SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis helps you determine your company’s potential for business growth by assessing the internal factors that enable it to succeed, potential obstacles to success, opportunities at hand, and adverse external circumstances.

Here are some tips on how to use a SWOT analysis for strategic planning to spur business growth.


Focusing on strengths involves finding your company’s unique selling proposition, or USP, the distinguishing characteristic that gives you the edge on your competition. To find your USP, consider the advantages your business has in the market, any special resources you have access to, and what your business does better than your competitors. Survey your clients to discover what they like about you and why they choose to do business with your company rather than someone else.


In this section you need to be bluntly honest about improvements that need to be made and difficulties for which you need to be on guard. To find out your company’s weaknesses, ask your clients, employees, and business partners for constructive criticism. Encourage them not to hold back in telling you the truth.


Opportunities are external factors that are outside of your immediate control. Examples include technological advances, market changes, government policies, and sociological shifts that could potentially benefit your business. When you analyze opportunities, assess them in the context of your company’s strengths and weaknesses to see how you can take advantage of them to boost business growth.


Threats are external circumstances that have the potential to endanger business growth. These may include powerful competitors, hindering technological or marketing factors, or cash flow difficulties and a lack of access to financing. Knowing what threatens your company allows you the possibility of sidestepping the dangers by overcoming weaknesses and taking advantage of opportunities.

For more advice on using SWOT analysis for business growth, get in touch with 5 Star Funding group.