Updated: What is SWOT Analysis? How to do it for your startup?

Have you ever tried to find out what is SWOT analysis? And why it is advisable for any startup? Why it is necessary to analyze every small thing before taking any decision? Let’s have a quick definition. A SWOT analysis is a methodology ideal to describe your startup in terms of specific factors that can impact upon it. In SWOT analysis, the Strengths and Weaknesses of the business are measured (its internal resources and capabilities) first. Then business Opportunities and Threats (any external or internal dangers to the organisation) are identified. This article contains swot analysis definition and examples both and in easy to understand language.

First of all, look at the bellow given example. It is the most easy and feasible way to carry out SWOT analysis. It also helps to list down favorable and unfavorable factors that can go against a particular situation. Generally it is carried out on a four-cell grid as shown in figure A.

what is swot analysis
Figure A (Image Courtesy – pestleanalysis.com)


In the first box list all the strengths of your company, i.e. list all positive characteristics. Why should you succeed? What will you do well? Why do customers say they enjoy business relations with you and what distinct advantages your company offer? Any SWOT analysis is essentially subjective, but try to evaluate at end user’s viewpoint.


A weakness may seriously impact on business performance. Deficiency in resource, skills, or capabilities can affect business outcomes. What steps can improve the business returns? Markets, staffing, management or control? Which hurdles you encounter? What does your company do that you should need to improve or what you should avoid? What do your competitors do better than you? Try to overcome each which affordable and feasible solution. Look at things from the outsider’s perspective, too.


Where are the openings for your business to grow? What you can do to expand operations? What customer needs are not being met by your competitors? List down every small but promising idea that can be a new opportunity for your business to expand.


Threats are equally important for any business to stay alive. Therefor they are used to determine the firm’s current or desired position. Possible threats are. What is your competition doing that could take business away from you or stunt your company’s growth? How your competitors may react to any moves you make? What trends do you see that could wipe you out or make your service or product obsolete? What technology changes threaten your products or services? Isn’t it? 🙂 🙂


organizational swot analysis

Here, a sample SWOT analysis example is given. It was actually carried out by Dell in the mid 90’s to analyze its market position due to heavy competition from industry giants like IBM and Compaq:

          Strengths:                         Weaknesses:
  • Selling products directly to the customers
  • Keeping costs below that of competitors
  • Higher responsiveness to customer demands
  • No partnerships or strong relationships with computer retailers
         Opportunities:          Threats:
  • Desire of customers for one-stop shopping
  • Customers’ increasing knowledge about what they want in computers
  • Internet as a marketing tool
  • Stronger brand name of competitors like IBM and Compaq
  • Strong relationship of competitors with retailers

The above example gives clear idea regarding effectiveness and easy usability of SWOT analysis. It also gives an idea to entrepreneur what to do to take business at next level. And in addition, it is also useful for both personal swot analysis as well as organizational swot analysis.

You can also download free SWOT analysis template from our page. – Download free e-books, business templates and spreadsheets

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