SWOT Analysis

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Identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.


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SWOT Analysis

What is a SWOT analysis? Description

A SWOT analysis is a tool, used in management and strategy formulation. It can help to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a particular company. 

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that create value or destroy value. They can include assets, skills, or resources that a company has at its disposal, compared to its competitors. They can be measured using internal assessments or external benchmarking.

Opportunities and threats are external factors that create value or destroy value. A company cannot control them. But they emerge from either the competitive dynamics of the industry/market or from demographic, economic, political, technical, social, legal or cultural factors (PEST).

Typical examples of factors in a SWOT Analysis diagram:


  • Specialist marketing expertise
  • Exclusive access to natural resources
  • Patents
  • New, innovative product or service
  • Location of your business
  • Cost advantage through proprietary know-how
  • Quality processes and procedures
  • Strong brand or reputation


  • Lack of marketing expertise
  • Undifferentiated products and service (i.e. in relation to your competitors)
  • Location of your company
  • Competitors have superior access to distribution channels
  • Poor quality of goods or services
  • Damaged reputation


  • Developing market (China, the Internet)
  • Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances
  • Moving into new attractive market segments
  • A new international market
  • Loosening of regulations
  • Removal of international trade barriers
  • A market that is led by a weak competitor


  • A new competitor in your own home market
  • Price war
  • Competitor has a new, innovative substitute product or service
  • New regulations
  • Increased trade barriers
  • A potential new taxation on your product or service

Any organization must try to create a fit with its external environment. The SWOT diagram is a very good tool for analyzing the (internal) strengths and weaknesses of a corporation and the (external) opportunities and threats. However, this analysis is just the first step. To really create the fit with the external environment is often the most difficult work.

Confrontation Matrix

A tool to combine the internal factors with the external factors is the Confrontation Matrix.







make the most of these


restore strengths




watch competition closely


turn around

Often in reality the two columns of the SWOT diagram are pointing in opposite directions. Strategists must still deal with the paradox of creating alignment. This can be done via Outside-in strategy formulation (market-driven strategy) or Inside-out strategy formulation (resource-driven).

Note: you can also apply a SWOT analysis to competitors, often providing interesting new perspectives.

SWOT Analysis Forum
  Divide and Conquer Approach to SWOT
I recommend that the SWOT analysis be disaggregate...
  SWOT Analysis or SWOCC Analysis?
I think SWOT Analysis does not always help analyze...
  Be Careful with SWOT Analysis. Issues and Risks of SWOT
I am not that happy with SWOT Analysis. My issue d...
  Using SWOT Analysis for Supplier Audits
This would be a good tool to use during the evalua...
  Involve Stakeholders in SWOT Analysis
Usually SWOT analysis is used by middle or higher ...
  Be Careful with Viewing Industry Opportunities as Company Opportunities
Managers are advised to guard against considering ...
  SWOT Analysis as a Brainstorming Technique
SWOT analysis can be used in each organization. It...
  WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?
At what stage should an organization develop a SWO...
  Internal Opportunities and Threats
What about the opportunities and threats that exis...
  SWOT Analysis Strength
I think companies strategies on which company is w...
  SWOT Analysis for British Airways and Ryan Air
Would anybody be able to suggest some key points t...
  Combine SWOT Analysis with 5 Ps
I always do a SWOT analysis against the 5 Ps. Peop...
  Design Shool Theory vs. SWOT
Whats the difference between a SWOT analysis and t...
  Turning Competitor's Weaknesses Into Opportunities
How can I turn my rival's internal weaknesses i...
  SWOT and Strategic Marketing Process
How does the SWOT analysis relate to the strategic...
  SWOT Analysis + Weightage
SWOT analysis is a basic tool for any marketing ma...
  Well suited for Crisis too
In this moment of crisis, I never see a better too...
  Swot Analysis Well Suited as First Step
Swot becomes an effective tool for analysing compe...
  SWOC Analysis instead of SWOT Analysis
The "T" in SWOT can be changed to "C" for Challeng...

SWOT Analysis Special Interest Group

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Best Practices - SWOT Analysis Premium
  How to Proceed after the SWOT Analysis to the Strategy?
What should we do after the SWOT analysis. In othe...
  Combining SWOT with other Strategy Tools
It is my experience that the SWOT analysis as a st...
  Uses of SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is frequently used in an early sta...

Expert Tips - SWOT Analysis Premium

Steps of Typical SWOT ProcessSign up

Here's a list of typical phases in a medium size <...
Usage (application): SWOT Analysis

SWOT Strengths and VRIO testSign up

In order to analyze true, valid strengths i...
Usage (application): Thoroughly Analyzing Strengths

SWOT Dos and DontsSign up

- Do create an environment that stimulates active ...
Usage (application): Successful Implementation

10 SWOT Golden RulesSign up

1. Precisely specify all factors to be listed. Avo...
Usage (application): SWOT Implementation, SWOT Best Practices

SWOT Applications and AimsSign up

The SWOT Analysis can be generally carried out on:...
Usage (application): SWOT Insight

Critics on SWOT AnalysisSign up

Although over the last 40 years SWOT Analysis has ...
Usage (application): SWOT PItfalls, Improve your Usage of SWOT

How to Attribute Scores to All SWOT FactorsSign up

A typical best practice in implementing a SWOT Ana...
Usage (application): SWOT Analysis Implementation

SWOT DisadvantagesSign up

Here are the main disadvantages of using a SWOT An...
Usage (application): SWOT in Strategic Planning

SWOT AdvantagesSign up

Here following are the main advantages of using a ...
Usage (application): SWOT in Strategic Planning

Questions to Analyze the External EnvironmentSign up

When performing a SWOT Analysis, a common practice...
Usage (application): External Environment Analysis

History of SWOT. Early Strategic PlanningSign up

The origin of the SWOT Analysis has been credited ...
Usage (application): Background SWOT Analysis

Resources - SWOT Analysis Premium

Internal AnalysisSign up

Comprehensive presentation about the internal part...
Usage (application): Strategic Analysis

SWOT AnalysisSign up

Presentation by Shabbar Suterwala with some good g...
Usage (application): SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis with ExampleSign up

Lecture about SWOT Analysis by Shashi includes sel...
Usage (application): Self SWOT Analysis

SWOT AnalysisSign up

Short presentation by Carlos A. Benito about SWOT ...
Usage (application): SWOT Analysis

Techniques for Entrepreneurial ThinkingSign up

This presentation elaborates on the different type...
Usage (application): Entrepreneurship, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Lateral Thinking, Entrepreneurial Thinking

SWOT, SOFT DiagramsSign up

Download and edit this 12manage PowerPoint graphic...
Usage (application): SWOT, SOFT Analysis

TOWS Matrix (Heinrich)Sign up

In-depth article by Prof. Klaus Weihrich introduci...
Usage (application): TOWS Analysis, SWOT Analysis

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Books about Swot AnalysisSign up


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Compare with: Core Competence  |  Parenting Advantage  |  Porter's five forces model  |  Outsourcing  |  Industry Change  |  OODA Loop  |  BCG Matrix  |  GE Matrix  |  Strategic Management

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Special Interest Group Leader
Chander Shenoy
Business Consultant

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