiative or effort. Encourage them not to rule out any ideas at this stage, or the next.
  • Remind groups that the way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Refinement can come later. In this way, the SWOT analysis also supports valuable discussion within your group or organization as you honestly assess.
  • It helps to generate lots of comments about your organization and your program, and even to put them in multiple categories if that provokes thought.
  • Once a list has been generated, it helps to refine it to the best 10 or fewer points so that the analysis can be truly helpful.
  • Proceed in S-W-O-T order, recording strengths first, weaknesses second, etc.
  • Or you can begin by calling for the top priorities in each category -the strongest strength, most dangerous weakness, biggest opportunity, worst threat--and continue to work across each category.
  • Ask one group at a time to report ("Group A, what do you see as strengths?") You can vary which group begins the report so a certain group isn't always left "bringing up the end" and repeating points made by others. ("Group B, let's start with you for weaknesses.")
  • Or, you can open the floor to all groups ("What strengths have you noted?") for each category until all have contributed what they think is needed.
  • Come to some consensus about the most important items in each category
  • Relate the analysis to your vision, mission, and goals
  • Translate the analysis to action plans and strategies
  • If appropriate, prepare a written summary of the SWOT analysis to share with participants for continued use in planning and implementation.

More ideas on conducting successful meetings can be found in Community Tool Box resources on  conducting public forums and listening sessions , conducting focus groups , and  organizing a retreat .

How do you use your SWOT analysis?

Better understanding the factors affecting your initiative put you in a better position for action. This understanding helps as you:

  • Identify the issues or problems you intend to change
  • Set or reaffirm goals
  • Create an action plan

As you consider your analysis, be open to the possibilities that exist within a weakness or threat. Likewise, recognize that an opportunity can become a threat if everyone else sees the opportunity and plans to take advantage of it as well, thereby increasing your competition.

Finally, during your assessment and planning, you might keep an image in mind to help you make the most of a SWOT analysis: Look for a "stretch," not just a "fit." As Radha Balamuralikrishna and John C. Dugger of Iowa State University point out, SWOT usually reflects your current position or situation. Therefore one drawback is that it might not encourage openness to new possibilities. You can use SWOT to justify a course that has already been decided upon, but if your goal is to grow or improve, you will want to keep this in mind.

A realistic recognition of the weaknesses and threats that exist for your effort is the first step to countering them with a robust set of strategies that build upon strengths and opportunities. A SWOT analysis identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to assist you in making strategic plans and decisions.

Online Resources

Coalition Vision, Mission, and Goals defines SWOT Analysis, coalition vision and mission statements, and goals and strategies.

The Essential Guide to SWOT Analysis from Jackson Hille, content associate for FormSwift, a SF-based startup that helps organizations, entrepreneurs, and businesses go paperless.

Mind Tools: SWOT Analysis  provides a quick overview of SWOT

Quality Guide: SWOT Analysis  is a helpful guide from Management Sciences for Health and United Nations Children's Fund.

Print Resources

David, F. (1993). Strategic Management , 4th Ed. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company. 

Jones, B. (1990). Neighborhood Planning: A Guide for Citizens and Planners . Chicago and Washington, DC: Planners Press, American Planning Association.

Library Homepage

Business & Management

  • Business and Management Research
  • Find Case Studies
  • Find a Company's Competitors
  • Find Company & Industry Ratios
  • Find Company Reports/Profiles
  • Find Industry Reports
  • Find Target Market Data
  • Research a Country

SWOT and PESTLE Analyses

  • Use NAICS Codes
  • Accounting Resources
  • APA Style for Business Resources

SWOT and PESTLE are strategy frameworks used to analyze a company’s financial health and competitive advantages or disadvantages. These strategy tools were created to analyze internal and external forces affecting a company or industry. Examining a company's internal capabilities (SWOT) and external environment (PESTLE), helps to create strategies that can proactively contend with organizational challenges. In this guide, you can find an overview of each tool, as well as information on how to find these items within the library collection. 

SWOT Overview

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a tool that you use to analyze these aspects of a company. A SWOT is often represented as a grid with four quadrants. 

colored table with four quadrants labeled strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

You can learn more about the SWOT analysis here:  

  • SWOT Analysis (2012). In S. D. Hill (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Management (7th ed., pp. 977-980). Gale. 

Find a SWOT

Many of our databases carry SWOT analyses on publicly traded companies. Learn how to find a SWOT analysis in each of the below databases: 


Articles from 1,400+ business, law, and I.T. journals plus 27,000+ videos from industry leaders

  • From the Advanced Search page, type your company name into the search bar 
  • Scroll down to  “Publication Type”  and choose  “SWOT Analysis” 
  • Click search 


Company financials, industry reports, investment analysis, and competitive benchmarking data

  • Search for company name or by ticker symbol 
  • From the company page, choose the “Company Reports” tab 
  • Click “Broker Research Reports” (located just under tabs) 
  • View reports (Tip: GlobalData reports generally include SWOTs) 

What if I can't find a SWOT on my company?

