Ever had an annoying fly buzzing around you? You swat and swipe and you just can't get it away from you until you grab the right tool. I certainly have. Much like a fly swatter is the right tool for getting that pesky fly the swot analysis is often times the right tool to help you identify four very important elements of business, projects or venture objectives.
SWOT stands for; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis is most commonly shown in a quadrant and views your objectives from two key "points of view," internal and external. Along with the internal and external threats you will be able to identify positive opportunities and negative factors as shown in the template below.
The Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
You may have noticed already but there is no standard format for a SWOT template, although many will include the same basic elements.
The objective of performing a SWOT analysis is to convert threats into opportunities, opportunities into strengths and weaknesses into strengths. Some templates may switch arrows around to visually remind users of this important concept. Switching the arrows around provides a visual reminder that in our analysis we need to take action and put effort into those key conversions. Although it would not make much sense to try and convert an external threat into an internal weakness it does make sense on the other three elements of the quadrant.
How to build your SWOT Template
The SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can be used to analyze and strengthen organizations. Use the questions shown below for each of the 4 quadrants and you should be able to develop some very solid data worth acting on. Keep in mind you should mold the questions to fit your specific needs, however the questions below will help you get started.
These questions can help you generate a good start to some better actions that will help your company. Think of the SWOT analysis as a way of gathering the current condition of each of the four categories; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. But don't forget the SWOT analysis is only good if you DO something with it.