A business plan is one of the most important documents for any small business owner and it should contain a range of important elements. One such element you need to focus on when learning how to write a business plan is the SWOT analysis - which we're going to briefly cover here.
By reading on, you’ll find out what a SWOT analysis is and why it’s important to include one in your strategic business planning. We’ll also cover how easy it is to boost your knowledge with flexible online courses at the end, but let’s waste no more time and get started.
Ok, So What is SWOT Analysis?:
Any good business management course will tell you how important your business plan is and indeed, how important conducting a SWOT analysis is. In truth, it’s one of the most common ways that businesses assess both internal & external parts of the environment in their company exists.
SWOT is an acronym for each of the 4 main areas included, which are; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Applied over the SWOT Matrix (see fig.1 below), it’s essentially a brainstorming process where you list everything that falls into each category. One SWOT analysis is conducted for internal matters and another for external.
The SWOT Matrix:
So, let’s see how each area of the matrix breaks down. When learning how to write a business plan SWOT analysis, please bear in mind that Strengths & Weaknesses focus on current or past matters, whereas Opportunities & Threats are concerned with future issues.
When determining your business strengths, you should ask yourself questions like:Strengths:
- What resources do you have that your competitors don’t?
- What’s your U.S.P (Unique Selling Point)?
- What draws customers to you, rather than to others?
- What’s unique about your approach?
On the flip-side, we now look at your business weakness, which questions like:
- What is it that your business perhaps doesn’t do so well?
- What weaknesses are evident to your customers?
- What makes your brand image look weaker than it should?
- What puts customers off from buying from you?
Next when learning how to write a business plan SWOT analysis are opportunities:
- What potential opportunities for growth exist in your marketplace?
- Are there any trends your business could leverage?
- Are they any emerging technologies you could take advantage of?
- Is there a need in the market that’s not being met?
Lastly, we look at the threats that are stopping you from being successful:
- What are your competitors doing that you’re not?
- Is disruptive technology putting your company’s position at risk?
- Do any of your weaknesses threaten your company’s health?
- Are there any societal changes that present a threat to your company?
The Benefits of Carrying Out a SWOT Analysis:
Your SWOT analysis is such an important part of your strategic planning, as it provides you with the information you need to build on what you’re doing well and address the areas you’re not so great in. It’s essentially a formalized way to get a clear picture of where your business stands.
When you learn how to write a business plan SWOT analysis, you’re also able to identify potential threats and overcome them, as well as put your finger on any core competencies that require work. Think of it as a business self-critique.
Boost Your Business Knowledge With Flexible OCA Training
There’s much to learn when you’re running your own business, however with flexible online training from OCA to assist you, you get to add to your knowledge when it suits you. For instance, our How to Write a Business Plan Certificate is CPD-approved, modular and video-based, meaning that it’s mentally stimulating and easy to arrange your learning around your obligations.
However, if you’d like to know more about our full range of online short courses that cover in excess of 20 different industries, visit us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au. Alternatively, to speak to us about anything else, give us a call on 1300 611 404 and we’ll do our utmost to give you the answers you need.