SWOT guide*
A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) helps a
business owner take an overview of what is or could happen in your business or
industry.
How to use the SWOT template
There are four steps to eectively conducting a SWOT analysis:
1. Brainstorm everything that could impact on
your business
Whether you’re looking at your business as a whole, assessing a
new idea or analyzing a competitor, dene it as clearly as you can.
The better dened the issue, the better able you’ll be in identifying
relevant factors.
Strengths – what you are great at, or why customers buy from you
and not the competition. These are factors that you need to protect
and defend.
Weaknesses – things that you know that could be improved and
could cause issues if they are not addressed.
Opportunities – new ideas, markets or opportunities that you can
explore to become a future strength.
Threats – external events, changes in your market, action by
competitors, technology or changing customer preferences that
expose your business.
2. Work the grid
Copy all the issues you’ve identied using each of the four criteria.
This is not always a linear process and you should feel free to jump
around the grid as ideas come to you. For example, as you’re listing
strengths, you may realize that a serious issue exists that threatens
that particular strength, becoming a threat.
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3. Analyze the results
Think about each of these factors and how you might take
advantage of those that are helpful and x, mitigate, or eliminate
those that are harmful. Rank them in order of importance and
prioritize which you feel are easier to x sooner than later, and those
that are critical to get right now.
4. Take action
Decide which of the ideas you’ve identied you want to action,
divided into short, medium and long-term plans, add a budget if it’s
required and start implementing.
SWOT analysis
STRENGTHS – Top strengths or benets How you can protect and enhance these
WEAKNESSES – Your top weaknesses or issues How you can minimise these and do better
SWOT analysis
OPPORTUNITIES – Top opportunities for your business How you can access and take advantage of these
THREATS – Your top threats How you can minimise these and do better
Important Disclosures
*These tools and other information are copyrighted 2019 by The Small Business Company, Ltd. (“TSBC”) and used under license by TD
Bank, NA. This information has been prepared by TSBC for general informational purposes only. TSBC is solely responsible for the
content. Any opinions expressed herein belong to TSBC and do not necessarily reect the opinions of TD Bank, N.A. or any of its aliates,
directors, ocers or employees. These materials are not intended to provide legal, tax or accounting advice or to suggest that you engage
in any specic transaction. TD does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by TSBC, or any other third party
and the information does not necessarily represent TD’s business practices or experience. Neither TD nor TBSC makes any representation
or guarantee as to the accuracy and/or reliability of such information nor shall any of TD or TBSC or their respective employees be liable
for any loss or damages suered as a result of any use of such information. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor
regarding your specic situation. Any reliance upon any such information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.
Under no circumstances should any information contained in the materials presented be used or considered as an oer or commitment, or a
solicitation of an oer or commitment, to participate in any particular transaction or strategy or should it be considered legal or tax advice.
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