How to Do a SWOT Analysis (with Examples)

A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) is a tool used by businesses to analyze their strengths, potential risks or threats and how they are positioned in the market. It’s not just for business either; students also use this brainstorming technique as part of a project.

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to evaluate the current situation of a company or organization. It helps to identify what strategy should be taken in order to maximize the potential of an organization’s resources.

If you want to succeed in a competitive market, you must analyze the state of your company from the inside out. Internally, you must recognize what you do effectively and where you can improve. Externally, you must evaluate where you want to take your company next and anticipate growing market issues. 

Obtaining this information may seem to be a difficult task, particularly if you’re a small business owner or work as a marketing for a small firm, but it doesn’t have to be. All you’ll need to get started is a pen and paper. 

We’ll look at the SWOT and TOWS analyses in this article. These tactics, when combined, will enable you to assess your company, simplify your business planning, and establish a more effective business strategy. 

What is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis

A SWOT analysis is the act of discovering and studying many areas of your company, then structuring your findings into a basic 2X2 grid template. Each letter of the acronym SWOT corresponds to one of the grid’s quadrants. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and dangers are all represented by the acronym. 

In the context of a SWOT analysis, here’s an explanation of what each term means: 

  • Strengths: Your business’s strengths are the things it does well already, the unique resources your team has, or any competitive advantages you have. Because strengths are internal elements, you may build on them and exploit them.
  • Weaknesses: Weaknesses are areas in which your company may improve, where resources are required, or where your rivals are outperforming you. Because weaknesses are internal problems, they can typically be addressed and overcome. 
  • Opportunities: These are places that you can take advantage of right now. These might be fresh resources you have access to, developing trends you can capitalize on, or strengths you haven’t yet included into your plan. Opportunities, like dangers, are external elements since they are out of your control.
  • Threats: Anything that may have a negative influence on your company from the outside, as well as any present hurdles, are considered threats. When you do a market study, you can generally obtain a feel of the dangers or competitors that your organization faces. Threats are generally beyond of your control as an external issue.

SWOT analyses are rapid and simple evaluations since the information is provided in an easy-to-read grid. And, once everything is in order, assessing the state of your company is much simpler. 

When Is It Appropriate to Conduct a SWOT Analysis? 

There is no such thing as a good or bad moment to do a SWOT analysis. However, there are situations when a SWOT analysis is very beneficial. 

Here are four situations when looking inner and forth is a good idea: 

  • When internal business circumstances shift—perhaps you’ve hired a new CEO, your company is quickly growing, or departments are being reorganized. A SWOT analysis may aid with transitions and modifications by providing insights. 
  • When external market circumstances shift—New rivals, fluctuating economic conditions, laws, and other market upheavals might force organizations to rethink their strategies. A SWOT analysis may keep you on your toes and ready to face any difficulties that come your way. 
  • Prior to developing a strategic plan— New initiatives and resource allocation modifications are often part of strategic planning. To make forward-looking choices, it’s helpful to know the present state of your organization or team before starting the planning process. 
  • On a regular basis — While most businesses do strategic planning every few years, conducting a SWOT analysis on a more frequent basis is beneficial. A quarterly or semi-annual SWOT analysis will give you with knowledge you can utilize in the near term and bring to the strategic planning process when the time comes. 

Let’s take a closer look at the process of developing a SWOT analysis by concentrating on each quadrant now that we’ve covered what a SWOT analysis is and when you would want to undertake one. 

How to finish your SWOT Matrix’s four parts 

One of the main advantages of a SWOT analysis is how simple it is to carry out. All you need is a mechanism to jot down ideas and a desire to take a hard look at your company. 

While you may undertake a SWOT analysis on your own, bringing others to the table is beneficial. Brainstorming with others may help you see things you would have missed otherwise, as well as clarify ideas that aren’t yet ready. 

To do your analysis in person, you may utilize sticky notes or a white board. You may want to look at tools like MIRO if you’re working remotely.

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It’s time to start going through the four quadrants of your SWOT analysis after you’ve built your grid and collected your team. Fill in the proper quadrant with your thoughts while you brainstorm. 

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

Things your company or team does well will be included in the strength quadrant of your SWOT analysis. Keep in mind that strengths are internal, therefore you’ll have to dig inside to find them. It’s also important to remember that your strengths are something you can manage, so you can expand on them afterwards. 

Questions to Ponder in Order to Discover Your Strengths: 

  • What do we excel at?
  • What aspects of our business have our consumers or partners praised? 
  • Where do we outperform our competitors? 
  • What makes our company, goods, or services stand out?
  • What kind of assets do we have? (Proprietary technology, intellectual property, capital)

Examples of SWOT analysis strengths: 

  • We provide exceptional customer service. 
  • We provide features that no other firm provides.
  • Our website traffic exceeds that of 75% of our rivals. 
  • Our social media marketing activities are generating a lot of interest.

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

The areas where your company or team needs to improve will be found in the weaknesses quadrant of your study. The weaknesses area, like the strengths portion, asks you to look within. And whatever you find, don’t be discouraged! Weaknesses are typically areas over which you have control and which you may improve. 

