A SWOT analysis enables you to compile company or individual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in one table for effective decision making. You can complete the studies faster by using SWOT analysis templates.
Businesses resort to data-driven decision-making for actionable insights. One such process is to conduct a SWOT analysis when launching a new product or addressing business operations performance issues. Read on to understand the theory, its use cases, and online resources that make the evaluation effortless.
What Is SWOT Analysis?
Businesses and individuals can utilize a systematic and visual framework to draw strategic planning and decision-making roadmaps. Such a visual framework requires internal and external data inputs for accurate evaluation.
Once the assessment is over, it generates a clear picture of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the assessee could be a business or a person. This framework is known as SWOT analysis.
An error-free SWOT analysis requires fact-based inputs and realistic data. The team that will conduct the SWOT analysis should keep aside internal biases, grey areas, and preconceived beliefs about the subject (company or people) on which the analysis is being carried out.
SWOT analysis helps identify individuals’ or businesses’ weaknesses and which threats or competitors could make things difficult in the market. It also reveals strengths and opportunity points based on which someone can overcome difficulties in business, professional, or personal life.
Importance of SWOT Analysis
Businesses regularly perform SWOT analysis before making investment decisions or modifying the existing business processes. If performed correctly and without any bias, the analysis reveals the external and internal factors that could drive the growth of any new or existing project.
Internal factors like the company’s strengths and weaknesses can be quickly addressed if you know the fault lines. Similarly, you can act fast to grab any business opportunity or tread cautiously on a path where your competitor is fundamentally strong. Opportunities and competitors/threats are the external factors.
Conducting this study is quite effortless when you use a SWOT analysis template. Here are the reasons why you should perform this analysis for businesses or personal brands:
#1. Decision Making and Strategic Planning
When you perform the study with a specific decision or planning in mind, you get the maximum benefit. For example, do the evaluation to decide:
- Whether the business needs a specific technology
- Creating a plan to address changes in market trends
- Whether to invest in a completely new line of service or product
#2. Addressing Internal Issues
SWOT analysis of different departments of the company helps you to mitigate the following issues:
- Operations performance and efficiency
- Organizational framework
- Human resource
- Business image
Apart from the above use cases, the most obvious application of this evaluation system is to capitalize on your company’s strengths by discovering and visualizing them. Also, brainstorm on threats and weaknesses to find alternatives or mitigate the issues to pave a profitable route for your business’s future.
Since SWOT analysis is highly popular among professionals and businesses, many IT companies offer ready-to-use blueprints. You can simply edit them online, download them, and share them with your team or board for further analysis. Here are some popular sources or SWOT Templates:
Canva (PDF, JPEG)
Canva is a popular online graphic design tool that also offers several business analysis templates. One of such Canva templates is for SWOT analysis. Its ready-to-edit templates come in several designs depending on the type of survey you will be conducting.
Though there are some free templates for this category in Canva, most professional-looking or advanced formats are either paid or pro. Therefore, if you need a viable SWOT analysis format for business purposes, you will need a pro subscription to Canva.
Alternatively, you can build on the free templates and customize them in the Canva editor. Its Elements library has various graphical elements that you can add to free templates to make them look professional and business-ready. The free plan only offers JPEG and PDF downloads of your designs.
Aha (Powerpoint, Excel)
Aha is a popular name for product development software. It also offers free business strategy roadmap resources like SWOT analysis templates in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint file formats. Aha has a variety of SWOT study formats like the 2×2 simple matrix, top-down, comparison with competitors, and growth strategy.
However, like Canva, there is no graphical user editor where you can personalize these formats. Instead, you can simply download the templates you need and open the files using compatible software, like PowerPoint or Excel. Hence, you can easily edit the file in a familiar environment and present it to the audience.
Visual Paradigm (JPEG, PDF)
Visual Paradigm is another popular online tool for graphic designing. It focuses its tools on producing infographics and logical diagrams. As a part of diagramming product, it offers a few free templates for SWOT analysis. A unique feature of this tool is the completely free usage of the templates without any account creation.
