How to use a SWOT analysis template: 8 tips

Angelica A.
May 7, 2020
  |  

How to use a SWOT analysis template: 8 tips

Angelica A.
May 7, 2020
  |  

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A SWOT analysis is an important analytic tool. Business owners use it to help themselves in making essential decisions. In this article, we’ll expand on how to use a SWOT analysis template and the eight tips you should consider.

What’s a SWOT analysis?

The SWOT analysis consists of a plan you create before moving forward with business decisions. It’s one with which you can evaluate both negative and positive factors that are interacting with your business. 

The SWOT acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The idea is for it to allow the evaluation of all those attributes that are most important to your startup. It also helps organize them, both internally as well as externally.

Especially when you rely on free SWOT analysis templates, the exercise of filling or creating one should help understand the state of your company better. The plus side is that it does so in a more visually appealing and organized way. 

Let’s get to the tips now. 

1. Outline strengths you can control

It should be easy to think about your business strengths. It should also be an enjoyable exercise that makes you feel good about your company. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, remember to only list strengths you can control. Think of those areas you can keep a certain way. These might be relationships you’re building or tangible assets your company has acquired, for example.

2. State what makes you stronger than competitors

Remember to consider your competition as you think about your strengths above. Look for those assets that make you stronger than your competitors. It’s crucial you focus on the aspects that make you unique, whatever makes you stand out from the crowd. Consider whatever you’re building as your brand. Then point it out everywhere you can, including business pitches and presentations. As you consider the needs you’re filling in a particular market, these competitive advantages will be worth stressing. 

3. Don’t see honesty as a weakness

Making a list of your company’s weaknesses can be hard. The process of creating your SWOT analysis can bring out a lot of underlying and well-known fears. Just remember to stay honest about the areas in which you need to work towards improvement. 

Every business has areas such as these that are calling for scaling and growth. The point with this assessment is precisely to help visualize and solve those issues to take your company to the next level. So stay focused and work on turning those weaknesses into opportunities. Eventually, these can lead to severe advantages. 

An excellent free SWOT analysis template should also point you in the right direction in this process. Make room in your SWOT analysis template for arousing questions; those that may lead to answers of which you might not necessarily have thought of before.

4. Mind the gap

Drawing on wisdom from our English buddies’ streets, mind the gap that exists within your team when thinking about your startup weaknesses. 

When you craft a SWOT analysis template, make sure you consider the gaps in a team’s skills. Take into account the void that’s missing within your company. 

If you should include people in your team you haven’t yet hired or for whom you haven’t even posted a job opening, stimulate that boost. 

Make sure you force the template for users to follow up on any areas that need their attention for improvement. You might need to finally hire someone to look after your not-so-constant social media publications. Or you might need to look for the designer who will focus on that big area that will drive customer retention through the roof. 

The best part about looking at a startups’ weaknesses and gaps is how easily solvable some of them can be. By truly addressing these, you might easily find yourself moving forward very quickly. 

5. Know you can drive your impact

Opportunities should be exciting. Start thinking about possibilities that are external to your own company, and use that as a chance to look outside your day-to-day focus. Doing so should help you choose where to best channel your energy to make a significant impact. 

Being creative and very focused on looking into business opportunities is critical in learning how to do a SWOT analysis template, as well. Exercising so in successful ways will drive direction for your company. It will define the steps you need to follow to reach measurable goals. And that will assist in company growth, making your business hopefully more profitable.

6. Dive deep into opportunity research

So do your research. If you come up with an accurate and conscientious SWOT analysis, you’ll result in knowing what’s happening with your business. Stop making guesses or as close as you can get to informed decisions. 

On the contrary, thoroughly research your competition, your target market, the consumer audience. The better you know your business’s playing field, the more you can fortify your business offer. 

Identify the advantages to your product or service out of confirmed knowledge through extensive research. Events will come up in the process to which you can tend to market your product more successfully.

7. Prep for threats with analysis

Even though threats stand at the end of your SWOT analysis, these also call for considerable research. You need to check ahead of time if there’s any chance at new competitors inserting in your market, for instance. Cover your bases. 

Fortunately, creating a SWOT analysis template will help you look into what and on whom you can genuinely rely. Look closely at your possibilities to determine which factors are outside your control. Then prepare your team and company to face eventualities. 

All of this groundwork will allow some contingency to face worst-case scenarios.

8. Make sure to check the ground below you

The last question you need to ask yourself is how stable you are. Again, bear in mind that threats are external forces for which you should always be on the lookout. Keep an eye out for unstable markets or relationships. 

You should consider wide and large scenarios, such as the political stability of a particular provider or headquartered country or region. Many financial, political, social, and consumer-based factors can take a toll on your business. Do your homework and apply a thorough look at the ground on which your business stands. Is it legitimately stable? 

Spare time on free SWOT analysis templates

All in all, especially now that you’re inspired thinking of all the forces possibly impacting your business, choose one of our free SWOT analysis templates, and customize it to create your resource on the Slidebean app. Work on efficient ways with stunning design to make your business grow. If designing is not your cup of tea, call on us to help with our design services at any time!

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