Other Tools

SWOT analysis


SWOT-analysis is a tool where you can find out your own Strengths and Weaknesses as well as looking for Opportunities and Threats you face now or will face in the future. It is a simple method but nevertheless quite powerful to help you understand your business and how to act in the future.

The SWOT analysis is often presented in a worksheet or diagram with four boxes








In the diagram you can write down Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

There are of course a number of questions you could write down the answers for in this diagram and after that try to make an analysis.




Advantages of your business

Your capabilities

Experience and knowledge


Innovative aspects and possibilities



Improvements needed

What to avoid

Capability gaps

Cash flow


Market penetration

Missing resources



Opportunities you think you have


Production innovation

Technology innovation

Geographical expansion

Trends you could foresee

Strengths that could be opportunities



Cash-flow problems

New technology threats

Key staff

Market changes


Several criteria could be placed in more than one of the boxes and could for instance both be a Threat and an Opportunity.

Strengths and Weaknesses are considered to be internal to your business or organisation while Opportunities and Threats are more depending on external factors. It is of course also possible to try to analyse your competitors through a SWOT-analysis even though you probably do not have all data available to be sure how correct the analysis is.

Try to make the analysis not too big and complicated, just finish up not exceeding 4-10 sentences in each box.

With a good analysis you can focus to decrease threats and take advantage of your business opportunities.

You might also make an SWOT analysis on a personal basis to identify your own opportunities and threats.


Source: Managing Innovation and R&D Processes in EU Environment, 2007