Determine Threats and Opportunities

Playback speed:

In this extension, you will analyze your business’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

You will also determine threats to your business.

SCORE’s business plan template for startup businesses includes many valuable worksheets and guidelines for planning different elements of your business.

You can complete this extension during your market research, while writing your business plan, or after writing your plan to add greater detail.

In this lesson, you will complete the SCORE Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats ... or SWOT Analysis.

This worksheet helps identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses and determine how to take advantage of opportunities and prevent threats.

Through this exercise, you will develop an understanding of how and where your product, brand, employees, financing, management, and market potentially make your business stronger or weaker.

You will also begin to plan for positive opportunities or potential threats to your business.

Thinking about these situations helps your business prepare for unexpected events and changes in the market.

To begin, open the SCORE business plan template for a startup business.

Then locate the SWOT worksheet in the template.

Next, create a new document and rename it.

Return to your browser tab with the SCORE business plan template.

Copy the SWOT worksheet.

Then, return to the tab with your new document and paste the worksheet into the document.

Complete the worksheet by brainstorming your Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities And threats.

List at least one strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat for each business area.

It’s okay if some areas overlap.

For example, a product or service weakness might also be a brand weakness.

Then, answer the questions below the table.

These answers don’t have to be precise.

Like the table, they help you begin to think about where your business is going, so that you can make firm plans later.

Great job.

Use additional SCORE resources to continue thinking about your business future so you can ask questions, find information, and make informed decisions that will help your business.

Now, it’s your turn: Open the SCORE Business Plan template for a startup business, Copy the SWOT worksheet, Create and rename a new document, Paste the SWOT worksheet into your new document, And complete the SWOT table and summary questions.

Choose an extension
Format Text in Your Business Plan

Format text to emphasize different sections of your business plan.

Add a Header and Footer to Your Document

Add headers and footers to include information about your company and the document.

Share Your Business Plan for Feedback

Share your business plan to proofread and get feedback from others.

Download Your Business Plan in Another Format

Download your business plan as a .pdf, .doc, or .txt file.

Determine Threats and Opportunities

Complete the SCORE Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis Worksheet to determine opportunities and threats.

Write an Elevator Pitch and Practice with a Partner

Write an elevator pitch to highlight key talking points for your business and practice talking about your business with investors and customers.


Choose an extension to improve your business plan and learn new digital skills.