SWOT is the acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a tool which can be used on both personal and business level. In personal context, the tool allows you to develop and organize a career path which makes the most of your capabilities and talents; whereas in business context, the tool helps to identify your resources and success in a highly competitive environment.

Albert Humphrey is credited for inventing the tool in the decade of sixties. Fortune 500 companies as well as other SME’s still practice SWOT analysis for crafting strategies which assist them in grabbing a competitive position locally as well as globally.
SWOT Matrix or Analysis Template

Customer Base
Market Position
Financial Resources
Sales Channels


Low Profit Margin
Market Position
Lack of Funding
Poor Access to Distribution


Changing Customer Tastes
Liberalization of Markets
Technical Advancements
Low Personal Taxes
New Distribution Channels


Tax Increases
Low Brand Awareness
Core Activates
Gap in Required Skills

SWOT Strengths

Strength refers to those abilities or resources which provide competitive edge. It is on the basis of strengths that an entity enjoys a successful position among competitors. Strengths have to be maintained or improved.
Example of SWOT Strengths
Personal Strength

Qualification, experience, social contacts, confidence, financial status, honesty, intellectualness etc.
Business Strength

Marketing expertise, sufficient financial resources, innovation, business location etc.
SWOT Weaknesses

Weakness refers to those factors which need to be changed or eliminated for the benefit of the individual or business.
Example of SWOT Weaknesses
Personal Weakness

Financial pressure, social limitations, poor character, lack of confidence etc.
Business Weakness

Undifferentiated products and services, bad market reputation, sub standard quality and procedures, poor management etc.
SWOT Opportunities

Opportunities refer to those factors which are good for the individual or company’s success in future. These opportunities need to be captured and optimized.
Example of SWOT Opportunities
Personal Threats

Job openings, scholarships, entrepreneurship opportunities etc.
Business Threats

Brand extensions, new and profitable market segments, joint ventures, alliances, mergers, global expansion etc.
SWOT Threats

Threats are the obstacles which must be minimized, managed or eliminated in order to make the most of opportunities and strengths.
Example of SWOT Threats
Personal Threats

Obsolescence of skills and knowledge, legal proceedings, taxation, inflation etc.
Business Threats

New competitors, taxation, price wars etc.
Core Business Analysis

After carrying out SWOT analysis, individuals and companies realize that strengths and weaknesses come from within whereas opportunities and threats arise from external factors that is the factors under the control of a third person such as government policies, social, demographical and political trends. For this reason, SWOT analysis is also called as internal-external analysis.

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