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Updated Oct 24, 2023

8 Free SWOT Templates for Small Businesses

Make creating a SWOT analysis easier and faster with these free SWOT analysis templates.

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Written By: Shayna WaltowerBusiness Operations Insider and Senior Writer
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is one of the most valuable tools entrepreneurs and small business owners have to help make better business decisions. This exercise explores the positive and negative aspects of proposed ideas, strategies and other business moves. It also identifies any internal and external forces opposing those proposals and ways they can impact the company.

We’ll explain more about conducting a SWOT analysis and share resources for free, downloadable SWOT analysis templates. 

SWOT analysis explained

To conduct a SWOT analysis, you’ll generally assess your business and how its elements fall into four categories: 

  • Strengths: During the “strengths” part of your analysis, you’ll consider areas where your business performs well. You’ll also look at valuable resources, assets and qualities that give your business an advantage over the competition.
  • Weaknesses: In the “weaknesses” category, you’ll consider areas where your business falls short compared to its competition. Consider any limited resources, challenges with expanding your business and any other issues that might be holding back your business.
  • Opportunities: During your SWOT analysis, you’ll also look at your business’s opportunities, which are positive possibilities that pose great potential. Consider untapped market potential, market trends, a growing need for your business’s products or services, and advertising, marketing and PR opportunities.
  • Threats: Finally, you’ll need to look at the threats your business faces. If not properly monitored or addressed, these could result in lost opportunities, decreased revenue or other issues. An increasing number of competitors, stricter local and state business regulations, and decreased customer interest in products in your market are all examples of threats you might identify.
Did You Know?Did you know
Other business decision-making tools include decision trees and decision matrix tools.

Free SWOT templates

Most SWOT analyses are broken down into a 2 x 2 matrix, with one box for each of the four components. If you’re unsure how to start your analysis, here are eight free downloadable SWOT templates to guide you.

1. Bplans

Bplans offers its free SWOT analysis template as a downloadable PDF file. From this resource page, you can find instructions for filling out a SWOT analysis, what to use it for, and sample SWOT analyses for various industries and businesses, including online stores like Etsy shops and food establishments. These samples give you an idea of what a business-specific SWOT analysis should look like. 

2. BusinessBalls

On BusinessBalls, you’ll find several free downloadable SWOT tools available in Word and PDF formats. The website includes a detailed explanation of each SWOT component as well as a filled-out sample with numerous types of potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your business might have.

3. Creately

Maybe you’ve wondered what a SWOT analysis would look like for some of the world’s biggest and best-known corporations. Creately has designed samples for companies like Google, Amazon and Nike on its SWOT analysis template page. You can also create and edit a blank template using Creately’s web-based SWOT software.

4. MindTools

MindTools offers a SWOT worksheet that guides you through the process of filling out your analysis. This article lists a series of questions to answer for each component to help you determine what to put in each box.

For example, for strengths, you’re asked to determine: 

  • Areas where your business performs best
  • Special resources your business can offer its customers 
  • Advantages customers identify with your business over the competition

For weaknesses, you’re asked about:

  • Areas where your business can improve 
  • Where your competitors or customers might notice your business is falling short

This thorough, introspective look at your company may help you uncover things you didn’t previously consider.

SWOT analyses aren't just for businesses. If you want to think strategically about your personal skills and development, try doing a personal SWOT analysis!

5. Priority Matrix

Priority Matrix, an app by Appfluence, provides a free SWOT template with a seven-step process that helps you complete your SWOT analysis. First, it instructs you to choose your objective and decide what area of your business you want the analysis to focus on. Then, you choose your “SWOT team,” the key team members who will be involved in any decision-making that happens following the analysis.

After listing items for each SWOT component (the following four steps), your last step is prioritizing the results and determining your next course of action. (You can also download the Priority Matrix app for iOS to help you create your analysis.)

6. SlideModel

SlideModel’s collection of free PowerPoint SWOT analysis templates can help get your message across in an eye-catching and engaging way. 

The first template is a basic, one-page template that lists items under each SWOT section. There are also two multislide, table-based templates: One is very simple and flat, while the other uses sleek graphics and a clean layout. Both use a master SWOT analysis as a cover or intro slide and then break down each section in the following slides.

Additionally, the concept-based SWOT analysis template uses shapes and colors to visually illustrate ideas, whereas the creative template allows the use of images, diagrams, and other objects.

7. Smartdraw

Smartdraw offers several professionally designed SWOT analysis diagrams for instant productivity. The templates work on any device, including mobile devices, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Smartdraw also offers free support through telephone or email.

Note that Smartdraw is only free for a seven-day trial and you must create an account to use the templates. You must buy Smartdraw to print, share or export them.

8. Superside

Designers at Superside have created more than 20 unique PowerPoint templates to help you conduct a thorough SWOT analysis. These free templates feature various designs and styles, giving you several options to customize how you choose to present your information. You can choose from an abundance of colors and themes to find the template that best fits your team and its style.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
If your focus is analyzing the competition, consider using Porter's Five Forces model. Using Porter's Five Forces along with a SWOT analysis will help you understand where your organization fits in the industry landscape.

Benefits of conducting a SWOT analysis

Below are some of the primary advantages of conducting a SWOT analysis.

  1. A SWOT analysis can optimize your resources. As you conduct a SWOT analysis, you assess your company’s strengths, which can help you find the best ways to use your available resources. With a better idea of how to allocate your resources, you can help your business see increased revenue.
  2. A SWOT analysis can move your business forward. Creating a SWOT analysis means closely observing specific elements of your business, such as how it currently operates and areas where your team can improve. Analyzing these components can help you better identify approaches for business growth and distinguish it from the competition.
  3. A SWOT analysis can help you navigate risks and challenges. No matter its industry, your business will face challenges as it operates and grows. Conducting a SWOT analysis can help you identify potential risks. From there, you can determine the best ways to address them so they don’t hinder your company’s progress.
  4. A SWOT analysis can help you capitalize on your strengths. The more you know about your business’s strengths, the better you can tailor your strategies and operations to focus on those positive points. This can help you create stronger marketing plans and investment proposals.

Preparing for growth

Whether you’re looking for investors, you’re trying to reach new customers in different markets, or you have another goal, conducting a SWOT analysis can bring insights and decision-making clarity. SWOT analyses are helpful for new businesses, but it’s also valuable to conduct them periodically to stay abreast of industry changes. Consider conducting an analysis once or twice a year. This way, you can help your business stay ahead of the competition and appeal to customers from a place of strength.

Adam Uzialko contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

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Written By: Shayna WaltowerBusiness Operations Insider and Senior Writer
Shayna Waltower is a business journalist with a multimedia background. She spent years doing on-the-ground reporting in local communities from coast to coast before narrowing her focus to helping small businesses nationwide streamline operations, attract customers and improve profitability. Waltower, with her previous experience in storytelling across mediums (broadcast, social media, etc.), enjoys not only producing digestible guides for business owners that break down complex topics but also helping entrepreneurs competently convey their brand stories to consumers. Over the years, Waltower has developed expertise in a number of wide-ranging but critical business areas and topics, including POS systems, workplace management and cybersecurity.
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