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10 Free SWOT Templates for Small Businesses

image for fizkes / Getty Images
fizkes / Getty Images
  • A SWOT analysis is often used as part of market analysis, business planning, organization change, project management, individual development and many other situations that require strategic planning to reach an objective.
  • When creating a SWOT analysis that uses a list format to document weaknesses, strengths, threats, and opportunities, the categories are generally represented in a 2 x 2 matrix, so it's essential to determine if 2 x 2 matric is suitable or if another option is more suitable.
  • There are numerous free template options to choose from, many of which are just as good, if not better than those that require a fee. If you only require a simple template, those used in Microsoft Word are recommended, but if data sheets are needed, a template for Excel is recommended, and templates suitable for PowerPoint will provide a visual display. 

A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is one of the most valuable tools an entrepreneur has 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.

Most SWOT analyses are broken down into a 2 x 2 matrix, with one box for each of the four components. If you're not sure where to start with your analysis, here are 10 free, downloadable SWOT templates to guide you.

Bplans offers its 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 types of companies and industries. These include food establishments, as well as online stores, such as an Etsy shop, to give you an idea of what business-specific SWOT analyses should look like. [See Related Story: SWOT Analysis: Examples, Templates & Definition]

On BusinessBalls, you'll find several different downloadable SWOT tools available in Word and PDF format. This article 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.

If you've ever 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.

MindTools offers a SWOT worksheet that guides you through the process of filling out your analysis. This article lists a series of questions you can answer for each component to help you figure out what to put in each box. For example, for strengths, you are asked to list what advantages your organization has over others and what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. For weaknesses, you're asked what factors cause your business to lose sales. This thorough, introspective look at your company may help you uncover things you didn't previously think of.

Priority Matrix, an app by Appfluence, provides a seven-step process that guides you toward filling out 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 next four steps), your last step is to prioritize the results and figure out your next course of action. You can also download the Priority Matrix app to help you create your analysis.

SlideModel's collection of free PowerPoint SWOT analysis templates can help you get your message across in an eye-catching and engaging way that can help persuade your audience. The first is a basic, one-page template that simply lists items under each SWOT section. There are also two multislide, table-based templates – one template is very simple and flat, while the other uses sleek graphics and a clean layout – both of which use a master SWOT analysis as a cover or intro slide and then break down each section in the next 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. 

template.net offers several downloadable SWOT templates, including basic SWOT analysis templates for Word and Excel. Simply visit template.net, choose which option is best suited for your needs, and download the template. Each template has detailed information about the specific type of SWOT analysis template being downloaded as well as how to get the most from each template. 

PESTEL, also known as PEST analysis, is a business analysis tool that can be used for economic, political, technological and social factors. The template is useful for marketing analysis, research reports, business development, business planning, strategic planning and competitor evaluation.

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

Demplates offers 40 free SWOT analysis templates in Word, including Blue Green Speech Bubble Design, which is ideal for those who want a colorful SWOT template, Prism SWOT template, which is a brightly colored template with four triangles and is ideal for businesses, and 3D SWOT template, which is a clean and interesting template with a bright color scheme in the center.

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.