September 24, 2023

If you wish to thrive in a aggressive market, you need to assess the situation of your corporation, inside and outside. Internally, you need to perceive what you’re doing properly, and the place you can enhance. Externally, you need to take into account the place to take your corporation subsequent, and predict rising market challenges you’ll possible face. 

Attaining this info might seem to be a tall order, particularly in case you’re a small enterprise proprietor or work as a marketer for a smaller firm, however it doesn’t should be sophisticated. To start out, all you want is a pen and paper. 

On this information, we’ll discover the SWOT evaluation and TOWS evaluation. Taken collectively, these methods will mean you can consider your corporation, streamline your corporation planning, and develop a stronger enterprise technique. 

What Is a SWOT Evaluation?

A SWOT evaluation is the method of uncovering and inspecting completely different facets of your corporation, and organizing your discoveries right into a easy 2X2 grid template. Every quadrant of the grid corresponds to at least one letter of the acronym SWOT. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats

Right here’s a breakdown of what every phrase means within the context of a SWOT evaluation: 

  • Strengths: Strengths are issues your corporation is already doing properly, the distinctive sources your crew possesses, or any aggressive benefits you will have. Strengths are inside elements, so you’ll be able to construct on them and use them to your benefit.
  • Weaknesses: Weaknesses are areas the place your corporation might enhance, the place sources are wanted, or areas the place your opponents are surpassing you. Weaknesses are additionally inside elements, so you’ll be able to usually handle and overcome them. 
  • Alternatives: Alternatives are areas you’ll be able to reap the benefits of now. These may very well be new sources accessible to you, rising developments you can lean into, or any strengths you’ve but to undertake into your technique. Like threats, alternatives are exterior elements as a result of they’re past your management.
  • Threats: Threats are something that might negatively impression your corporation from the surface or any obstacles your corporation at present faces. You may normally get a way of your corporation’s threats or competitors once you run a market evaluation. As an exterior issue, threats are sometimes past your management.

For the reason that info is offered in an easy-to-read grid, SWOT analyses are fast and easy assessments. And As soon as every little thing is organized, the situation of your corporation is less complicated to evaluate. 

When Ought to I Do a SWOT Evaluation? 

There’s no proper or incorrect time to do a SWOT evaluation. There are, nevertheless, occasions when a SWOT evaluation might be significantly helpful. 

Listed below are 4 occasions when it’s a good suggestion to look inward and outward: 

  • When inside enterprise circumstances change—Perhaps you’ve acquired a brand new CEO, your corporation is scaling quickly, or departments are being restructured. A SWOT evaluation can present insights that may assist with transitions and changes. 
  • When exterior market circumstances change—New opponents, shifting financial circumstances, rules, and different shifts within the market can go away companies in want of reflection. A SWOT evaluation may also help hold you in your toes and able to handle incoming challenges. 
  • Earlier than strategic planning—Strategic planning usually includes new initiatives and adjustments in useful resource allocation. Earlier than starting the planning course of, it helps to know the present situation of your corporation or crew so you can also make forward-looking choices. 
  • On a scheduled foundation—Whereas most firms do strategic planning each few years, it gained’t damage to do a SWOT evaluation on a extra common foundation. A fast SWOT evaluation on a quarterly or semi-annual foundation will present info you should use within the brief time period, and convey to the strategic planning course of when it’s time. 

Now that we’ve described what a SWOT evaluation is and once you may need to do one, let’s look deeper on the course of of making a SWOT evaluation by specializing in every quadrant. 

The best way to Full the 4 Sections of Your SWOT Matrix 

One of many true advantages of a SWOT evaluation is that it’s simple to conduct. All you really want is a approach to write down concepts and a willingness to look squarely at your corporation. 

Whilst you can conduct a SWOT evaluation by yourself, it helps to deliver different folks to the desk. Brainstorming with others may also help determine stuff you might need in any other case missed and make clear concepts that aren’t absolutely shaped. 

In individual, you should use sticky notes or a white board to do your evaluation. Remotely, you may take into account software like MIRO.


When you’ve drawn your grid and gathered your crew, it’s time to begin working by way of the 4 quadrants of your SWOT evaluation. As you brainstorm, file concepts within the appropriate quadrant. 

The “S” in SWOT stands for strengths 

The energy quadrant of your SWOT evaluation will embody issues your corporation or crew is doing properly. Bear in mind, strengths are inside, so that you’ll must look inward to find them. It’s additionally necessary to carry onto the concept strengths are issues you will have management over, so you’ll be able to construct on them later. 

