Your Free Business Idea Evaluation SWOT Analysis Template
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Launching a new business is no small feat. With a staggering 70 to 80 percent of new businesses failing within the first five years, ensuring that you have a feasible business idea will give you a solid business foundation to build on.
While there are many factors that contribute to business success and failure, evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business idea with a SWOT analysis will help you to assess the sustainability of your business idea.
The purpose of a SWOT analysis
The purpose of conducting a SWOT analysis on your business idea is to determine its pros and cons – from whether it is a viable idea, gaining an understanding of whether your personality and strengths match the business, what capital will be required to launch and grow your business, to analysing who your competitors in the market will be.
The SWOT analysis tool will help you to evaluate whether there is a market for what you want to sell, what price point the market will tolerate for your product or service and whether it is actually worth investing in your business idea in the first place.
Disadvantages of doing a SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis is not the only tool that you should be using in your business planning process. As an analysis tool, it will only provide you with a simplistic analysis of situations and factors to consider.
For more complex issues, you will need to conduct more in-depth research. Because of its simplicity, the SWOT analysis does have some limitations:
- Assessing Uncertain Factors: A SWOT analysis only really covers factors that can be clearly sorted into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This makes it challenging to address factors that may be uncertain, or 2-sided. A store with excellent foot traffic may be considered a strength, but the rental might be very high for the size of the shop, for example.
- Prioritising or Providing Solutions: The SWOT tool is great at stimulating new ideas and generating further information to evaluate, but it doesn’t tailor for prioritising or eliminating ideas, or providing solutions to alternative considerations.
- Generating Too Much Information: You could also find that you have too much information to sort through at the end of the analysis, making it harder to come to the right decision for your business.
Advantages of doing a SWOT analysis
There are many advantages why conducting a SWOT analysis is a valuable exercise. Firstly, it won’t cost you anything to consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business idea. It’s also relatively simple and quick to complete. A free SWOT analysis template, like the free download below, can help to provide the format and SWOT analysis examples to get you started.
Some of the other advantages of a SWOT analysis include:
- Stimulates Critical Thinking: As a tool, the SWOT analysis helps you to consider both the external and internal factors or situations that could impact your potential business. It also encourages critical thinking about how goals and objectives can be met, and whether there are the necessary core competencies to reach these objectives.
- Encourages Iteration: The SWOT analysis can also provide a starting point to generate further ideas through iteration of the original idea so that you can create a viable, sustainable business opportunity.
- Can Be Further Expanded: What’s great about the SWOT analysis is that it can be applied to various areas of the business – and personally too. Conducting a personal SWOT analysis will help you identify whether your business idea is the right fit your type of personality, while considering the strengths and weaknesses of a new product or marketing strategy could be just as beneficial.
SWOT analysis free template download
SWOT analysis templates provide you with a quick and easy way to start assessing your business idea strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Download your FREE SWOT Analysis Template