SWOT Analysis: Definition and Examples

SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool, designed to perform an internal analysis (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external (Opportunities and Threats) in the company. From this point of view, the word SWOT is an acronym created from each initial letter of the terms mentioned above.

The SWOT analysis of a company is a study through which an evaluation is made of internal and external agents that influence a corporate entity, both positively and negatively.

SWOT Analysis History

Before considering the meaning of the SWOT, let’s take a look at its history and understand the reason for its creation. In this regard, the creator of the SWOT Analysis or SWOT Matrix was Albert S. Humphrey, who died in October 2005.

This study was carried out by Albert, with the purpose of knowing why long-term corporate planning failed. It was necessary to set goals that were realistic; So a group was created in 1960 by Robert Stewart, to found a management system that promised to approve and commit to development work, now known as “change management.”

Now, thousands of companies were visited, to interview thousands of executives; concluding that, those who were chief executives had to be the chiefs of planning, in addition, the immediate chiefs also had to confirm it.

Thus discovering that the present would be satisfactory, the future the opportunity, what is bad in the present is a fault and if the future is bad it is a threat, becoming the acronym SOFA, then, in 1964, the F was changed to W, thus arriving, the SWOT, or SWOT Analysis.

What is the SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is an acronym that represents the study of Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats, a company, or simply a person, this acrostic is applied to any situation, in which an analysis or study is needed.

Looking to guide with the study what are the strengths of the organization, whether in terms of its resources, its quality, etc. Likewise, externally it can study the threats that may exist as in the political or social sphere.

It should be noted that, the SWOT is a fundamental tool in the administration and in the planning process, in fact, with this study you will benefit from a business plan, being able to give strength to the acronym of opportunity, achieving others, the real situation in which the company or project is located, and to be able to plan some future strategy.

What is the SWOT analysis for?

To know  what the SWOT analysis is , the first thing we have to take into account is that the SWOT is structured in two distinct parts: what influences the internal scope of the company and what influences the external scope of the company. One of the most practical and usual cases in which the DOFA matrix is demanded  is the moment in which the foundations are laid to create a company , since based on this an exhaustive study will be prepared with which its reliability will be verified. Based on this classification, the SWOT analysis of a company  will evaluate the following sections:

  • Company Strengths
  • Company weaknesses
  • Company Opportunities
  • Company threats
  • Template to do a SWOT analysis

Strengths of a company

One of the purposes of the SWOT analysis is to provide detailed information about the most positive points of a company . These are activities that are somehow highly efficient for the corporate and the great values ​​for which it is known. These are the strengths of a company that, within the structure of the SWOT analysis, are part of the internal section.

What are the strengths of a company

The strengths of a company serve to find out in which areas a company stands out for its daily activity and how it can enhance them. It is a way of contemplating the viability of a company based on what it does best. For example, knowing how to run a company, having good communication skills, having satisfactory employment contracts for workers, etc. Only then, knowing what the strengths of a company are, will it have the opportunity to design its strategies to strengthen its work both internally and externally.

Weaknesses of a company

The weaknesses of a company are a key to identify gaps in a company and achieve the objectives defined within a project factor. Throughout the SWOT analysis, the weaknesses and strengths of a company study what tasks can be an impediment to daily work and what are the possible ways to solve it from its potential points.

What are the weaknesses of a company

To know what are the weaknesses of a company, the first thing that we must take into account is that they are part of the  structure of the SWOT analysis  internally. This means that the information provided together with the strengths of a company, will help us in this part of the SWOT to understand how the operation of a company is based on its activity. The weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of a company ultimately determine the resolving abilities and skills of an identity, therefore knowing the deficiencies will be the key to changing the focus of a campaign or project.

Opportunities of a company

The SWOT analysis seeks to provide us with all the information – both positive and negative – of the internal and external factors of the company . Getting the most out of your company will control the negative aspects and benefit from the positive ones. To do this you must define a good business strategy .