Questions to ask to find flaws include: 

  • What can we do better? 
  • What are the areas where our consumers or partners are dissatisfied?
  • What are the areas where we lag behind our competitors? 
  • Where do we need to improve our knowledge or resources? 

Examples of SWOT analysis flaws: 

  • Our methods are ineffective. 
  • Our consumers find it challenging to utilize our goods. 
  • We have less organic traffic than our rivals. 
  • We are unable to grow due to a lack of resources. 

Opportunities are represented by the letter “O” in SWOT. 

The methods or resources you can utilize right now as a firm will be in the opportunities quadrant. Because opportunities are external to your company, you have no influence over them. Knowing where the opportunities are, on the other hand, empowers you to take action. 

Questions to ponder in order to identify possibilities include: 

  • What new trends are we able to take advantage of?
  • Which of our assets may be beneficial to prospective partners? 
  • What other markets could we be able to tap into? 
  • Are there some areas where there is less competition? 
  • Is it possible for us to share our narrative or achievements with the rest of the world? 

Examples of SWOT analysis opportunities: 

  • Customers are looking for a product that is comparable to ours. Is it possible for us to adjust in order to satisfy the demand? 
  • Our service/product fits a gap in their business that they may wish to fill. 
  • In Canada, no one sells our goods. Is it possible for us to grow? 
  • We’ve recently passed a significant milestone. Is it possible to gain some favorable press? 

Threats are represented by the letter “T” in SWOT.

The threats part of your SWOT analysis will include possible concerns or obstacles that your company may encounter. Threats are external forces, which means they occur outside of your company. You can’t control them, but you can prepare for them.

To discover dangers, ask the following questions: 

  • What are the activities of our competitors? 
  • How may our flaws expose us to danger? 
  • What market trends are we not anticipating? 
  • What economic or political factors could have an influence on our company? 

Examples of risks in a SWOT analysis: 

  • Our primary rival is releasing a product with features that are comparable to ours. 
  • Congress is debating a law that might have an effect on our industry. 
  • Under Covid 19, the economy is straining to adjust to new circumstances. 
  • We don’t have the necessary marketing resources to compete with our rivals. 

Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis template once it’s been completely filled out. 

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3 real-life SWOT scenarios 

Let’s look at some real-life SWOT analysis examples now that we’ve covered the principles. We’ll go through three company sectors where a SWOT analysis might be beneficial:

  • Marketing 
  • Ecommerce 
  • Situation on the market 

We’ll provide examples of tools you can use to refine your research and produce important data-driven insights as we go through each of these topics. 

Example of a SWOT analysis in marketing 

A SWOT analysis is a common aspect of a strategy review or competitive analysis in marketing. It may assist you figure out where your marketing approach is good and where it is weak, as well as how to outmarket your rivals. You may wish to think about topics like:

  • Marketing efforts in progress and in the past
  • Customer approval and sentiment 
  • Your website, landing pages, and social media accounts should all be optimized. 

While organizations will always want to look at their own internal analytics for data on their marketing activities, Webinomy’s. Trends tools may assist unearth helpful information about the competition, which can be used in conjunction with any SWOT Analysis. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular automobile manufacturers to see where we can find some of their strengths, flaws, opportunities, and dangers. 

We may utilize Webinomy’s Market Explorer tool to compare data amongst rivals. A Benchmarking report is included with the tool, which gives side-by-side comparisons of numerous parameters. Let’s begin with the graph of Market Share by Channel. 

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We can observe from this graph that Ford Motor receives the most traffic overall, as well as the most traffic from direct search (30.97 percent), referral (24.56 percent), and search (24.56 percent) (27.55 percent ). This means they have a strong brand, solid partnerships with other firms that provide them traffic, and great SEO. Jeep outperforms them in terms of social media traffic, but Toyota outperforms them in terms of sponsored traffic. 

Chevrolet may use this knowledge to add marketing across many channels to their list of SWOT weaknesses. While they aren’t at the bottom of the list, they could do a lot better. 

We may then look at the Traffic Generation Strategy report to see where organizations obtain their traffic and where our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are located. 

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Looking at this graph, it’s evident that Chevrolet’s direct traffic is comparable to, if not somewhat greater than, that of the majority of its rivals. In our marketing SWOT analysis, this might be a strength and an opportunity. Visitors who come to their site without using Google or being referred in any other manner suggest that they are aware of their brand. We might also include brand awareness in our examples of SWOT possibilities since a strong brand presence is something we can build on. 

This leads us to the Market Traffic versus Selected Domain Patterns graph, which reveals your rivals’ traffic trends over time. 

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Some intriguing tendencies appear when we look at social media traffic over the last six months. From May to August, there was a significant drop in social media traffic throughout the market as a whole. 

Depending on the cause of the downturn, this might be an opportunity or a danger to our SWOT analysis. In some ways, Chevrolet may have a chance to spend in social media marketing to grab some of the traffic that other brands generated from March to May. 

On the other side, if fewer individuals use social media, resulting in a significant drop in traffic and sales, it might signal a market change that could pose a danger to manufacturers. 