Some companies will not have SWOTs in the library databases. Generally, only large, publicly traded companies are covered. If you cannot find a ready-made SWOT for your company, you can use a combination of resources and information about your company, competitors, and industry to conduct your own SWOT analysis. Try to identify peer companies with the same or similar products and services or who are operating in the same market. Read critically to infer the situation and setting of your company.  

For more information about researching a company, please see:

For more information on researching an industry, please see:

Can I use a SWOT I found through the open web/Google/Bing/etc.?

While you can run a general internet search for a company SWOT, free web-sourced SWOTs can often be dated and unreliable. Pay close attention to the date and who is behind the information. Of course, you can use the open web to research your company in order to create your own SWOT, just be sure to use current company information or news. If you have any questions about the reliability of information you find online, please ask a librarian. 

Can I use AI (like Chat GPT) to generate a SWOT for me?

As noted above, free web-sourced SWOTs can often be dated and unreliable. AI chat bots, like Chat GPT, can only generate answers based on the data it has been trained on, which includes inaccurate or dated information like that found in low-quality, online SWOTs. ChatGPT does not have the ability to fact-check or verify the accuracy of the information it generates. As such, it often generates false or dated information. It also regularly makes up citations or references that do no exist. ChatGPT is just replicating patterns, so it may not be able to understand complex topics, questions that require critical thinking, or the process of attribution.

How can I use AI (like Chat GPT) to help me write a SWOT?

If you would like to utilize AI to help you with your SWOT analysis, consider having it generate a format or template you can replicate and fill it with your own research and analysis. You can also use it brainstorm different categories to consider researching for your SWOT. Here are some example prompts:

  • What type of information is found in a SWOT analysis?
  • Where can I locate information to include in a SWOT analysis?
  • Can you generate a SWOT analysis template?

In general, AI is great for brainstorming ideas or providing boiler plate information that you can use as a jumping off point. It is NOT good and mimicking scholarly output, critical thinking, or analysis. When using AI, approach it as a means to enhance your understanding or learning, NOT replace it.

Remember: As with all academic work, the ideas and contributions of others (including generative AI tools) must be acknowledged and provided with proper attribution. Work that is presented as original must be, in fact, original by the learner. The use of generative AI tools, such as Bard or ChatGPT, when completing coursework without proper attribution is a form of academic dishonesty and violates the university’s Academic Integrity policy. To learn more about how to cite AI, please see: 

  • Using Artificial Intelligence: Citing ChatGPT or Other AI

PESTLE Overview

Like SWOT, PESTLE is an acronym—it stands for Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, Technical, Legal, and Environmental. Unlike SWOT, which is tied to analyzing a specific company’s internal capabilities, PESTLE is designed examine a company’s external environment. Sometimes referred to as “scanning the business environment,” a PESTLE is meant to be a macro or “big picture” look at the market in which your business operates.  

Depending on the context of your course, the reason for assessing these external forces may vary. Refer to your assignment instructions for further information about how and why you may be performing a PESTLE analysis. For more about the specific components of a PESTLE, please see the following articles:  

  • Environmental Scanning (2012). In S. D. Hill (Ed.), Encyclopedia of management (7th ed., pp. 340-345). Gale

Research and build a PESTLE

Depending on the context of your assignment, you are almost always going to be working within a particular area (aka. market or environment) when creating a PESTLE. Using resources found in our "Research a Country" guide can help you identify some of PESTLE components for your specific market. You will occasionally find a readymade PESTLE within these reports. However, most of the time, you will have to pull the component parts of a PESTLE analysis from multiple data sources and compile them yourself. 

  • How-to Research a Country

If you want to analyze a smaller market/environment in the US, like a city or state, we recommend checking out Data USA, Statista, and local government websites for information on your area. 

US demographic and economic information (formerly American FactFinder)

Visualizations of U.S. public data

Quantitative data on business, finance, politics, and media.

Can I locate ready-made PESTLE analyses in the databases or online?

You will occasionally find a ready-made PESTLE within the databases or online. However, most online PESTLEs are conducted by other students or within a context that does not apply to your current environment. Ultimately, online PESTLEs will not have been written within the same context in which you are conducting your own assessment. It is your job as strategists to pull the component parts of a PESTLE analysis from  multiple data sources and compile them yourself .