Within the structure of the SWOT analysis, in the external section, you will find the opportunities . Knowing how to recognize them and apply them to your business will be a positive change for your company. To take advantage of a company’s opportunities you have to be able to build the right strategy.

What are the opportunities of a company?

Knowing what a company’s opportunities are and when they arise can mean business success. The opportunities of a company appear in its environment (trends, events, fashion, economy …). The opportunities of a company are a series of positive factors that are generated abroad and that, once recognized, must be taken advantage of through a business strategy to obtain benefits. Some of the opportunities with which your company can be found are:

  • Market growth
  • Enter new markets
  • Technology implementation
  • New products that cover new customers

When doing the SWOT analysis you must take into account the importance of the opportunities of a company . Opportunities are an external factor to the company that can mean the growth and development of the company or its stagnation.

How to identify the opportunities of a company?

Identifying the opportunities of a company means being in constant contact with the outside to know how to find the perfect one. When recognizing an opportunity you must assess whether it will mean a significant change in your company before defining a new strategy.

Identifying an opportunity in your company does not just happen to wait for a new foreign market to open or a customer is unhappy. Opportunities may also appear if you manage to anticipate and differentiate yourself from other competitors through a more direct competition analysis.

Threats of a company

As you know, the SWOT Analysis is a tool that serves to know the current situation of the company both internally and externally, and helps to define objectives or improve those already marked. To do this you must establish what are your strategies, your strengths, your weaknesses, etc. Making the most of your company is essential to keep progressing.

When conducting a  SWOT analysis  , a structure of the SWOT analysis must be followed and internal and external factors must be taken into account. Next, we will check how a company’s threats should work .

What are the threats of a company?

The objective of SWOT Analysis

  • Strengths: the attributes or skills that industry or company contains to achieve the objectives.
  • Weaknesses: what is harmful or unfavourable factors for the execution of the objective.
  • Opportunities: external conditions, what is visible to all of the popularity and competitiveness of the industry or organization uses to achieve the objective.
  • Threats: the harmful, what threatens the survival of the industry or company that are external, which, could become opportunities, to achieve the objective.

Procedure to develop a SWOT analysis

    • Define the objective

      Have a perspective of how the new project in the market could be from the beginning to the end, already clearly identified the objective. The SWOT analysis begins to develop its role by helping its search in the strategic planning model.

    • SWOT Development

      A: Information on strengths and weaknesses

      1. Create a list of current strengths
      2. A list of current weaknesses.

      B: information on opportunities and threats

      1. Create a current list of future opportunities
      2. Create a current list of real threats in the future.

      The lists must contain real and current information with the points well specified and explain simply.

      Then, the 4 elements must be evaluated by the team.

      1. Evaluate the strategies or procedures to follow
      2. Prepare the work plan.

  • Run it

    By identifying and evaluating the SWOT results, the necessary strategies will begin to be developed in the short or long term.

    To develop a SWOT Analysis, you must have an internal and external study of the organization; In this way, you can continue in the market without any problems and respond to the changing environment in an effective and proactive way.

    Also, with a good SWOT study and analysis, the company can meet the goals that have been set, locate its weaknesses and can transform them quickly and efficiently, into opportunities.

    SWOT Analysis examples

    Strength Examples

    • Nice workplace
    • final product quality
    • credits for employees
    • Offices must be well equipped and with office supplies in excellent condition and quality.
    • Motivated and happy human resources
    • Quality technical and administrative processes
    • High-level services.

    Weakness Examples

    • Poor salaries and non-punctual payments
    • Team of damaged, deficient and outdated offices.
    • Do not train staff
    • Financial problems
    • Low level of sale
    • Lack of planning
    • Poor manager
    • Do not give incentives or credits to staff.

    Examples of Opportunities

    • Constant industry growth
    • High demand for services or products
    • Low rates
    • Product Need

    Threat Examples

    • Strong competition
    • Price increase
    • Little or low employee hiring
    • Consolidated market competition
    • Low growth of the organization or company.

