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Business plans should always include a section on S W O T analysis that is:

  1. Strengths
  2. Weaknesses
  3. Opportunites
  4. Threats

If you do the analysis carefully and methodically it will greatly assist developing your point of difference, your marketing  strategy, your own learning, costs and profit! It will also aid your own mindset in that you will realise the challenges that are to be overcome. Later on, in your planning journey, I will cover  the topic of risk but you’re your analysis will start throwing risk items as well!


It pays to do a personal SWOT analysis first as you really need to align your personal side with business so that they never start to fall into conflict that will be detrimental to either space!

For those who say I am going at compartmentalisation and separating the two, I say qudos to you, however, from my experience my personal factors are always in my choices in business otherwise it causes stress and tension!


So here are the minimum items you see to address

  1. Strengths as a Customer and Your Market

  • What advantages do you have
  • What can you do that is better than anyone else
  • What cost advantages do you have
  • What do customers see as your strengths
  • What has to be present in order to get a sale
  • What is your point of difference
  1. Weaknesses Internal and External

  • What could you improve on
  • What should you avoid
  • What does the market see as a weakness in you
  • What would make you lose a sale
  1. Opportunities

  • What are the good opportunities you can spot
  • What trends and fads are there in the market
  • What is the impact of digital disruption
  • What political and social factors are changing
  • What are the demographics of the market status, age, gender and location
  • What local events will have impact
  1. Threats

  • What are the barriers to you personally and the market
  • What is the competition doing
  • Are there any differing areas of quality
  • Is there digital disruption happening
  • What about the money… is cash-flow going to be a problem
  • Could the weaknesses threaten your business


The is just an introduction. If you drill down on your analysis you will find lots of opportunities to do things differently such as learn, a good example is learning about the digital space. Ultimately you may have to modify your mission and vision in light of the new information found, in addition, don’t be afraid to change your analysis in light of factors you find in later stages of planning. Always develop strategies to minimise that risk.


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Andrew Elphick

Anywhere Business Team NZ