Can I use Chat GPT or other AI to write a PESTLE for me?

AI chat bots, like Chat GPT, can only generate answers based on the data it has been trained on, which includes inaccurate or dated information like that found in low-quality, online PESTLEs. ChatGPT  does not  have the ability to fact-check or verify the accuracy of the information it generates. As such, it often generates false or dated information. It also regularly makes up citations or references that do no exist. ChatGPT is just replicating patterns, so it may not be able to understand complex topics, questions that require critical thinking, or the process of attribution. The context in which you are conducting your PESTLE is important, and AI will not be able to understand that context or the content of your previous assessment work to date.

How can I use AI (like Chat GPT) to help me write a PESTLE?

If you would like to utilize AI to help you with your PESTLE analysis, consider having it generate a format or template you can replicate and  fill it with your own research and analysis . You can also use it to brainstorm different categories to consider researching for your PESTLE. Here are some example prompts:

  • What type of information is found in a PESTLE analysis?
  • Where can I locate information to include in a PESTLE analysis?
  • In a PESTLE, what are some factors related to environment (or other factor)? 
  • What are some environmental (or other) factors that may impact [your industry]? Etc.

AI is great tool for brainstorming ideas or providing boiler plate information that you can use as a jumping off point to conduct your own research. Do NOT use AI to generate research for you but, instead, use it as a way to generate ideas that can kick start the research process.

Remember: AI is NOT good and mimicking scholarly output, critical thinking, or analysis. When using AI, approach it as a means to enhance your understanding or learning, not replace it. As with all academic work, the ideas and contributions of others (including generative AI tools) must be acknowledged and provided with proper attribution. Work that is presented as original must be, in fact, original by the learner. The use of generative AI tools, such as Bard or ChatGPT, when completing coursework without proper attribution is a form of academic dishonesty and violates the university’s Academic Integrity policy. To learn more about how to cite AI, please see:

  • << Previous: Research a Country
  • Next: Use NAICS Codes >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024 11:11 AM

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SWOT Analysis for Students: How to Write, Examples

Pallavi Pradeep Purbey Image

Pallavi Pradeep Purbey ,

Mar 4, 2024

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SWOT analysis for a student indicates the domains in which they are strong and the areas of improvement. A student can analyze what opportunities lie ahead of them through SWOT analysis and can also figure out what possible obstacles might arise.

SWOT Analysis for Students: How to Write, Examples

SWOT analysis for students is an assessment method in which students identify their areas of weakness in order to strengthen their areas of strength, it helps students achieve a clear picture of where they stand. The SWOT's full form is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Performing a SWOT analysis will make them face reality. The next course of action can be influenced by these four forces as lack of fundamental skills frequently traps students, whether they are pursuing further education or a career. 

Further, they get a chance to know what their goal is and where they currently stand. Besides, it also helps students to identify areas of improvement and goal settings. 

Table of Contents

What is SWOT Analysis for Students?

Examples of swot analysis, importance of swot analysis, how to write swot analysis for students, uses of swot analysis for students.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis for a student implies the parts they are good at and factors that need improvement. 

SWOT Analysis

Let us break down SWOT analysis and see what each quadrant of SWOT indicates.


The strength quadrant indicates the following in the SWOT analysis.

  • List out things you are good at.
  • Identifying things you know will help when you have a problem.
  • Try thinking of different ways in which you stand out from the crowd.
  • Track the academic chart for a better understanding.

The following weakness quadrant are recognised through the SWOT analysis.

  • Note the areas where there is a scope of improvement.
  • Visiting your academic chard for this part of the SWOT analysis will be fruitful.
  • Identifying what you need to move or improve from weakness to the strengths quadrant.

The opportunities quadrant of SWOT analysis for students reveals the following. 

  • After identifying strengths and areas for improvement, you can identify where you can excel.
  • List out opportunities that come to mind and then shortlist.
  • Do not be too specific and list as many as you think you can achieve.
  • Identify possible or different opportunities around you that can act out in your favour.

The threats quadrant of of SWOT analysis for students indicates the following.

  • Threats should be the easiest to fill in the SWOT analysis chart.
  • It is clear what you want to achieve by now, and you also know what could go wrong.
  • List out things that might come in the way of your goals.
  • Also, write about what scares you the most and the demotivating factor.

Also Read:   Smarter Study Tips for Students to Ace Their Management Exams

Through SWOT analysis, a student can analyse what opportunities lie ahead of them. Here are a few of SWOT analysis examples for students. 