    The objective of the interactive SWOT Analysis

    It is worth mentioning that, this objective is essential to determine, predict and be able to make a decision, also, to be aware of the company’s environment and what are the threats and opportunities, and internally know its strength or weaknesses with the object of being able to fret any threatening situation.

    SWOT technique

    In this regard, the SWOT technique is mainly oriented to the analysis and resolution of problems so that it is carried out to identify and analyze the Strengths and Weaknesses of the organization, as well as the Opportunities (exploited and untapped) and Threats revealed by the information obtained from the external context.

    Components of a SWOT Analysis

    Internal Components of a SWOT Analysis

    Here, you can find in this tool the weaknesses and strengths to others you can recognize them, in these ways you will be able to help the company to minimize or optimize it respectively.

    Factors such as:

    1. Production: this department shows its productive capacity, quality levels, inventory costs, work shifts, quality etc.
    2. Marketing: the image is a distinguished organization, the cost of advertising, promotions, positioning the empresa.etc.
    3. Organization: control and organization management processes.
    4. Personnel: human resources, rotation, training, selection etc.
    5. Finance: the resources available to the company, profitability, liquidity, etc.

    External Components of a SWOT Analysis

    Detail and investigate the opportunities and threats recognized in the environment.

    Factors such as:

    1. Market: Segmentation, the evolution of demand, and consumer behaviour.
    2. Sector: look for the possibilities of success, product substitution.
    3. Competition: analyze the products of other organizations or companies, their prices, and the advertising they have.
    4. Environment: the political, social, legal etc.
    5. Positive: opportunities
    6. Negative: threats

    The analysis is not limited in the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats of the company, but in obtaining a response and being able to take a particular action to effectively answer questions such as:

    • Is the company able to undertake attractive strategies?
    • If the company has skills and resources, what opportunities can it look for?
    • What are the defences before undertaking any strategy, what threats should managers worry about?
    • If a strategy has been taken to solve a threat, is it currently working?
    • Is the company competitively solid?

    SWOT analysis in the individual

    Returning to the idea set forth at the beginning of the article, the one that not only the SWOT is for companies, organizations or industry, as mentioned at the beginning is a tool that is also applicable to people, where it will allow you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of x individual.

    However, this SWOT analysis is more difficult to apply in a human being since the level of acceptance regarding negative aspects that they may have of themselves will not be well determined, so it is necessary that another close person determines the study to Be able to get good and real results.

    This personal SWOT analysis will allow the individual to take the corresponding measures, take new challenges in the future, grow as a person, social, economic, and another aspect to improve or persevere.

    Summary of SWOT Analysis

    According to the ideas presented we must be clear and understand the acronym SWOT, let’s see.


    1. What do you do better?
    2. Do you differ in any way?


    1. What are the opportunities that are presented to you, are they within your reach?
    2. Do you have trends in which you can benefit?
    3. Do I have enough resources to meet or meet the stated objectives?


    1. Can you improve on something?
    2. Are you at a disadvantage over others?
    3. Are there any characteristics that keep the organization from its objectives?


    1. What distracts you?
    2. Watch your competition?
    3. Is there too much competition?

    Obviously, to elaborate a SWOT Analysis, it takes time necessary for the company not to be stagnant, or, worse, that the company goes bankrupt and ends up disappearing, this analysis should not be elaborated loudly, you must have all the necessary information of the company, the main thing is to know it and improve what has to be improved.

    The SWOT Analysis is timely approach that allows developing another approach or direction of the future of the company, improving its departments and its structures respectively, effectively employing necessary strategies for the proper development of the same and the optimal emergence; SWOT, is a tool that any company must at some time use, in order to give a new twist, to the trade, institution, company, organization, industry or of an individual for the optimal development and an objective assessment of any situation that arises and to be able to make an effective decision making.

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