Tips on how to Do a SWOT Analysis [With Template & Examples]

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As your business expands, you face more obstructions, challenges, opportunities, and projects in general. It’s a good and natural part of scaling an organization, but how do you determine your priorities? Which initiatives should you implement on first, and which challenges should you address immediately?

Enter the SWOT analysis, the framework that can help you create a roadmap for moving forward together with your business, maximizing opportunities plus minimizing roadblocks along the way.  

While it may seems basic on the surface, a SWOT analysis allows you to make unbiased assessments on:  

  • Your business or brand name
  • Market positioning
  • A new task or initiative
  • A specific strategy or channel

Practically anything that needs strategic planning, internal or even external, can have the SWOT framework applied to it, helping you avoid unnecessary errors down the road from lack of insight.  

Importance of SWOT Analysis

You have noticed by now that SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threads. The construction seems simple enough that you would be tempted to forego carrying out using it at all, relying instead on your intuition to take these items into account.  

But you should not. Doing a SWOT analysis is important because:  

  • It gives you the chance to worry and to desire. Adding the particular SWOT analysis as an important step in your strategic procedure, you’re giving yourself the space to dream, evaluate, plus worry before taking activity. Your insights in this regard after that turn into assets as you produce the roadmap for your project or initiative.
  • It forces you to define your variables. Rather than diving head first into the planning and execution, that you simply taking inventory of all your own assets and roadblocks. These can help you create a more specific and effective roadmap.
  • This allows you to think more significantly and account for mitigating factors. As you recognize weaknesses and threats, you aren’t better enabled to are the reason for them in your roadmap, improving your chances for success.
  • It will help you keep a written account. As your corporation grows and changes, you can actually strike things off your old SWOTs and add new elements as the industry changes. It can be illuminating to look back to where you started as you look forward at what’s to come.

Here, we’ll tackle how to best do a SWOT analysis, provide you with a SWOT analysis template, and conduct SWOT analyses on big companies Apple and Starbucks. Whenever you’re done reading, you will have all the inspiration and technical advice you need to tackle the SWOT analysis for yourself.

How Do You Write a Good SWOT Analysis?

There are several actions you’ll want to take whenever evaluating your business and performing a strategic SWOT analysis.

1 . Download HubSpot’s SWOT Evaluation Template.

There’s no need to begin with scratch for your analysis. Right here, I’ve created a sample using a free, editable template — feel free to use the model yourself, or create your own because it suits your needs.

free editable SWOT Analysis pdf template

Download a free, editable SWOT analysis template.

2 . Arrange each section right into a table with four quadrants.

Whether you use the template above as a model or make your own to suit your needs, it can be helpful to start in table format to visualize your SWOT evaluation. This can be done by arranging each of the four sections directly into separate quadrants.

3. Identify your objective.

Before you start composing things down, you’ll need to figure out what you’re analyzing with your SWOT analysis. Be specific with what you want to evaluate. Otherwise, your SWOT evaluation may end up being too broad, and you’ll get analysis paralysis as you are making your assessments.

If you’re creating a social media system, you’ll want to conduct an analysis to inform your content creation strategy. If you’re launching a new item, you’ll want to understand its potential positioning in the space. In case you are considering a brand re-design, it’s good to consider existing and upcoming brand conceptions.  

Most of these are examples of good reasons in order to conduct a SWOT analysis. By identifying your goal, you’ll be able tailor your own evaluation to get more actionable information.

3. Identify your strengths.

“Strengths” refers to what you are doing well. Think about the factors which are going in your favor and also the things you offer that your competition just can’t beat.

For example , let’s say you want to use a SWOT analysis to evaluate your new social media strategy.

If you’re looking at a brand new social media program, perhaps you want to evaluate how your brand is perceived by the public — is it easily well-known and well-known? Even if it’s not popular with a widespread team, is it well-received by a specific audience in particular?

