Strategic planning for business growth

SWOT analysis example


A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis can help you understand how your business is positioned in relation to the market and your competitors. You can use SWOT analysis for any of the following:

  • brainstorming
  • business planning
  • strategic planning
  • competitor evaluation
  • marketing
  • product development
  • business reports

SWOT example: Internal factors to assess

Below is an example of a typical SWOT analysis with information and examples of what to include in the internal factors section.

Strengths Weaknesses
advantages of the proposition, product or business disadvantages of the proposition, product or business
product capabilities gaps in capabilities
competitive advantages over rivals competitive weakness versus other similar businesses
innovative aspects of the product/business outdated aspects of the product/business
any unique selling points financial constraints
resources, assets, people poor processes and systems
experience, knowledge, and data lack of necessary accreditations
processes, systems, IT and communications restrictions on IT, systems or communications

Examples of strengths

  • product is superior to other competitors
  • product lifespan or durability
  • costs - compared to competitors
  • manufacturing processes are efficient
  • IT system can easily handle expansion

Examples of weaknesses

  • competitors' products are superior or cheaper
  • budget is limited
  • staff are untrained in new processes

SWOT example: External factors to assess

Below is an example of a typical SWOT analysis with information and examples of what to include in the external factors section.

Opportunities Threats
market developments political factors
competitors' vulnerabilities competitors
geographical or export opportunities environmental pressure
seasonal influences technological change
current styles or trends legislative changes
niche markets customer demand decrease

Examples of opportunities

  • poor products currently on the market
  • potential market for your product or service overseas

Examples of potential threats

  • changes of government or legislation
  • competitors' product or service is at a more advanced stage
  • increasing interest rates

Advantages of a SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis offers many benefits, including helping you to:

  • understand the key issues affecting your business
  • spot and deal with weaknesses
  • minimise risks and deter threats
  • capitalise on opportunities
  • take advantage of your strengths
  • develop business goals
  • identify strategies for achieving your goals

SWOT analysis is typically also low- or no cost, and relatively quick and simple to carry out.

Read about other types of strategic planning models or see our PESTLE analysis example.