SWOT Analysis | Excel Template FREE

SWOT stands strengths, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal while opportunities and threats external to the company. SWOT analyses can be used at many levels in a business: for a team, department, project, or a whole company. It is a well-known tool, that is simple to use and understand. It is best carried out by a team who have prepared in advance by ‘walking the halls’ talking to staff and canvasing customers.
Excel SWOT Analysis

Winning tip for successful SWOT!

In The Little Book of Big Management Theories, McGrath and Bates note that most SWOT analyses are next to useless because people forget that a strength is only a strength if it provides a competitive advantage, and a weakness is only a weakness if it causes a competitive disadvantage. For example, having a great product is only a strength if it really is better than the competition, and having a newly trained team is only a weakness if it means you are more likely to lose out to your competitor(s).

Questions to help identify your Strengths

  • What are our unique strengths? For example, most HR teams are qualified and experienced what is unique about us?
  • What makes us stand out against the competition?
  • What would our competitors say we are good at?
  • What do our customers like best about us/our product?

Questions to help find your Weaknesses

  • What does our competition do better?
  • Why do we lose against [competitors name]?
  • What do our competitors do that we don’t? What do our competitors have that we don’t?
  • What do our customers like least about us? What is the biggest complaint?

Examples of Threats

  • bad debt
  • disruptive competition or technology
  • distribution problems
  • economic issues
  • industrial action
  • industrial espionage
  • security issues (IT or location)
  • key staff leave business
  • mergers of competitors
  • natural disasters or adverse environmental conditions
  • new market entrants
  • pricing actions by competitors
  • regulations and legislation
  • social and demographic factors impact customer tastes or habits
  • supply chain issues
  • war and civil unrest

Examples of Opportunities

  • acquisitions
  • competitor failure/closure
  • divestments (selling subsidiary assets, investments, or divisions)
  • mergers
  • new investment
  • new markets
  • new technologies
  • partnerships
  • political, economic, regulatory and trade developments
  • product upgrades, new products

Download the Excel SWOT template

Excel download - SWOT analysis template (.xlsx)

Excel download - SWOT analysis template (.xls)

OpenDocument Spreadsheet - SWOT analysis template (.ods)

References and further reading

James McGrath and Bob Bates. Second edition, 2017. The Little Book of Big Management Theories: and how to use them. Pearson Business: Harlow.

Jeremy Kourdi. 2015. The Big 100 - The 100 Business tools you need to succeed. John Murray Learning: London.

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