Next, think about your process: is it efficient or innovative? Is there great communication between your marketing and sales to ensure both departments use similar vocabulary when talking about your product?

Finally, assess your social media message, and in particular, how it differs from your rest of the industry. I’m prepared to bet you can make a lengthy listing of some major strengths of your social media strategy over your competitors, so try to dive into your strengths from there.

4. Recognize your weaknesses.

Similarly to your own strengths, what are the roadblocks blocking you from reaching your own goals? What do your competitors offer that continue to be a thorn in your side. This section is not about being a Negative Nancy. Rather, it’s critical in order to foresee any potential hurdles that could mitigate your achievement.

When identifying weaknesses, consider what areas of your business would be the least profitable, where you lack certain resources, or what costs you the most time and money. Take input from workers in different departments, as they will likely see weaknesses a person hadn’t considered.

If you’re examining a new social media strategy, you may start by asking yourself these queries: First, if I were someone, what would prevent me personally from buying this product, or even engaging with this business? What would make me click away from the screen?

Second, so what do I foresee as the biggest hinderance to my employees’ efficiency, or their ability to get the job done efficiently? What derails their own social media efforts?

5. Think about your opportunities.

This is your chance to dream big. Exactly what are some opportunities for your social media marketing strategy you hope, but don’t necessarily expect, to achieve?

For instance, maybe you’re hoping your Facebook ads can attract a new, larger demographic. Maybe you’re hoping your own YouTube video gets 10, 500 views, and increases product sales by 10%.

Whatever the case, it is important to include potential possibilities in your SWOT analysis. Think about these questions: What technology do I want my company to use to make it more effective? Exactly what new target audience do I want to reach? How can the business stick out more in the current industry? Will there be something our customers grumble about that we could fix with our social media strategy?

The possibilities category goes hand-in-hand with the weaknesses category. Once you’ve made a list of weaknesses, it should be easy to create a list of possible opportunities that could arise if you eliminate your weaknesses.

6. Contemplate your risks.

It’s most likely, especially if you’re prone to stressing, you already have a good list of threats in your head.

If not, collect your employees and brainstorm: What obstacles might prevent us from reaching the social media goals? What’s happening in the industry, or with our competition, that might mitigate our success? Is there new technology out there that could conflict with our product?

Recording your threats helps you assess them objectively. For instance, you may list your threats in terms of least and most likely to happen, and divide and get over each. If one of your biggest threats is your competitor’s well-known Instagram account, you could work with your marketing department to create content that showcases your own product’s unique features.

SWOT Analysis Examples

The template above helps get you started on your own SWOT analysis.

But , if you’re something like me, it’s not enough to see a template. To fully understand a concept, you need to see how it performs out in the real world.

These types of SWOT examples are not thorough, and I’m sure you can add some yourself, but hopefully, it’s enough to encourage you as you do your personal SWOT analysis.

Apple’s SWOT analysis

Here’s how we’d conduct a SWOT evaluation on Apple.

SWOT analysis showing Apple's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats


First off, strengths. While Apple has many strengths, let’s identify the top three:

  1. Brand recognition
  2. High prices
  3. Innovative products

Apple’s brand is undeniably valuable, and their business is considered the most valuable in the world. Since it’s easily recognized, Apple can produce new items and almost ensure a certain level of success by virtue of the brand name itself.

This degree of recognition lends itself to Apple’s capability to sell products. For instance, within 2019, Apple sold seventy two. 9 million iPhones when compared with 70 million Galaxy mobile phones by Samsung. This is despite the price disparity between the 2 (the flagship Galaxy phone is $100 cheaper). Often , people don’t care about cost as much as they care about brand name recognition.

Lastly, their innovative products: Apple didn’t earn its reputation for nothing. They will create highly innovative items, which are often at the forefront of the industry.


Next, let us look at three of Apple’s weaknesses.

  1. High prices
  2. Closed environment
  3. Lack of experimentation

While the high prices don’t deter Apple’s center and high class customer-base, they do hinder Apple’s ability to reach a lower-class demographic.

