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

Example of a SWOT analysis

Below is an example SWOT analysis template with information and examples of what to include in each section.

Factors to assess Strengths Weaknesses
Internal factors

Include any information on any strengths, such as:

  • advantages of the proposition, product or business
  • product capabilities
  • competitive advantages over rivals
  • innovative aspects of the product/business
  • any unique selling points
  • resources, assets, people
  • experience, knowledge, and data
  • processes, systems, IT and communications


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

Include information on any weaknesses, such as:

  • disadvantages of the proposition, product or business
  • gaps in capabilities
  • competitive weakness versus other similar businesses
  • financial constraints
  • poor processes and systems
  • lack of necessary accreditations
  • restrictions on IT, systems or communications


  • competitors' products are superior or cheaper
  • budget is limited
  • staff are untrained in new processes
Factors to assess Opportunities Threats
External factors

You should include growth opportunities, such as:

  • market developments
  • competitors' vulnerabilities
  • geographical or export opportunities
  • seasonal influences
  • current styles or trends
  • niche markets


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

You should include any potential threats to your business, eg:

  • political factors
  • legislative changes
  • environmental pressure
  • IT developments
  • competitors
  • customer demand decrease
  • technological change


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

Advantages of a SWOT analysis

A 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

A 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.