How does SWOT impact planning? thanks!

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Let's look at one facet of SWOT planning at a time.

When you analyze your internal strengths, you are able to capitalize on them.  If customer service is one of your strong suits, for example, you might want to make that a focus of your marketing efforts.  If one of your strengths is a steady cash flow, you might plan on investing some of that money in research and development, in expansion, or in some sort of upgrade of your equipment. 

An analysis of your weaknesses is vital because how else can you plan to eliminate them?  If your location is poor, you need to make plans to move, get people to come to you, or perhaps offer your product or service on-line.  If you have high employee turnover, you need to find out why and plan on solving the problem.

You must know what opportunities are out there for your company in order to capitalize on them.  Is there a higher demand for your product?  Is a competitor going out of business?  Is the regulatory environment going to change in a way that is favorable to you?  You can plan accordingly.

You can also plan on minimizing threats, if you know what they are.  Is a new competitor moving in nearby?  How can you plan to minimize the impact of that?  Is a possible zoning change going to impact your plans to expand?  You can plan to attend a city council meeting, rally the neighborhood, and get signatures on a petition.

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