Make your dream creative business a success by analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
The first few months of a business are some of the most important, as you work to establish a niche and brand identity, find your audience, and get that crucial early growth. At this point, it’s essential to set clear goals and objectives that will help you measure your progress, and have a clear vision for the future.
Katy Alcock (@katyalcockdesigns) is an illustrator whose pastel-toned, travel-themed prints give a nostalgic and enchanting sense of place. After studying surface pattern design and working with brands like Primark and Asda, she discovered her niches of travel and cocktail prints. Creating her own line of products, she began selling them on online marketplaces and via her website—her business Simply, Katy has made over 14K sales on Etsy. By growing her Instagram following, and working on a business mindset, she grew a brand with a strong identity.
Katy's course on business strategy for creatives teaches how to establish your unique brand, understand your customers, and promote your work. Throughout each lesson, she shares a range of useful tools for creatives to get started with analytical thinking. And once you have an idea of your product, and are getting to know your brand’s identity, there’s one tool that will give you a powerful overview of where your brand could go: a SWOT analysis.
Before we get to Katy’s handy template for writing your own business SWOT analysis, let’s look at what this tool actually is, and the value it can offer to creative entrepreneurs…
What is a SWOT analysis?
The word ‘SWOT’ is an abbreviation for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This top-level investigation of your business will allow you to step into the shoes of either a consumer or an objective researcher. How will they see your brand? What will draw or deter them? How do you look compared with competitors?
Creating a SWOT analysis, at the most basic level, simply requires you to write a list of bullet points under each heading. Let’s break down what you could potentially consider under each of these headings…
- Strengths: Bold branding? A much-needed product?
- Weaknesses: Similarity to other brands? Oversaturated market?
- Opportunities: Unique niche? An emerging market? New technology/platforms?
- Threats: Big competitors? A fall in the market? Trademark issues?
Each business will be unique, so there are endless possibilities. If you’re struggling to identify what might apply to your business, try filling out a practice version for established and recognizable brands first. You could also do a direct competitor study, as issues which affect them may also affect you.
Example SWOT: a cocktail art print collection
In her course, Katy works through an example from her own work to inspire you. Here are some of the points she identifies…
- Strengths: her distinct art style, and her ability to work for herself
- Weaknesses: print sales can depend on trends, e.g. on social media
- Opportunities: she could license prints to larger companies and upscale
- Threats: as she is a the solo owner, it would be difficult if she became sick or couldn’t work
Download the SWOT analysis template
Below you will find the free SWOT analysis template to download. It includes a blank table to fill out with your own details, and also features a bonus example using the McDonald’s brand. It’s handy to see how a large, well-known company also needs to stay on top of their opportunities and threats, in order to compete in the market.
After clicking on the button below, you’ll find a .pdf file in your Downloads folder titled, Free SWOT Analysis Template by Simply, Katy.
This download will be available until January 26, 2022. If you want to access the resource after that date, you can sign up for Katy’s online course, Business Strategy for Creatives: How to Sell Your Art Online, in which you’ll build a creative business plan to define your brand, gain an audience, and promote your artwork to the world.
And if you want to learn more about marketing your business and promoting yourself across the digital space, check out our wide range of marketing and business courses.
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SWOT Analysis Diagrams in Microsoft Word
Although Microsoft Word is not primarily a diagramming tool, it can be used to create SWOT diagrams. These are text-based charts, so building a SWOT analysis template in Word is easy. There are advantages and disadvantages of using Word for SWOT analysis.
- Decide on the objective of your SWOT analysis. ...
- Research your business, industry and market. ...
- List your business's strengths. ...
- List your business's weaknesses. ...
- List potential opportunities for your business. ...
- List potential threats to your business. ...
- Establish priorities from the SWOT.
- Determine your objective.
- Do your research: explore areas in your industry, market, competitors.
- Make a list of company strengths.
- Make a list of company weaknesses.
- Make a list of possible opportunities.
- Make a list of possible threats.
- List your relevant strengths. You may start by assessing what internal factors benefit you in the context of your situation. ...
- Review your weaknesses. While listing weaknesses, be honest and objective. ...
- Define your opportunities. ...
- Understand any potential threats. ...
- Make an informed decision.
How to Make SWOT Analysis in Excel (with BEST Prompting Questions)How do you create a SWOT analysis in PowerPoint? ›
- Step 1: Create a Blank Slide Page.
- Step 2: Insert a Matrix graphic.
- Step 3: Customize the Matrix Graphic.
- Step 1: Select a Suitable SWOT Analysis Diagram Template.
- Step 2: Customize the SWOT Diagram.
- Step 3: Change the Type of Matrix.
Early in your business education, you'll move beyond the trite “SWOT” analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to some version of the “Three C's” model. In the original form, it's pretty simple: You look at a company and its situation in terms of Customers, Costs and Competition.What are some examples of SWOT analysis? ›
Examples include competitors, prices of raw materials, and customer shopping trends. A SWOT analysis organizes your top strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats into an organized list and is usually presented in a simple two-by-two grid.What are 4 examples of opportunities? ›
- Get help on projects.
- Propose working groups.
- Get testers for new ideas or products.
- Create a team to work on an idea you have.
- Share your expertise or best practices in a particular field.
Open your PowerPoint presentation, go to your Add-Ins and select Lucidchart within the Insert tab. Select your SWOT analysis diagram from your documents to insert into PowerPoint. Open this SWOT analysis chart template in Lucidchart or open up a blank document.
