With a sample SWOT analysis, you can explore strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your firm. However, a SWOT analysis is unique to each business. You will need to do your own analysis that's customized for your company.
Sample SWOT Analysis Uses
Your business plan or marketing plan should include a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis provides businesses with information that helps management match resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which the business operates. By looking at the environment surrounding the business, the business can define key opportunities and guidelines for the firm.
In an internal analysis, the business defines what its strengths and weaknesses are. The SWOT also looks at external analysis. It pinpoints the opportunities and threats towards the firm such as other businesses or the general economic climate.
There are many ways to use SWOT analysis to look at your business. The following are samples of ways that it can help pinpoint factors affecting your business. Look at each of the letters from the word SWOT and examples of how to use them to develop your own analysis.
Strengths within a business are the capabilities and the resources it has to help it compete against other businesses of similar type. Some samples of strengths may include:
- Patents your firm holds
- A good reputation your firm has built with customers
- Access to products, raw materials or other elements that are higher quality than the competition
- A well known brand name
The second area to focus on is weaknesses. This is any area where specific strengths are not available, or possessed by the firm. Examples here include:
- Lack of access to distribution
- An unknown brand name
- An expensive product to build
- Bad reputation with customers or distributors
Most businesses can identify opportunities. These are external ways that the business can grow and see additional profit, if they were implemented. Examples of this part of the SWOT analysis include:
- A customer base with a need that is as of yet unfilled
- International market opportunities
- New technologies for development
- Improvement of regulations and trade barriers
Threats are external aspects that in some way could harm the business. Examples of threats from the SWOT analysis point of view include the following:
- Tougher regulations and trade barriers
- Customer purchasing changes
- New, similar products that consumers could appeal to
Finding More Samples
Conducting a SWOT analysis is a critical step for any business that is looking to make decisions about how to use resources in the coming months and years. The following websites provide additional information and resources to help businesses to create an effective SWOT analysis.
- Visit Businessballs.com to view both samples and templates to help you to create your analysis. A worksheet there also can be helpful. There is also a sample of a PEST analysis, which measures a business's market.
- At WilsonWeb.com, Dr. Wilson provides an in depth explanation of SWOT analysis from the perspective of Internet marketing. It looks at the e-commerce aspects of a business's environment.
- Visit More-For-Small-Business.com, readers can look at a sample SWOT analysis created for a small business owner. Instructions and background information is provided to help individuals to create their plan.
It is important to note that any of the examples available online of a SWOT analysis are only as effective as that business. In other words, it is very important for each business to conduct their own analysis based on factors relevant to their particular business. It is easy to use information provided in these samples as a basis, but ensure the business's actual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are considered first and foremost when completing a SWOT analysis. This tool should be part of your business marketing plan.