Apple company also suffers from its own uniqueness. Apple controls all its services and products in-house, and while several customers become loyal brand name advocates for this reason, it means all of burdens fall on Apple employees.

Ultimately, Apple’s tight control over who distributes their products limit their market reach.

Lastly, Apple is held to a high standard when it comes to creating and distributing items. Apple’s brand carries a high level of prestige, but that level of recognition inhibits Apple from taking risks and experimenting freely with new products that could fail.


Today, let’s take a look at opportunities intended for Apple.

It’s easy to identify opportunities for improvement, once you consider Apple’s weaknesses. Here is a list of three we came up with:

  1. Expand distribution options
  2. Create new products
  3. Technological advancement

One of Apple’s greatest weaknesses is its submission network, which, in the name of exclusivity, remains relatively small. In the event that Apple expanded its system and enabled third-party companies to sell its products, it could reach more people globally, whilst alleviating some of the stress presently put on in-house employees.

There are also plenty of opportunities for Apple to create new products. Apple could consider creating more affordable products to reach a larger demographic, or even spreading out into brand new industries — Apple self-driving cars, perhaps?

Finally, Apple could continue advancing the products’ technology. Apple can take existing products and refine all of them, ensuring each product offers as many unique features as you possibly can.


Finally, let’s look at threats to Apple.

Amazingly, they do exist.

Here are 3 of Apple’s biggest risks:

  1. Lots of competition
  2. Lawsuits
  3. International issues

Apple isn’t the only innovative tech firm out there, and it continues to encounter tough competition from Samsung, Search engines, and other major forces. A lot of Apple’s weaknesses hinder Apple’s ability to compete with the tech corporations that have more independence to experiment, or that don’t operate in a shut ecosystem.

A second threat to Apple is lawsuits. Apple company has faced a bunch of lawsuits, particularly between Apple plus Samsung, and so far they have only won one situation. These lawsuits interfere with Apple’s reputable image, and could steer some customers to buying elsewhere.

Finally, Apple needs to improve its reach worldwide. It isn’t number one in China, and doesn’t have an extremely positive relationship with the Chinese government. Then, in India, which has one of the largest consumer markets in the world, Apple’s business is low, and the firm has trouble bringing stores to India’s market.

In the event that Apple can’t compete globally the way Samsung or Search engines can, it risks falling behind in the industry.

Starbucks SWOT Analysis

Now that we’ve investigated the nuances involved with a SWOT analysis, let’s fill out a SWOT template using Starbucks as an example.

Here’s exactly how we’d fill out a SWOT template, if we were Starbucks:

Starbucks SWOT Analysis example
Download this Template at no cost

Dine-In Thai Restaurant SWOT Analysis

Some small-business marketers may have difficulty relating to the SWOT’s of big brands like Apple and Starbucks, so here’s an example of how a restaurant might visualize each element:

Dine-in Thai Restaurant SWOT analysis example

While the Thai or any other cafe might not be as worried about high-level lawsuits like Apple, the little business might be more worried about competitors or disruptors that may enter the playing field.  

Local Boutique SWOT Analysis

In another small-business instance, a local boutique might be well known in its neighborhood, but it also usually takes time to build an online presence or even get its products in an web store. Because of this, some of its advantages and opportunities might relate with physical factors while weak points and threats might relate to online situations.

Local boutique SWOT analysis example

Whenever to Use a SWOT Analysis

Ultimately, a SWOT analysis can measure and tackle both big and small problems, and opportunities, and each big and little strengths and weaknesses.

While the examples above focus on businesses in general, you can also work with a SWOT analysis to evaluate and predict how a singular product will play out in the market.

Hopefully, our SWOT template can supplement your market research and business analysis, and provide reasonable insights into how to improve your products for larger payoffs, and less obstacles.

Editor’s note: This awesome article was originally published in May, 2018 and has been up-to-date for comprehensiveness.

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