Inquiries to ask to uncover strengths: 

  • What will we do properly?
  • What have our clients or companions advised us they like about us? 
  • In what areas will we outpace our opponents? 
  • What’s distinctive about our enterprise, merchandise, or providers?
  • What property will we personal? (Mental property, proprietary know-how, capitol)

SWOT evaluation strengths examples: 

  • We have now glorious buyer assist 
  • We provide options no different firm gives
  • Our web site visitors is larger than 75{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab} of our opponents 
  • We’re getting nice engagement with our social media advertising campaigns

The “W” in SWOT stands for weaknesses

The weaknesses quadrant of your evaluation will embody areas the place your corporation or crew wants enchancment. Like strengths, the weaknesses part requires you to look inward. And it doesn’t matter what you uncover, don’t despair! Weaknesses are stuff you usually have management over and may enhance. 

Inquiries to ask to uncover weaknesses: 

  • What can we enhance? 
  • What are our clients or companions dissatisfied with?
  • The place will we fall behind our opponents? 
  • The place are we missing in data or sources? 

SWOT evaluation weaknesses examples: 

  • Our processes are inefficient. 
  • Our clients discover our product tough to make use of. 
  • Our natural visitors is decrease than our opponents. 
  • We don’t have the sources to broaden. 

The “O” in SWOT stands for alternatives 

The alternatives quadrant will embody methods or sources you’ll be able to at present use as a enterprise. Alternatives usually are not controllable by you, as they’re exterior to your corporation. Realizing the place the alternatives are, nevertheless, means that you can transfer towards them. 

Inquiries to ask to uncover alternatives: 

  • What rising developments can we reap the benefits of?
  • Which of our strengths could be useful to potential companions? 
  • What adjoining markets may we faucet into? 
  • Are there geographic areas with much less competitors? 
  • Can we share our story or successes with the world? 

SWOT evaluation alternative examples: 

  • Prospects need a product just like ours. Can we adapt to fulfill the necessity? 
  • Our service/product fills a void they might need to fill of their firm. 
  • No one sells our product in Canada. Can we broaden? 
  • We simply hit a serious milestone. Can we get some constructive press? 

The “T” in SWOT stands for threats

The threats part of your SWOT evaluation will embody potential points or challenges you can face as a enterprise. Once more, threats are exterior elements, in order that they’re issues occurring outdoors of your corporation. They aren’t controllable, however you’ll be able to actively plan for them.

Inquiries to ask to uncover threats: 

  • What’s our competitors doing? 
  • How might our weaknesses go away us susceptible? 
  • What market developments are we unprepared for? 
  • What financial or political points might impression our enterprise? 

SWOT evaluation threats examples: 

  • Our fundamental competitor is launching a product with related options 
  • Congress is discussing a invoice that might impression our enterprise 
  • The economic system is struggling to adapt to new circumstances beneath Covid 19 
  • We don’t have the advertising finances to compete with our opponents 

Right here’s an instance of what a SWOT evaluation template seems like when it’s all crammed out. 


3 real-world SWOT examples 

Now that we’ve coated the fundamentals, let’s have a look at some SWOT evaluation actual life examples. We’ll cowl 3 areas in enterprise the place a SWOT evaluation might be useful:

  • Advertising 
  • Ecommerce 
  • Market circumstances 

As we discover every of those areas, we’ll provide examples of instruments you should use to sharpen your evaluation and derive helpful data-driven insights. 

Advertising SWOT Evaluation Instance 

In advertising, a SWOT evaluation is usually a regular a part of a method evaluate or aggressive evaluation. It may enable you to perceive the place your advertising technique is robust or weak, and how one can out-market your opponents. You could need to take into account issues like:

  • Present and previous advertising campaigns
  • Buyer recognition and sentiment 
  • Your web site, touchdown pages, and social media 

Whereas firms all the time need to have a look at their very own inside analytics for knowledge on their advertising efforts, Semrush’s .Developments instruments may also help uncover helpful insights in regards to the competitors that may complement any SWOT Evaluation. 

Let’s have a look at some high automobile makers to see the place we are able to uncover some strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats amongst them. 

To match knowledge between opponents, we might use Semrush’s Market Explorer device. The device gives a Benchmarking report that exhibits side-by-side comparisons of a number of metrics. Let’s begin with the Market Share by Channel graph. 


Primarily based on this graphic, we are able to see that Toyota will get probably the most visitors general, and likewise captures probably the most visitors from direct search (30{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab}). This means that they’ve good model consciousness. Kia takes the prize in terms of Referral (25{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab}) and Search (28{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab}) which suggests they’ve robust partnerships and a very good search engine optimisation technique. Hyundai appears to have the strongest technique on Social (51{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab}). 