The basic SWOT matrix template is the four-quadrant table that is most commonly associated with SWOT analysis. It includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, in a color-coded grid.What is SWOT analysis diagram? ›
SWOT analysis is a type of diagram widely used in business and education used for exploring strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a given situation.What are examples of threats in a personal SWOT analysis? ›
- Company changes and market changes.
- World changes.
- New technologies or skills on your job.
Threats refer to factors that have the potential to harm an organization. For example, a drought is a threat to a wheat-producing company, as it may destroy or reduce the crop yield. Other common threats include things like rising costs for materials, increasing competition, tight labor supply. and so on.Can you convert your weaknesses into strengths How? ›
There are ways to turn each weakness into a strength. First, you have to be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are. Then you can begin working on them. You'll be all the stronger because of it.How do you write a summary for a SWOT analysis? ›
- Create a SWOT matrix. This is the grid-like matrix that will house the information you gather. ...
- Gather the right participants. ...
- List your strengths. ...
- List your weaknesses. ...
- Identify your opportunities. ...
- Identify your potential threats. ...
- Examine your matrix for connections.
SWOT Analysis Worksheet. Page 1. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis could help you identify different strategies to implement to improve your business.What is SWOT analysis PDF? ›
A SWOT analysis evaluates the internal strengths and weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats in an organization's environment.What is SWOT analysis in PPT? ›
Planning tool used to understand Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats involved in a project / business. Used as framework for organizing and using data and information gained from situation analysis of internal and external environment.What is 4p framework? ›
The 4 Ps is one of the most popular marketing frameworks that businesses use. Also known as the marketing mix, the framework identifies the four main elements that are most crucial to customer acquisition: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (see Figure 1).
It's called the seven Ps of marketing and includes product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence.How do you do a 3 CS analysis? ›
You can start with any of the 3 “C”s, but it is recommended that you analyze the customers first, then the competitors, and finally the company you are working for. If you analyze the corporation first, you will tend to use the company data as the standard for analyzing the competitors and customers.What does a SWOT analysis look like in a business plan? ›
A SWOT analysis is an organized list of your business's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company (think: reputation, patents, location). You can change them over time but not without some work.What are some examples of business threats? ›
- Financial issues. ...
- Laws and regulations. ...
- Broad economic uncertainty. ...
- Attracting and retaining talent. ...
- Legal liability. ...
- Cyber, computer, technology risks/data breaches. ...
- Increasing employee benefit costs. ...
- Medical cost inflation.
Strengths: factors that give an edge for the company over its competitors. Weaknesses: factors that can be harmful if used against the firm by its competitors. Opportunities: favorable situations which can bring a competitive advantage. Threats: unfavorable situations which can negatively affect the business.What are some examples of business strengths? ›
Some examples of strengths include: Strong employee attitudes. Excellent customer service. Large market share.What is SWOT analysis in entrepreneurship? ›
The SWOT analysis is a mnemonic, the full form is Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats Analysis. So as it is self-evident from the name, in this analysis, the entrepreneur must analyze the internal and external environment of the business.How do you create a 4 quadrant in PowerPoint? ›
Open PowerPoint presentation and, go to the Insert tab, then to Shapes and select is lines. Divide slide area into quadrants. Leave space at the top for header, but essentially you only need two lines. Example of this article is adding a third line to separate the header from the actual quad chart.How are short term goals used in SWOT analysis? ›
- Collect relevant information and list all current known strengths and weaknesses. ...
- Consider all the potential opportunities that exist for the organization, including future trends and technologies.
Opportunities – This tends to be the most difficult part. It is easier for some startups as it was an opportunity that caused them to start. But for a going concern, this can be a challenge.
- Lack of Patience.
- Lack of Organization.
- Trouble with Delegation.
- Lack of Tactfulness.
- Fear of Public Speaking.
- Weak Data Analysis Skills.
- Not taking criticism well.
- Easily bored.
- Takes things personally.
- Strong willed.
- Strategies for answering strengths and weaknesses. ...
- Strength example 1: Collaborative. ...
- Strength example 2: Technical know-how. ...
- Strength example 3: Disciplined. ...
- Strength example 4: Positive attitude. ...
- Strength example 5: Solving problems. ...
- Weakness example 1: Self-criticism. ...
- Weakness example 2: Public speaking.
- Protecting your Property. ...
- Business Interruption. ...
- Liability Losses. ...
- Key Person Losses. ...
- Injuries to Employees. ...
- Managing Electronic Data and Computer Resources. ...
- Environmental Exposures.
- First, create two lists. Before you use any outside sources to help identify your strengths and weaknesses, I'd recommend that you spend about 30 minutes alone creating two lists. ...
- Talk to people you trust. ...
- Take a personality test. ...
- Try new things.
- Start By Understanding Them.
- Treat Them Like A To-Do List.
- Partner With Complementary People.
- Have A Plan And Make Time To Learn.
- Request Feedback From Your Team.
- Lean On Your Mentors.
- Ask Questions When You Need Help.
- Develop Your Weaknesses One At A Time.
- Do market research. As you're looking into possible threats, you'll want to conduct market research to see how your target audience is shifting.
- List every threat you can think of. If you think of a threat, list it. ...
- Threats exist, don't panic.
Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.