SWOT Example (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

A SWOT Analysis Example for a Marketing Action Plan

SWOT Analysis
SWOT Example. Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

Here is an example of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for a small business working on developing a marketing plan. The small business used in the example is a dog grooming business.

(See How to Do SWOT Analysis for Your Business for details on what SWOT analysis is and how best to use it for business planning.)

SWOT Analysis

Purpose: to create a marketing action plan.

(Note that this SWOT analysis is specifically focused on the marketing of this small business.)


  • Have many return customers
  • Customer satisfaction - customers do say they like the service and give positive word of mouth by recommending grooming services to others
  • Do get some walk-in business
  • Mobile grooming van has eye-catching logo and gives some exposure when performing on-site services


  • Don't pay much attention to marketing – dependent on word-of-mouth and website
  • Website purely informational and static
  • Don't have a marketing plan
  • Don't have much of a marketing budget


  • Take advantage of the Increasing popularity of dogs
  • Increasing use of social media
  • Increase the amount of walk-in traffic
  • Local annual Pet Fair
  • Kennel clubs, rescue societies, local SPCA


  • Other dog grooming businesses in town, competition is increasing
  • One dog grooming business has a series of radio ads running and is also running newspaper ads once a week
  • Another competitor has partnered with the local SPCA to host a dog washing and grooming day every few months (by donation to the SPCA)
  • Expense of running media ads

SWOT Analysis:

Do Strengths Open Any Opportunities?

  • As customers say they like services and are willing to recommend them, could create some type of referral reward program to actively encourage referrals.
  • A loyalty discount program for repeat customers could be developed.
  • Could try to increase walk-in by having an eye-catching window display.

How Can We Convert Weaknesses to Strengths?

Looking at opportunities and listed weaknesses, looks like social media could be a real marketing opportunity. Instead of just having an informational website, our business could put up a Facebook page and open a Twitter account to try and reach out to old (and new) customers. (Because dogs are so popular, might be helpful to tweet as a dog, e.g. "Rover says regular grooming makes him happy and healthy"). Another option might be Pinterest - pictures of cute pets are very popular.

What Do We Have to Do to Use Opportunities?

  • Set up social media business accounts/pages. (Am already familiar with Facebook and Twitter through personal accounts.) Set aside time or assign staff person to update Facebook/ Twitter accounts. Set up a Pinterest account, purchase a camera, and train a staff person to take photos of animals and post images.
  • Canvas staff for Facebook contest ideas.
  • Find out details of annual Pet Fair, such as when it runs and how much a booth/table would cost there. (Remember will also have cost/logistics of manning the booth or table, too.)
  • Scout out some possible new business locations. Contact a realtor and ask about a more centralized business location where many people walk their pets.
  • Canvass kennel clubs and dog rescue groups for possible partnership opportunities.
  • Contact window artists for quotes on a window display.
  • Decide on referral discount and customer loyalty schemes and notify existing customers.

How Do We Best Neutralize Threats?

Without a bigger marketing budget, we can’t run competing radio and newspaper ad campaigns (although would be a good idea to run occasional newspaper ad). Might be able to off-set the competition's newspaper and radio campaigns through developing our online presence as above.

Results: As you see above, this SWOT analysis has created the seeds of an action marketing plan, providing clear direction for how this small business can counter their competitions' marketing efforts and increase their own customer base.

Back to How to Do SWOT Analysis for Your Business

SWOT Analysis Matrix

 Positive FactorsNegative Factors
Internal FactorsStrengthsWeaknesses
External FactorsOpportunitiesThreats