Business planning: The importance of a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a structured planning method that can be used to help develop a strong business strategy by creating an organized list of both internal and external factors that can impact your business positively or negatively. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

SWOT analysis, strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat words

SWOT analysis, strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat 

If you are starting a business it can help you define and reinforce the viability of your business. The SWOT process will help you gather information so you can make informed decisions about the future of your business.

How to conduct a SWOT analysis

Who should use a SWOT?

If you are a start up business you should conduct a SWOT analysis to help define timeline and risks as well as goals for your new business. If you are an existing business you can use it if you are going to be adding any new service or product to help define the viability in relation to the marketplace. A SWOT can also be used within an organization during meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.

The important thing to remember is to be realistic and honest while doing a SWOT. If something is unattainable then other objectives need to be discussed. It should help you identify and generate new goals as well as the best direction to grow your business.

The Halton Region Small Business Centre has SWOT templates to help define your next steps. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at, by email at

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