SWOT Analysis: How to Use Before You Do Your Strategic Planning

SWOT Analysis - Opportunities and Threats - LIGHT Expansion
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SWOT analysis is one of the main tools in support of Strategic Planning. Thinking about it, we decided to talk a bit more about how to use the SWOT Analysis to start doing your Strategic Planning.

Go back to:
What is and how to do strategic planning?
What is and how to do a SWOT Analysis (FOFA)?

What is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT analysis - case study

SWOT analysis is a management tool created decades ago and used until today for you to analyze the external and internal environments that your company finds. With it you raise the Forces and Weaknesses (internal environment) and the Opportunities and Threats (external environment) that affect your business.

SWOT Analysis Worksheet

How to do a SWOT Analysis?

To begin, it is necessary to list all the company's strengths and weaknesses. You can brainstorm with your team to list all of these options. One technique that can help you analyze it better is to score strengths and weaknesses to find out which ones are most important and which are less important.

internal factors

By using our Ready Worksheet you already have some suggestions of strengths and weaknesses that can be changed according to your reality. In addition, it also assists with punctuation by making this process automatically. But you can also make your Worksheet for personal control.

Once you understand your inner environment it is time to look outside and analyze the external environment. For this you should list all the Threats and Opportunities external to your business that may in some way affect your company.

swot external factors

After you have lifted all your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, it's time to start crossing those data and begin your Strategic Planning.

Crossing SWOT Analysis data

There are 4 types of strategies based on crosses. Are they:

SWOT Analysis: The Method That Will Save Your Meetings

Strengths x Opportunities

In this first type of crossing you evaluate how you can make the most of what your company has to offer to make the most of the opportunities that the external environment is offering you.

SWOT Analysis: How to Use Before You Do Your 1 Strategic Planning

The idea here is to think about the best possibility of using force to take advantage of a possibility, so try to associate a force with only one of the opportunities, so it is possible to have more focus and objectivity in actions.

Forces x Threats

In a second moment you begin to cross the data between the Forces and the Threats of a company, with the objective to make better use of what you have in your business to neutralize possible negative influences coming from the external factor.

forces x threats

Weaknesses x Opportunities

When crossing your weaknesses with Opportunities it is time to mitigate the influence of your weaknesses in Market Opportunities. At this stage, you should design strategies in order to minimize your company's weaknesses so that they boost opportunities by understanding these strategies as reinforcement strategies.

weaknesses x opportunities - swot

Weaknesses x Threats

Here you will think of strategies to minimize losses and negative effects of your weaknesses and threats to your company. The so-called defense strategies are precisely for the manager to think of ways to mitigate the effects of this negative quadrant in the results.

weaknesses x threats - swot

Want to know more about SWOT Analysis Data Crossing? Only click here and check out our post on SWOT Analysis.


Understanding your Business Phase with SWOT Analysis

After crossing your SWOT some new possible strategies have already been defined. But you can take more advantage of your SWOT Analysis by using it to discover your Business Phase.

business phase box-swot


In the phase of survival your company finds itself with weaknesses and threats as predominant. This is not a favorable picture for your business so be careful if you are in that quadrant. If your Weaknesses are being potentialized by your Threats, be careful and strategize to get out of this situation. Remember that your Weaknesses are under your control so try to lessen their influence first, but do not forget to think of ways to lessen the effects of external Threats.


It is the scenario where your Forces and Threats are the most relevant. In that case care must be taken that your Forces do not lose their importance. Think of strategies that somehow lessen the negative impact of threats on your Forces and also use your Forces to counteract possible threats whenever possible.

SWOT Analysis Worksheet


Scenario where the ideal time is to focus on growth. Since your weaknesses and opportunities are the most relevant, focus on making the most of opportunities, and since weaknesses are internal factors controlled by you, think of strategies to counteract or turn those weaknesses into strengths.


Most positive scenario where your strengths and opportunities are the most relevant. Do not miss out on this good time and focus on making the most of these opportunities as well as building on your strengths. Think of strategies you can keep up with this positive pace and make the most of the positive potential of the Opportunities offered by the market.

Finishing Tips

1) The greatest job of the Manager is knowing how to prioritize what should be the focus of the work. Use SWOT analysis to find out what is going to be the company's biggest focus: whether internal or external.

2) SWOT Analysis is one of the tools of a Strategic Planning so when it comes to planning the future always try to take a look at your data and crosses to see possible insights that can help you.

3) Like Strategic Planning, SWOT Analysis can be revisited and redone after some time. Whenever possible, try to update it with new information from the environment.

4) This post was written using our SWOT Analysis Worksheet. With this Spreadsheet you can cross-check the data and automatically calculate your business phase with comments on how you can best take advantage of it. If you want to save time and start doing a SWOT Analysis with our help right now, you can purchase the SWOT Analysis Worksheet by clicking here.

SWOT Analysis Worksheet

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