SWOT Analysis Example - Strengths

The strength quadrant of SWOT analysis examples for students brings out the following:

  • What are my strengths? – “I have strong communication skills, efficiency with technology”
  • In which subject do I score well? – English and Mathematics.
  • Which is my favourite subject? – Basketball
  • What do others see as my strengths? – “They feel I am open to new ideas.”
  • What are my hobbies and interests? – “I love to paint abstract, do indian classical dance or I play the guitar.”

SWOT Analysis Example - Weaknesses

The weakness of SWOT analysis examples for students discloses the following:

  • What is my weakness? - Easily distracted and get nervous at interviews
  • Which is the subject that I struggle with? – Physics
  • Which is my least favourite subject? - Geography
  • In which areas, I need more education or skill-based training? – “I need to learn coding and search engine optimization.”
  • What are my negative traits or habits? – Impatience and procrastination

SWOT Analysis Example - Opportunities

The SWOT analysis opportunities examples for students are as mentioned below:

  • What opportunities are open to me? - “I have studied Science in class 12 which opens career avenues for Commerce and Arts too for me.”
  • What are the strengths that I can turn into opportunities? – “I like to stay fit so I could appear for Defence services exams.”

SWOT Analysis Example - Threats

 The examples of threats SWOT analysis for students are as pointed out below:

  • What are the threats that could affect my chosen career field? – “The number of seats are limited in the university that I am applying to.”
  • What scares me the most and is the demotivating factor? – “I have to appear for entrance exams which I am scared of, but it's the only way to get admission into good engineering colleges.”

Also Read: Toppers Time Table for Class 12th: Your Key to Academic Excellence    

Doing a SWOT analysis for students will help figure out the shortcomings and provide a clearer picture of the goals. The importance of performing a student SWOT analysis are as follows.

  • Making correct decisions for exploring various opportunities.
  • Having a clear understanding of your goals.
  • Making changes in the plan to accommodate possibilities.
  • Understanding choices to counteract threats.
  • It keeps you aware of the shortcomings and acts as a motivation.
  • Help in utilizing available resources to the best of your ability.
  • Reviewing options and prioritizing accordingly.

There are many advantages of performing SWOT analysis as a student. The significance of the SWOT analysis may vary depending on one's goals.

Also Check :  Top 10 Most Effective Stress Management Techniques for Students

The first step to perform after understanding the SWOT analysis and its significance is to do academic research. While doing a SWOT analysis, students need not follow the same order of identifying strengths first, then weaknesses.

Here is a process that students can follow to start.

  • Identify Goals
  • Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Identify Opportunities
  • Identify Threats

Process to Write SWOT Analysis for Students

1. Identify Goals

The primary step is to identify the end goal. While doing it, the student must be fully aware of what they are working towards to achieve it.

The goal set must be achievable, reliable, and with a particular time frame. Having dreams with no deadline to accomplish will leave you feeling lazy.

Achievable goals are always better than one long-term goal somewhere in the distant future.

2. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Now that you have defined goals for yourself, list down the strengths and weaknesses to help or prevent you from achieving them.

It is true that only you know yourself better, so writing down the strengths and weaknesses relating to a goal should not be a task.

In case you are unsure, you can always consult a friend or a mentor to assist with your strong and weak points.

3. Identify Opportunities

List down things that you think will enable you to achieve your goals faster. These are usually external factors that you can leverage for yourself to move ahead in your career.

Only if you're clear on your plan can you identify an opportunity that will help you move closer to accomplishing your aim.

4. Identify Threats

Threats are a superset of weaknesses that you contemplated for your SWOT analysis. Threats, however, can be external or internal.

Since we covered internal threats in the weakness quadrant of SWOT, here list down external threats. These threats will act as obstacles between you and your objective.

Only if you would have identified threats clearly, can you plan a counteract for them.

5. Prioritize

By now, you should be able to complete the academic SWOT analysis. Once complete, review the probe and make changes if required.

Viewing the SWOT should give you a clear understanding of what you need to prioritize. Next, look at all four areas of the SWOT analysis and start working towards your goal accordingly.

Also Check :  10 Tips for Staying Focused and Productive as A Student

Since students are aware of the SWOT analysis, its importance, and how we write it. Let us now see the uses of an academic SWOT analysis.

Uses of SWOT Analysis for Students

Below are the uses of student SWOT analysis.

  • Understanding yourself better
  • Building on strengths
  • Eradicating weaknesses
  • Leveraging opportunities
  • Counteracting threats
  • Time management
  • Jumping from one completed goal to another

With the SWOT analysis help, students would have identified their vital areas and know what needs more work. So, pick up a pen now and make the road to your future a lot smoother.

Also Check:   10 Healthy Habits for Students to Excel in Studies

What are the strengths and weaknesses of a student?

What are my threats as a student?

What is a SWOT analysis of myself?

What are the opportunities and threats?


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