Free SWOT Analysis Examples

July 27th, 2009 Posted in Swot Analysis

Looking for some free SWOT analysis examples to use?

Well, depending on your purpose, the free examples may or may not be relevant to you. One of the most important reasons to analyze a market, a business or a project or process within the business is to come up with information that allows you to make the best possible decision.

Feel free to keep reading for some more details, or just check out some free SWOT analysis examples now.

What is a SWOT Analysis For?

A SWOT analysis–strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats-–is a very useful way to evaluate a variety of business issues. It’s a good method because it helps you take a disciplined approach to collecting and organizing information, weighing the information and making decisions based upon what you see. A SWOT analysis is also easy to share with others, such as your advisors, to see if they reach the same conclusions with the information.

Two common approaches to SWOT are to treat the variables a little differently. Marketers tend to look at strengths and weaknesses as internal and opportunities and threats as external. Others sometimes differentiate SW and OT on a current state/future state basis – opportunities are good things that don’t exist today but can in the future.

Either use of the SWOT analysis framework is fine if it improves your decision-making and communication results.

There are many templates and free SWOT analysis examples available on the internet. Two others that are helpful are: WikiSWOT, this SWOT Analysis Template from BusinessBalls.com, and MarketingTeacher.com.

Whichever template you use, keep in mind that you should customize it to your specific need. There is no one-size-fits all in evaluating your business needs.

Suggestions to help you get the most from your own SWOT analysis:

  • If you’re not comfortable with or don’t feel you have enough experience performing a SWOT analysis, try reviewing free SWOT analysis examples to get the hang of it. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it but understand that it’s important for your business, ask me for help.
  • Start with a good checklist that includes the key success factors for your business and then ask your advisors and key team members what other variables should be considered. As one of my business professors said many years ago (and still haunts me to this day), its what you don’t think of that gets you!
  • Right-size the work: a SWOT analysis can include a few key variables or be extensive. Generally speaking, the more at stake, the better to be more thorough.
  • Conduct adequate research on your industry, competitors and market. You may or may not have a thorough understanding of market conditions and trends, your industry and your most direct competitors but you would benefit greatly from developing the best possible understanding. You may even find free SWOT analysis examples using your competitors!
  • Whenever possible, try to use data as the basis for determining if something is a strength or weakness. If your competitors capture $500 on an average sales and you average $50 for the same product, that is probably a weakness.
  • Once you have the SWOT analysis completed, before you draw conclusions and make important decisions, prioritize every item by calculating its expected value. An items expected value is equal to its estimated $ lifetime value x the probability of it occuring. I.e. if the Threat of a large competitor entering your market has an impact of $(1,000,000) on your business and there is a 50% probability of that happening, then that Threat has an expected value of $(500,000). The reason for doing this is to help you keep things in perspective – don’t treat small items as equal to really big ones. If this method strikes you as overkill, then simply do fast comparative calculations in your head and apply them.
  • While free SWOT analysis examples may be a good starting point, a well conducted SWOT analysis will help you make better business decisions. It’s a great tool to use in a variety of situations.

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