SWOT Analysis Criteria Examples

SWOT analysis criteria for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are sometimes hard to pick out for your own organisation, so here are some standard criteria that can help as a prompt. Click here for a definition of this type business analysis.

Remember you must first set out what you are assessing in a clear statement e.g. Diversify the business profitably. You then pick criteria in each of the four areas against this statement.

Strengths and Weaknesses are Internal to the organisation, while Opportunities and Threats are External

Here are some sample criteria:


  • Good Innovation Skills
  • Experienced Management
  • Superior or Modern Technology
  • Good product designs
  • Cash rich
  • Cost advantages
  • Ahead on Experience curve

  • Obsolete facilities
  • Lack management and superisory skills
  • Too Narrow product Line
  • Weak Marketing and Selling skills
  • Large debts
  • Little R & D
  • Not customer focused with little customer exposure

It is a good idea here to use the PEST accronym to trigger criteria for Opportunites and Threats

  • P for Political Trends e.g. new legislation
  • E for Ecomomics Trends e.g. interest rates, exchange rates
  • S for Social Trends e.g. housing shortages
  • T for Technology Trends e.g. internet ,cell or mobile phones

  • Competitor failing
  • New technology
  • New legislation
  • Aging Population
  • Increasing social habits e.g. binge drinking, no smoking in public places, obescity
  • Need for your industry to Reduce costs

In terms of opportunities think of the folllowing issues

  • Overserved customers - they do not need all the functionality curently offered
  • Underserved customers - they are looking for more functionality
  • Customers who lack the skills to use your product or service category
  • Potential customers who can't afford the products on offer at present

Now let's move on to threats


  • New or disruptive Technology
  • New technology
  • New legislation
  • Large general competitor moves into your niche or specialist area
  • Cheap foreign imports or cheap overseas manufacturing costs

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