Foresight is more than a luxury — it’s a necessity.
It allows you to plan for the future and anticipate problems before they arise, saving you time, money, and stress.
The SWOT analysis is a proven strategy to predict the inner and outer factors affecting a business, giving you crucial insight into what could go wrong. It examines your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) — all the factors leaders use to achieve business goals.
Conducting a SWOT analysis can be intimidating. But with the proper SWOT analysis templates, you can quickly get organized to make informed decisions and improve your competitive advantage.
Why use a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis presents a comprehensive view of a business’s current state, helping leaders identify potential areas for growth and improvement. By analyzing current strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on internal competencies while addressing the places you fall short. And considering opportunities and threats provides a forecast of external elements, like the industry landscape, to anticipate future risks or areas to expand.
Using a template to create a SWOT chart simplifies the process. A well-designed template provides a structured format for organizing thoughts, ensuring every critical aspect receives attention and necessary details. It saves time, encourages thoughtful analysis, and promotes clear communication among team members. With a SWOT template, businesses can concentrate on the contents of the analysis instead of worrying about how to structure it.
Benefits of a SWOT analysis
Conducting a SWOT analysis lets you formally review your organization’s performance and potential for growth. The main benefits of that include:
Having a clearer vision for the future — when you know where your business could go, it’s easier to plan how you’ll get there. If you’re not sure what the competitor landscape looks like or what other products your customers might like to see from you, you can’t know where to expand.
Understanding what’s not working — looking at your weaknesses reveals room for improvement, which every team and company benefit from. Things that seem minor, like unengaged employees or an unused portion of your budget, could lead to major change.
Better contingency plans — identifying threats in advance means you can prepare to face them. Even if some worst-case scenarios don’t seem likely to happen — like market crashes or global pandemics — you can prepare for their potential.
5 SWOT analysis templates
Utilizing an editable SWOT analysis template can streamline your strategic planning process. Since there are many free SWOT analysis templates out there, they can fit into any budget.
Here are five of the best business SWOT analysis examples available:
1. Quick SWOT analysis
Designed for quick and comprehensive SWOT analyses, this template provides a color-coded matrix for visually-minded project managers. You can view all four elements simultaneously, providing a holistic view of the factors affecting a project.
For additional details, you can add sections for notes or images to format the analysis in a way that makes sense to you. Due to the simple, easy-to-read nature of the template, it makes a SWOT analysis quick to create without sacrificing details.
2. Visual SWOT analysis
This SWOT analysis template features an attractive visual design with a quadrant for each SWOT factor and is a dynamic tool for strategic planning and market analysis.
The template features an attractive design that the whole team can easily edit. Each section of the analysis has its own link for easy sharing and includes details of when it was last edited. Teams make the most of the template by embracing its interactive features, encouraging flexibility and an open mind toward shifting company elements.
3. Noise analysis
The NOISE analysis template is a comprehensive tool to streamline your organization's strategic planning process. The NOISE analysis — a SWOT analysis alternative that examines strengths, opportunities, improvements, needs, and exceptions — provides more information about your past and current operations to identify what you need to improve. With a clean layout and distinct sections for needs and each NOISE factor, the template provides a structured approach to dissecting your organization's current situation.
Key features include a collaborative brainstorming functionality, enabling your team to contribute ideas and insights, and the Cluster Creation tool for the efficient organization of similar ideas. The template also includes a Measurement and Milestones feature to track progress and ensure accountability and examples for ease of understanding and implementation.
4. Simple risk register
The simple risk register template is a straightforward, user-friendly tool designed to aid in systematically identifying and managing potential risks within an organization. This template allows for the easy logging of each risk assessment and its likelihood, impact, and proposed mitigation measures.
Key features include a clear layout, easy risk-tracking and prioritization, and an inbuilt follow-up reminder system to ensure timely action. To get the most out of this template, teams should regularly update the risk register.
5. Basic cost-benefit analysis
The basic cost-benefit analysis template is a practical tool to evaluate a project’s viability. It sparks a clear comparison between a specific project's financial costs and benefits, helping stakeholders make informed decisions.
Essential features of this template include an intuitive visual representation of data, an automated calculation system, and a layout that simplifies complex financial information. To fully utilize the cost-benefit analysis, remember to accurately input all relevant cost and benefit details to each SWOT analysis factor, regularly update the data for real-time analysis, and use the visual aids to communicate your findings effectively.
Use Notion templates to streamline your next analysis
For streamlined project management capabilities, Notion provides a range of pre-designed templates that make project and task organization a breeze. Notion’s easy-to-use templates enable you to prioritize tasks, track progress, and collaborate with your team seamlessly. Get started with Notion today.