Every business wants to identify those factors that can influence or have an impact on the viability of their organization. To achieve this, they conduct a SWOT analysis, a method that pinpoints and analyzes the internal and external factors, which they can later use in developing strong business strategies to help the organization improve and grow.
Swot Analysis Templates
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis template refers to an orderly list of a business’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The first two of these, weaknesses and strengths are frequently internal-related, whereas threats and opportunities commonly concentrate on the business’s external environment that are all over, happening in the marketplace.
Existing businesses generally make use of a SWOT analysis template to make assessments in a changing business environment so they can act proactively on this. In fact, it’s highly recommended to conduct strategy review conferences at least one time each year and this review usually starts by making a SWOT table.
As for businesses just starting up, they should include a SWOT analysis chart as an integral part of the planning process. They should remember that there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” plan for any business. It’s recommended to think in terms of a unique SWOT analysis worksheet which could put them in the right direction at the soonest time.
Who should perform a SWOT analysis?
Allotting some time to make a SWOT analysis template for your company equips you with a sound plan that would prioritize the work you must do for your business to grow. Some can get overly confident, thinking they already all the knowledge that would help them succeed.
Making a SWOT diagram template allows you to examine your business from a different perspective, through new directions and ways. The information on your SWOT table defines your strengths and weaknesses as well as how you could use these to leverage in taking advantage of threats and opportunities that are ever-present in the marketplace.
Making a SWOT analysis chart requires the involvement of the company leaders and founders for it to be highly effective. But this doesn’t mean that they should do this by themselves. The best SWOT analysis needs the involvement of a team of individuals who have varying perspectives on your company.
This means employees who represent various aspects of the company. Select people from all departments, from customer service to sales, and product development to marketing. Make sure that all of these departments represent when making your SWOT analysis worksheet.
You can also recruit friends and acquaintances who have some knowledge about the business for additional points of view. These can include your accountant, your vendors, suppliers, and so on. The key here is to gather a greater number of sources with different perspectives.
With a SWOT analysis on hand, an existing business can assess the current situation of the company and from there, determine their next strategy. But keep in mind that things in the business world are always changing and this requires a reassessment of your strategy.
You should make a new SWOT diagram template every 6 to 12 months. For new businesses, the SWOT should be a part of the planning process. With it, they can arrange their strategy into a system that starts them off on the right track while knowing the direction they plan to go.
SWOT Chart Templates
Questions for your SWOT analysis
You can obtain the most comprehensive and objective results for a SWOT analysis if it’s performed by a team of individuals who have varying stakes in and perspectives of the company. Valid insights can come from the company’s management, customer service, sales department, and even the company’s clients.
Furthermore, the process is a chance to bring together the team and encourage them to participate in and adhere to the company’s resulting strategy. Typically, the SWOT analysis comes with creating a SWOT analysis template. You can also make a list for each of the categories depending on your convenience.
This means you can use a method you think will make things easier for you in terms of organizing and understanding the results. The best way to come up with an effective and complete listing is by having a brainstorming session. It will help you to identify relevant factors all of the categories.
As an alternative, you can ask the members of the team to individually create a SWOT table, then later meet to compile and discuss the results. When you start working on each category, there’s no need to elaborate yet. Using bullet points can help you determine the factors in each category that you think are most relevant to the four categories.
After completing your brainstorming session, you can create the prioritized, final version of the SWOT analysis chart. Arrange the listing of the factors from the highest priority on top to the lowest ones at the very bottom. The following questions can help you in developing each part of the SWOT analysis:
This category describes the positive characteristics, both intangible and tangible, internal to the business. They’re usually the things you can control.
- In what fields does your company excel or do well in?
- What are your company’s internal resources?
- What are the advantages of your company over the competition?
- Does your company have strong development or research capabilities?
- Does your company have strong manufacturing capabilities?
- Are there any other positive attributes internal to your company which can increase value or offer a competitive edge?
These refer to the parts of your business that diminish your offered value or even place you at a disadvantage in competing with others. You must either enhance or improve these areas so your business can compete with the best out there.
- What factors within your company’s control diminish its ability to acquire or maintain a competitive advantage?
- What areas of your business need improvement for you to accomplish objectives or compete with the strongest competitor of your business?
- What deficiencies does your business have?
- Are you aware of any limited resources of your business?
- Is your business located in an area which doesn’t suit your business?
These are the external factors which represent the reasons why there is a high likelihood that your business will thrive.
- What are the opportunities in your business’ market which you can profit from?
- Do people have a positive opinion of your business?
- Are there any recent changes like market growth might create new opportunities?
- Is your business’ opportunity continuing or not?
- How important is the timing of your business?
These refer to external factors you cannot control and might place your business strategies or even the company itself at risk. Although this might be beyond your control, you can still benefit by creating contingency plans that can address the issues, in the event that they occur.
- Which are the potential or existing competitors of your business?
- Are there any factors beyond your control that might put your business at risk?
- Are there any challenges brought about by any unfavorable developments or trends that might lead to a decrease in profits or revenues?
- Are there any situations which could threaten the marketing efforts of your business?
- Was there any significant change in raw material availability or in supplier prices?
- Have there been any changes in the behaviors of consumers, government regulations or the economy that might reduce your business’ sales?
- Has there been an introduction of new technology or a product that makes your equipment, services or products obsolete?
What comes next after creating your SWOT analysis?
The beginning of your real business strategy starts when you have successfully completed a SWOT analysis worksheet. Business conditions constantly change and the analysis would change with it to adapt to present situations. On average, you should conduct a SWOT analysis to make the most out of it.
The first step to take is to search for the company’s strengths then think about how you could use these to make the most of opportunities. Then, use these same strengths to fight the threats of your business. If you use a SWOT diagram template, you can come up with a list of tasks to do for the benefit of your company.
The SWOT analysis helps you prepare a list of actions that you can take to benefit your company. With this list and the company calendar, you can now start setting scheduled goals. Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish during these periods then note the answers on your calendar.
You can also use the SWOT analysis in determining how the external opportunities can help in combatting the internal weaknesses of our business. Now think about what you can do to reduce these weaknesses so that you may avoid any threats which you have identified in the SWOT analysis.
Again, you might again need another list of actions to organize and schedule. Here are some pointers for potential growth strategies:
- Do some research on options on how to obtain investors.
- Obtain more capital.
- Come up with a marketing plan so you can implement your marketing strategies.
- An important part of a marketing plan for a store is a grand opening which includes promotional strategies needed to catch the attention of your target market.