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Small businesses are operating in a very different world post-pandemic. While COVID-19 created new obstacles for companies of all sizes, we can apply the lessons learned during the pandemic to develop better business plans for 2023 and beyond.
One of the most important pieces of any business plan is a SWOT analysis.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a technique businesses use to identify internal and external factors – both positive and negative – that impact the company. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, while opportunities and threats are external factors.
The Four Elements of Every SWOT Analysis
When you conduct a SWOT analysis, these are the four categories you’ll review:
Why do Businesses Perform a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is one of the easiest ways to perform an internal and external self-evaluation of your business. The process helps owners slow down, ask key questions, think critically, and uncover important information about the business and its goals for the future. It can also help businesses reveal blind spots and that you or your employees might not notice in your day-to-day work.
The strengths and weaknesses sections will help clarify 1) what the business is doing well and should continue, and 2) what is not going well and needs to be improved.
The opportunities and threats sections are more important than ever in today’s market, with quick company evolution and an uncertain economy. A SWOT analysis can help you keep pace with your competitors and plan ahead, rather than being surprised by challenges as they arise.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for 2023 Planning
Whether your business has been operating for two years or twenty years, you may have an annual planning process in place that works for your specific needs. If you aren’t planning annually, a SWOT analysis can be a helpful, flexible tool to begin looking forward strategically.
Here are some tips to conduct the most effective SWOT analysis possible:
Building your 2023 Business Plan with Cultivate Advisors
Developing a plan for 2023 can make it easier to break your goals up into smaller, achievable actions – and a SWOT analysis can be a great first step to building that plan.
Not sure where to start? You don’t have to do it alone. NEWITY is partnered with Cultivate Advisors, an advisory firm built specifically for small businesses. Cultivate’s expert advisors are former and active business owners that provide monthly one-on-one guidance to help you maximize your business’ opportunities.
NEWITY members can schedule a free two-hour session with Cultivate with no obligation.