Hence, if you do not want to give away personal information, Visual Paradigm is ideal for you. Also, you can download a high-quality image of your SWOT study in several formats like JPEG, PDF, PNG, and SVG.
Its templates come with pre-populated data for different business use cases like Tesla, Amazon, Nike, Coca-Cola, etc. Additionally, there are personal and general formats that you can use for non-business purposes.
TemplateLab (Word, PDF)
TemplateLab is a high-quality source for business, personal, real estate, and legal document templates. You will find different types of SWOT analysis formats in this portal under the business template section. The website currently offers more than 20 professional SWOT study formats.
Among these ready-to-edit templates, the most popular ones are for SWOT analysis in businesses, career, human resources, finance, hospitality & hotel, product or services marketing, retail, and academic institutions.
There are no online editors on TemplateLab that you can use to personalize the templates. Instead, you can download these templates for free in various useful file formats like Docx for Word, PDF, and PPTX for PowerPoint.
Beautiful.ai is gaining momentum as an online and convenient PowerPoint alternative. Besides being a powerful slideshows creator, it has a vast template library of useful business documents, among which the SWOT study template is a section of importance.
Its template library is still in the development phase since it offers only a few SWOT survey templates. Though there are limited templates, you can utilize the highly elaborate slideshow editor of Beutiful.ai for the customizations you need.
Its editor has several design components that you can use like color palettes, layouts, shapes with text placeholders, etc. The online tool gives you 14-days free access to its content, excluding pro content and features. The free-trial period also lets you export your design in JPEG format.
Slide Hunter (Powerpoint)
Many Microsoft PowerPoint users rely on Slide Hunter for professional and high-quality slideshow templates. You will also find some good and freely usable SWOT analysis templates in its PowerPoint template library.
Though the portal claims it offers free templates, you surely have to provide some of your personal information to download the files. Upon download, the portal will ask you for social media (LinkedIn and Twitter) or email-based (Google account) login.
The downloaded file comes in PPTX format, which is fully compatible with PowerPoint. Hence, you can conveniently edit, publish, and present your SWOT analysis from PowerPoint. The good thing is that you do not need to learn a new software interface to make customizations.
Whenever you need infographics, you may visit PresentationGo for high-quality designs. But did you know that the portal also offers SWOT analysis examples in PPTX (PowerPoint) format? That is right! You can get these templates for free with a single click. Unlike other free templates portals, PresentationGo does not ask you for personal data.
However, it has very few templates on its portal. Also, there are specific terms and conditions for each template file. You can use these templates for commercial, educational, and personal use with attribution. However, you can not sell or distribute these templates as your own content.
Creately (PDF, JPEG)
Creately is a renowned online whiteboard app that combines databases with collaborative work. As a part of the whiteboard feature, the tool lets you create advanced flow charts and diagrams, including SWOT analysis charts. If you want to save time and willing to reproduce from an existing template, you will find many on this tool.
Once you are in the Creately whiteboard or editing tool, look for the template section. In the templates library, you can search for SWOT to find out some ready-to-edit designs. The library includes SWOT templates for strategic planning, human resource management, and situation analysis. Once done editing, you can download these in PDF, JPEG, and PPTX format.
If you are looking for quality templates for SWOT study in Word Docx format, you should also check out Wordtemplatesonline. It has long been known as a reliable source of business and real estate template portals. Now, it is also offering free and editable SWOT templates.
Since this is a templates-only portal, you can not edit the formats online. You need to download the file and open that with Microsoft Word for editing and publishing. Wordtemplatesonline is a convenient source of templates since it does not require any log-in for file downloads.
So far, you have learned the details on SWOT analysis and free templates to use should you need to conduct a similar survey for your own brand. This process produces high-quality data about your business’s health and strategic situation.
However, you can get the best results if you combine this study with other strategic business decision-making tools like business intelligence (BI) and analytics platforms.
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