With this info, Chevrolet may add advertising throughout completely different channels to their SWOT weak spot examples. Whereas they aren’t on the backside of the heap, there’s loads of room for enchancment. 

Subsequent, we are able to have a look at the Site visitors Technology Technique report back to get a way of the place firms are getting their visitors, and the place our strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats lie. 


this chart, it’s clear that Chevrolet’s direct visitors is on par with and even barely larger than most of their opponents. We might mark this as a energy and a possibility in our advertising SWOT evaluation. Direct visitors signifies good model consciousness, as guests are coming to their website while not having to make use of Google or being referred in one other manner. We might additionally add this model consciousness to our SWOT alternatives examples as a result of a robust model presence is one thing we are able to construct upon. 

Which brings us to the Market Site visitors vs Chosen Area Developments graph. This graph exhibits visitors developments over time on your opponents. 


If we have a look at visitors coming by way of social media for the previous six months, some attention-grabbing developments emerge. From Might by way of August, there’s been a big downswing in visitors coming from social media throughout the market, general. 

This might current a possibility or a menace for our SWOT evaluation, relying on the explanation for the downswing. In a single sense, there could be a possibility for Chevrolet to make investments in advertising on social media to seize a number of the visitors different firms have been partaking from March to Might. 

However, if much less individuals are utilizing social media, resulting in a serious downswing in visitors and subsequent gross sales, that might point out a market shift that might pose a menace to automakers. 

Ecommerce SWOT Evaluation Instance 

In relation to Ecommerce, it’s all about merchandise and gross sales. An Ecommerce SWOT evaluation might be particularly helpful once you’re launching new merchandise or experiencing fast progress. You could need to take into account issues like: 

  • Supply time
  • Product vary
  • Web site efficiency
  • Checkout course of

Once more, Semrush .Developments instruments may also help you uncover strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats in terms of Ecommerce. Let’s start with the Site visitors Analytics device. We are able to use the Prime Pages report to achieve insights about opponents’ companies. 

Ford’s high pages, a development emerges: two of the highest ten pages spotlight electrical automobiles.


For Chevrolet, who might not have as many EV choices, this might current a menace or a possibility. If they’ve the capability to extend manufacturing of electrical automobiles, they may transfer towards that chance. If not, they are going to certainly lose on-line clients preferring the choices by way of Ford’s web site. 

We are able to additionally observe pages which are rising in reputation utilizing the Insights part of the Prime Pages report. This will come in useful for monitoring newly launched merchandise. For instance, right here we uncover the web page for the Ford Bronco has seen a serious uptick in visitors. 


If Chevrolet was releasing a automobile just like Ford’s new Bronco, they’d need to benchmark their knowledge towards the metrics of the Bronco touchdown web page. 


With this graph, the excitement across the Bronco turns into clear. Of all web page guests, 78{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab} are utilizing search and being directed to the Bronco touchdown web page. If Chevrolet just lately launched an identical automobile, and aren’t getting the identical stage of visitors, they may mark this of their SWOT evaluation for instance of a menace.

Lastly, we are able to use the highest pages report back to get a way of Ford’s month-to-month gross sales numbers and benchmark that towards our personal. To do that, filter the Prime Pages report utilizing the phrase “verify”, which can deliver the acquisition affirmation web page metrics into view. 


Right here, the graph exhibits Ford’s “/purchase/reserve/affirmation.html” web page obtained 53K distinctive web page views between Might and August. Whereas this quantity doesn’t essentially replicate the variety of automobiles offered, it may well present a normal sense of the effectiveness of Ford’s gross sales funnel. We are able to then benchmark this quantity towards our personal to uncover strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, or threats. 

Market Circumstances SWOT Evaluation Instance 

Altering market circumstances can result in precarious conditions for any companies. A SWOT evaluation targeted in your place out there may also help you keep conscious of your place and prepared on your opponents’ strikes. You could need to take into account issues like:

  • Yr-over-year progress
  • Market share 
  • Geographic impression 
  • Buyer demographics 

The Market Abstract part of the Overview report in Market explorer is a superb place to achieve a normal understanding of your market and examine adjustments throughout time. Right here’s a have a look at the market abstract for August of 2021. 


With this abstract, Chevrolet may glean some necessary details about their market. For instance, in 2021 Kia held probably the most market share at 20.5{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab} with Ford trailing by lower than half a {f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab} at 19.66{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab}. Regardless of strong leads amongst these gamers out there, the consolidation stage was low, which means numerous gamers personal a comparatively even share of the market. By way of market dimension, the Complete Addressable Market was over 400M. 

