SWOT Analysis: Definition, How to Use It and Examples

SWOT analysis is a way to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can perform this analysis for products, teams, organizations, leadership, or other entities. SWOT analysis is used in many business environments to gain a better understanding of how to plan for the future.

In this article, we discuss what SWOT analyzes are in more detail, why they are used and how to perform a SWOT analysis.

In addition, we will discuss how you can use your knowledge of SWOT analysis during the development process of a business

What is SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a tool you can use both personally and at work to evaluate and make decisions about a particular subject.

In this analysis, you will investigate internal and external factors. Internal factors are positive (strengths) or negative (weaknesses) factors that exist within your organization and can be changed or influenced in a number of ways.

SWOT Analysis

External factors are positive (opportunities) or negative (threats) factors that exist outside the subject you are evaluating and cannot be changed or influenced by you or your organization in any way.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas:

Strength or Strength

Your strengths analysis should note the positive internal attributes of the organization, individual, product, or other entity you are evaluating. Some of the questions you might ask to understand power are:

  • What are your positive qualities?
  • What achievements have you made?
  • What helps you achieve your goals?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What is your specialty?
  • What sets you apart from others?

Weakness or Weakness

Your weakness analysis will capture all the internal areas of improvement or vulnerabilities that exist in the subject you are evaluating. Some of the questions you might ask to understand the drawbacks are:

  • Internally, what makes it difficult to achieve goals?
  • What is something in your business or yourself that needs improvement?
  • What are you lacking (resources, technology, people, etc.)?
  • What do you need to achieve long-term goals?

Opportunities or Opportunities

Your opportunities section should list all external opportunities relevant to your subject. Some of the questions you might ask to understand opportunities are:

  • What products, services or information are popular with your audience?
  • Are there any external resources you can use to achieve your goals?
  • Can you benefit from current economic or market trends?
  • What technologies will be popular in the near future?
    How do stakeholders view your brand, product or service?

Threats or Threats

Your threats section should include all external threats that could have a negative impact on your subject. Some of the questions you might ask to understand the threat are:

  • Is market health expected to be poor or volatile?
  • Is your brand, product or service no longer needed?
  • Do competitors have a certain advantage over you?
  • How does your audience, industry or market view your company?#What could harm your business?
  • Are there any potential new competitors on the horizon?

Why Should You Use Swit Analysis?

SWOT analysis is used to get more information about all aspects of a problem, team, individual or other entity.

These evaluations are used in many businesses in almost every industry, as well as personally for individuals to assess their progress towards certain goals.

Many people use a SWOT analysis before they set team or organizational goals to ensure they are working towards achieving the appropriate ones.

This type of evaluation can be used in a variety of situations. Here are some examples of when a SWOT analysis can be useful:

  • When deciding on a new recruit
  • When designing a new product
  • When reviewing team or group performance
  • When reviewing individual performance
  • When evaluating an audience or market
  • When analyzing products for improvement
  • When analyzing processes for inefficiencies
  • When deciding where or how to focus resources
  • When determining your personal effectiveness in a role
  • When determining your strengths for a new role

How to Do a SWOT Analysis?

While there are several ways you can perform a SWOT analysis, here are some important steps you can take:

While there are several ways you can perform a SWOT analysis, here are some important steps you can take:

1. Clearly define the subject you are analyzing

Whether it’s a strategy toward a specific goal, a team’s performance, or a specific question about a product or market, clearly define what subject you want to analyze. This will help you gain clearer insights which will lead to a better overall evaluation.

Here are some sample subjects for analysis:

  • Improve sales team performance in January
  • Personal readiness to get an executive assistant job
  • Evaluating social media marketing strategy

2. Draw a SWOT framework

To perform a SWOT analysis, create a large square that is divided into four squares. In the top right box, you will note strength ( strength ). In the top left box you will note a weakness ( weakness ). In the lower right box, you will note the opportunities ( 0pportunities ). In the lower-left box, you will note threats ( threats) .

If you’re doing a personal SWOT, feel free to draw it in a notepad or work on an online document or spreadsheet. If you’re doing SWOT with a team, it might be helpful to draw a framework on the board or project a SWOT so everyone can see and contribute.

You can also drop the framework if you find it easier to write them sequentially in a document.

3. Fill in each box

Take the time to work through each box considering internal strengths, internal weaknesses, external opportunities, and external threats.

If you do this exercise with a team, it helps a lot if everyone participates. It will bring multiple points of view to help provide a more holistic understanding of SWOT.

4. Draw key conclusions

After completing the grid, take some time to understand how the recorded information helps inform your analysis.

For example, if you SWOT a job candidate, do they seem like a good match? Do their positive qualities help fill key skill gaps in the company? Can weaknesses or threats be overcome?

After completing the SWOT, it can be helpful to revisit after a certain amount of time. For example, if your SWOT reveals a particular weakness that you are working on improving for promotion, you can review your SWOT after working on that area.

This can help you gain a better understanding of how your job has changed after working toward a specific goal.

Case Examples in Conducting a SWOT Analysis

Here is an example of a complete SWOT analysis using one of our examples above. While this example contains only three bullet points per section, you can include as much or as little information as is useful:

SWOT Analysis: Social Media Marketing Strategy


  • New recruitment process accelerates output
  • Team dynamics make collaboration easy
  • Diverse strengths allow multiple areas of expertise


  • Many people with the same or overlapping responsibilities
  • Many different team goals
  • Hard to get market research


  • Platform real-time analysis enables rapid strategy changes
  • Audience is interested in video content
  • Market trends indicate that certain platforms are more popular than others


  • Major competitors have better brand awareness
  • Other similar products introduced to the market
  • Audience’s attention span is getting shorter

Overall, a SWOT analysis can help to assess a particular subject. You might just want to get a better understanding of something, or you could also create an action item as a result of your SWOT.

For example, you may notice that there are some internal flaws that can be easily fixed. From there, you can create individual or team goals to address those weaknesses.

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