Example of a SWOT analysis for ecommerce 

It’s all about items and sales when it comes to Ecommerce. When you’re releasing new items or experiencing significant expansion, an Ecommerce SWOT analysis may be very valuable. You may wish to think about topics like: 

  • Time for delivery
  • variety of products
  • The efficiency of your website
  • The procedure for checking out

Webinomy, yet again. When it comes to Ecommerce, trending tools may assist you in identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. First, let’s look at the Traffic Analytics feature. The Top Pages report might help us learn more about our rivals’ company. 

A pattern emerges from a review of Ford’s top pages. Customers visit websites that enable them to personalize or “create” their own automobile in droves. 

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This might be a danger or an opportunity for Chevrolet, which may not have as many personalization possibilities. If they have the ability to expand their car customisation possibilities, they may take advantage of the chance. If they don’t, they’ll inevitably lose online clients who prefer Ford’s website’s customizing possibilities. 

We may look at the data for a single page on Ford’s website, which is useful for keeping track of new goods. For example, if Chevrolet were to release a car identical to Ford’s new Bronco, they would want to compare their statistics to the Bronco landing page’s stats. 

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The excitement around the Bronco is evident in this graph. 88 percent of page visitors arrive from search and are led to the Bronco landing page. If Chevrolet just debuted a comparable car and isn’t seeing the same amount of traffic, they may consider this a threat in their SWOT analysis.

Finally, the top pages report may be used to obtain a feel of Ford’s monthly sales statistics and compare them to our own. To do so, use the term “confirm” as a filter in the Top Pages report to get the metrics for the purchase confirmation page. 

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Between May and August, Ford’s “/buy/reserve/confirmation.html” page had 41.9K unique page visits, according to the graph. While this figure may not always correspond to the number of vehicles sold, it can give you an idea of how successful Ford’s sales funnel is. We may then compare this figure to our own to see where we have strengths, shortcomings, opportunities, or dangers. 

Example of a SWOT analysis of market circumstances 

Changing market circumstances may put any company in a dangerous position. A SWOT analysis focusing on your market position might help you remain on top of your game and anticipate your rivals’ actions. You may wish to think about topics like:

  • Growth from one year to the next
  • Share of the market 
  • Customer satisfaction is important. 
  • Geographical implications 

Start by checking out Market Explorer’s Growth Quadrant. Setting the chart to display year-over-year increase (YOY) will reveal patterns that can help you complete your SWOT analysis. 

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Chevrolet’s stability may be seen as a strength in their SWOT analysis as an established player. In comparison to some other organizations, they only saw a modest decrease in traffic and growth this year. 

Honda and Toyota both moved from the Established Players Quadrant to the Leaders Quadrant in terms of threats. These businesses, in general, might represent a challenge to Chevrolet in the future.

We may also look at the Market Geo Distribution report, which displays how market traffic is distributed by nation and how it has changed during the previous month. To show where the increase is occuring worldwide, we changed the graphic to reflect top changes. 

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This information might be used to validate Chevrolet’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or dangers in certain nations, depending on their behavior. If they are already selling a lot of automobiles in France, for example, this may be a sign of strength since they are in a rising market. 

If they hadn’t yet broken into the French market but had the resources to do so, they may see this as an opportunity. In any case, evaluating how these markets are growing will help you complete your SWOT Analysis. 

For actionable findings, use a TOWS analysis.

The question becomes, “What do I do with this information?” once you’ve pondered strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and typed it all down in your 2X2 SWOT template. 

While SWOT assessments are a terrific approach to get a better understanding of your company, they don’t always result in effective plans. A TOWS analysis may help in this situation. 

A TOWS analysis, which is an extension of the SWOT analysis, helps you to evaluate the link between internal and external components and strategy for improved business results based on these insights. 

To conduct your TOWS analysis, you’ll need to add four more boxes to your 2X2 SWOT matrix and name them as follows: 

  • Opportunities/Strengths—Ideas for using your strengths to capture opportunities. 
  • Threats/Abilities—Ideas for overcoming threats by using your strengths. 
  • Shortcomings/Chances—Thoughts on how to minimize your weaknesses by seizing opportunities. 
  • Weaknesses/Dangers—Ideas for limiting threats while avoiding weaknesses. 

You may find ideas for going ahead by adding a TOWS analysis to your initial SWOT analysis and looking at the links between the quadrants. To further understand the TOWS analysis procedure, we’ll take Chevrolet as an example.

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Main Points to Remember 

Businesses that succeed look both internally and outside. They take time to think on themselves while also analyzing their surroundings. You must first comprehend your position before you can go where you want to go, and the SWOT analysis approach gives a clear route for this sort of complete awareness. 

You may use the TOWS approach to find out how to proceed after you’ve examined your situation. The TOWS analysis gives insights into strong tactics for achieving your objectives by cross-referencing the various points revealed on your SWOT analysis. There are also a variety of other alternatives, such as “pest analysis,” which might provide more information. 

These techniques, when used together, provide a strong strategy for looking inner, outward, and forward. 

The Market Explorer and Traffic Analytics Tools are available for download.

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