Now, trying on the identical marketplace for August of 2022, Chevrolet may uncover some important adjustments that might assist with their SWOT evaluation. 


In comparison with August 2021, 2022’s abstract displays some adjustments out there. Most notably, Toyota has taken the primary spot out there having consolidated over 24{f10ba277e26ee0da6e8a6380f29182ae775b609dba81c65fa54042a9e792c5ab} of the market share. Additionally, the Complete Addressable Market has grown significantly smaller, shifting from 400M to 238M, which suggests contraction out there.

If we needed a better have a look at the market competitors, we might scroll all the way down to the expansion quadrant. 


In trying on the Progress Quadrant, Chevrolet may be aware their place and stability as a energy of their SWOT evaluation. This previous yr, they solely skilled a slight progress in visitors in comparison with another firms, although they moved nearer to the Leaders and Established Gamers facet of the quadrant. 

By way of threats, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota all noticed robust strikes towards the Leaders and Established Gamers classes. Usually, these firms might pose a menace to Chevrolet shifting ahead.

We are able to additionally view the Market Geo Distribution report, which exhibits the distribution of market visitors by nation and adjustments because the earlier month. We switched the chart to replicate high adjustments to see the place the expansion is going on internationally. 


Relying on Chevrolet’s exercise in these nations, they might use this info to substantiate strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, or threats. For instance, if they’re already promoting quite a lot of automobiles in Canada, this might point out a energy as a result of they’re engaged in a rising market. 

On the contrary, in the event that they hadn’t damaged into the market in India, however had the means to take action, they may mark this as a possibility. Both manner, seeing the expansion in these markets offers helpful info for finishing the SWOT Evaluation. 

Lastly, taking a look at viewers knowledge might be an effective way to uncover concepts utilizing the SWOT Evaluation. Utilizing the Viewers Insights report in Site visitors Analytics, you’ll uncover knowledge about viewers households, revenue, training ranges, and employment statuses. 


Every of those viewers widgets can reveal helpful info for a SWOT evaluation, however let’s look extra carefully on the Employment Standing widget. 


Wanting carefully on the Parental Depart part, for instance, reveals this phase of the viewers prefers Toyota and Kia to different automobile makers. Chevy and Hyundai are the least in style. 

Deeper analysis might reveal this phase of the viewers likes automobiles which have excessive security scores or extra space. Upon discovering this info, Chevy may notice that the security and area offered by their automobiles isn’t being highlighted of their advertising, and in consequence, they’re lacking out on a serious alternative to nook this phase of the market. 

Utilizing a TOWS Evaluation for Actionable Insights

When you’ve brainstormed strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats, and written your whole concepts into your 2X2 SWOT template, the query turns into: What do I do with this info? 

Whereas SWOT analyses are an effective way to grasp your corporation, they don’t essentially result in actionable methods you should use to maneuver ahead. That is the place a TOWS evaluation is useful. 

As an enlargement of the SWOT evaluation, a TOWS evaluation means that you can see the connection between inside and exterior elements, and strategize based mostly on these insights for higher enterprise outcomes. 

To your TOWS evaluation, you’ll must broaden your 2X2 SWOT matrix with 4 extra packing containers, and label them: 

  • Strengths/Alternatives—Concepts for utilizing your strengths to grab alternatives. 
  • Strengths/Threats—Concepts for utilizing your strengths to beat threats. 
  • Weaknesses/Alternatives—Concepts for minimizing your weaknesses by making the most of alternatives. 
  • Weaknesses/Threats—Concepts for avoiding your weaknesses whereas minimizing threats. 

By deepening your unique SWOT evaluation with a TOWS evaluation, and looking out on the relationships between the quadrants, you’ll uncover methods for shifting ahead. Beneath, we’ll use Chevrolet for instance to dig into the TOWS evaluation course of.


Foremost Takeaways 

Companies that thrive are each inward and outward trying. They take time for self-reflection, whereas additionally finding out their atmosphere. Earlier than you may get the place you need to go, you need to perceive your place, and The SWOT evaluation course of offers a transparent path for this sort of holistic understanding. 

When you’ve assessed your place, you’ll be able to make use of the TOWS course of to determine easy methods to transfer ahead. By cross referencing the completely different factors discovered in your SWOT evaluation, the TOWS evaluation offers insights on highly effective methods for realizing your targets. There are additionally many different choices as properly, such because the “pest evaluation”, which might illuminate extra insights. 

Taken collectively, these instruments present a robust course of for trying inward, outward, and towards the long run.