Strategic planning to refine your focus

SWOT analysis can help you frame your business plan.

What is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By carefully considering what applies to your business for each of these categories, you can prioritize the steps needed to grow. An effective SWOT Analysis section in your business plan will instruct you on how to leverage your strengths to take advantage of opportunities and to reduce threats by improving your weaknesses.

For a start-up business, strengths might include your idea, a patent or the talent you’ve recruited. Your weaknesses could be your lack of funding or having no customer base. Opportunities should be discovered in your business plan’s market analysis. And your threats might include competitors or the economy.

Putting your SWOT analysis to use

You’ve determined your strengths, identified your opportunities and threats and honestly assessed your weaknesses. Now it’s time to list actionable steps. Identify which opportunities and threats are most imminent and impactful. Write out how you’re going to harness your strengths and improve your weaknesses to achieve your desired results.

A strong business plan can help you secure financing and seed investment from M&T.


Writing a Business Plan

You can’t create a business plan without first understanding what goes into it. Check out our resources to jump-start your draft. Learn more about Writing a Business Plan.

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