Business plans are created for many different reasons – to get funding for a project, to evaluate future growth, or to fulfill strategic initiatives. But many plans go out of date before they're even complete. Changes happen fast in business and, for a plan to have any value, it needs to evolve with your organization and stay relevant in the face of uncertainty. Ongoing analyses of the internal and external environments are important to help keep plans relevant. This course describes how to carry out an internal analysis, including the assessment of your organization's market strategy, resources, organizational structure, and financial position. It shows how understanding internal factors can guide you in writing a business plan that reflects the strengths and resources of the organization. The course also explains the key elements examined in any external analysis, such as the competitive landscape and industry trends, and how these factors may inform your business plan and help ensure it is both relevant and compelling. Finally, the course covers how to use the results of your analyses to identify important opportunities, like new demand or market growth, and challenges – such as changing customer needs or threats from substitutes – that may need to be addressed in the business plan.

Learning objectives

  • Describe how the results of an internal analysis inform a business plan
  • How to conduct an external analysis
  • Identify market influences that may affect your business plan
  • Determine how a SWOT analysis affects a business plan in a given scenario

Audience

Business leaders, professionals, and managers who want to gain or refine their skills for planning and developing strategic business plans

60 Minutes

365 Days

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