In your courses, or in your professional life, you may need to create a SWOT Analysis. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. For more information about using a SWOT analysis, see the details below.

When is a SWOT Analysis used?

A SWOT analysis can be used before making any business decision, including designing new policies, exploring new actions, or identifying areas of need (Fallon, 2017).

Why use a SWOT Analysis?

“SWOT analysis allows for the creation of a plan of actions necessary for using a company’s strengths and for minimizing the effect of its weaknesses in order to increase the company’s opportunities and lower the risk of threats” (Kolbina, 2015, p. 76). Using a SWOT analysis allows a business to look at all factors that may influence a course of action, helping them to make an informed decision.  

What are the parts of a SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis focuses on the four areas in the acronym – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To create a SWOT analysis, you can create a table with 4 different sections, as shown below:

Blank SWOT Table

What do I include in each part of the table?

The strengths and weaknesses sections of your table should focus on internal factors or resources. These might include your staff, building, income, and reputation (Renault, 2017). The opportunities and threats should focus on external factors or resources. These might include the economy, cultural changes, and legislation (Renault, 2017).

What does a SWOT Analysis look like?

Below is an example of a completed SWOT analysis for a small business that provides tutoring support. The business is hoping to earn new contracts with more universities.

SWOT Table Example


Fallon, N. (2017, March 28). SWOT analysis: What it is and when to use it. Business News Daily.

Kolbina, O. (2015). SWOT analysis as a strategic planning tool for companies in the food industry. Problems of Economic Transition, 57(9), 74-83.

Renault, V. (2017). Section 14. SWOT analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Community Tool Box.