SWOT Analysis and Sustainability are two sections of business plans that not many people talk about or know how to approach in their business-- but are so crucial to long-term success.
SWOT Analysis is generally seen as the "review" process for the internal and external systems and products of a business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Generally this model is used by dividing a piece of paper into four quadrants and evaluating the product, event, etc. using the SWOT guidelines and separating your thoughts into the quadrants.
There are some really great worksheets on Google that can help walk you through this process if you are new to it or need a refresher! I love using the SWOT Analysis process because I appreciate the simplicity of the structure and the ability of organizations to really dig deep and think critically about their product or service or event. Strengths and weaknesses allow organizations to dig deep about the internal processes they use and how those are affecting their business, and the opportunities and threats allow organizations to evaluate external systems to see how those can potentially compete with the business.
When creating a business plan, many people do not think about creating a SWOT Analysis and Sustainability section. SWOT Analysis is not a typical section of a business plan.
Implementing SWOT Analysis into a business plan means analyzing the plan you have thus far for the business you have created and understanding the strengths, but also the external threats that your business may face at any point in time, but especially when you are first starting out. Including a review process that will be done bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually, etc. helps you evaluate the success of your business but it also helps investors see that you are setting yourself up for success no matter what will be thrown your way.
From the SWOT Analysis and Review process that is integrated and produced for your business plan, the next section should be Sustainability and how you are going to keep your business thriving. From your SWOT Analysis, this should be fairly easy. Sustainability involves playing to your strengths and utilizing those to crate profit and utilizing your weaknesses in a way so that your business is functioning in the best way possible.
How do you streamline and systemize areas which you refer to as weaknesses to run an efficient and sustainable business? How do track opportunities to ensure that your business can scale and grow?
This is all a part of Sustainability and you should have a brief plan of how you are going to implement those systems to scale which will help you in the long run! These two sections are all about thinking of the long-term and future.