1. Strengths and Weaknesses are internally related. The speak specifically to you, your business and what’s happening in what you do daily.
2. Opportunities and Threats are externally related: It’s all about what’s happening outside your business, in your marketplace and in the market environment in general.
3. Be super honest when identifying each element of your SWOT. You can’t make changes and improvements if you’re not honest with yourself as to what’s working and what isn’t.
Action plans for the near and long term
It’s been said you can’t eat an elephant all at once...you need to eat it one bite at a time. The same can be said about your strategic plan. You need to determine what you want in the long run by giving a clear picture of what it all looks like. Then, from there, you reverse engineer what you’re going to do over the one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods to get to where you want to be.