Business Plan Center

Perform a SWOT analysis

Create a SWOT grid to analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and develop your business strategy. Include four quadrants in your grid, each outlining your business's internal strengths, internal weaknesses, external opportunities,

Published: April 24, 2015
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How to create a SWOT grid

Analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to develop your business strategy. Create a SWOT grid with four quadrants, using the questions as your starting point.

The x-axis should have one column for positive factors and one column for negative factors. The y-axis should have one row for external factors and one row for negative factors.

In the first quadrant, where positive meets internal, you'll list your strengths:

  • Do you have specialized skills or experience?
  • What do you do better than your competitors?
  • What beneficial resources and relationships do you have access to?
  • Other factors

In the second quadrant, where negative meets internal, you'll list your weaknesses:

  • What are your customers’ complaints?
  • Are any of your policies and practices out-of-date?
  • How could you spend time and money more efficiently?
  • Other factors

In the third quadrant, where positive meets external, you'll list your opportunities:

  • Which business and technology trends can you use to your advantage?
  • Are there any new markets in which you could expand?
  • How can you capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses?
  • Other factors

In the fourth quadrant, where negative meets external, you'll list your threats:

  • Is the overall economy hurting your finances?
  • Could legal regulations slow your operations?
  • Are competitors stealing your customers or employees?
  • Other factors
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