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Free career education resources       Learning to do a business plan
         Why is a business plan important?
         The business plan process
            SWOT and MECA
         Preparing your business plan
            Example outline of a business plan
         Some business plan tips


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The business plan process. SWOT and MECA

SWOTs & MECAs are business tools which will help you determine whether or not you have a "feasible" vision in mind. In other words, will your business idea work in the "real" world. A SWOT analysis is simply an analysis of both your's and your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

A SWOT analysis

Identify the S (strengths). What are your strengths? Consider: ability and potential, persistence, confidence, imagination, sales ability, track record, financial stability, expertise, and others.

Identify the W (weaknesses). What are your weaknesses? Consider: lack of time, health, financial instability, lack of family support, no management experience, don't enjoy working with the public, and others.

Identify the O (opportunities). What opportunities exist for you? Consider: connections with a mentor, work in a related field, business development assistance, supportive network, and others.

Identify the T (threats). What are the threats for you? Consider: personal/family instability financial crisis, loss of job, health concerns, and others.

After you have completed your personal SWOT analysis, you should complete one for your own business. Very often, to determine your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you must gather some information from outside of your business. This is where a MECA (Market, Environmental, and Competitive Assessment) comes in very handy.

A well-researched MECA will provide you with better information for your business's SWOT analysis while, at the same time, providing you with invaluable data for developing your strategic plan. Think of a MECA as a "bigger picture" analysis. Only this time you'll be looking for any trends, voids, opportunities, etc. related to the market, environmental issues, and the competition.


Comprehensive career education glossary. Definitions of career education and career builder terms.

Adult basic education.    Adult general education    Adult secondary education.    Adult student.     Apprenticeship.    Aptitudes.   

Assessment.    Attributes.     Career.     Career branding.     Career Carnival.    Career change.    Career cluster.    Career coach.   

Career counseling.    Career exploration.    Career development.    Career fair.    Career guidance.    Career-Interest Inventory.    

Career mentoring.    Career objective.    Career paths.    Career planning.    Career program certificate.    Career resources.   

Career Trek.    Competencies (proficiencies).    Competency-based education.     Community Education.   

Continuing Workforce Education.    Co-operative career education    Cover letter.    Curriculum-Integrated program.   

CV. Curriculum Vitae.    Degree Vocational Education Program.    Demand occupation.    Distance education.    Doctorate.   

Dislocated worker.    Employability.    Entrepreneurial skills.    Formation.    Foundation skills.    Freelance career.    Head hunter.   

Home-based careers.    Human capital.    Human performance technology.    Human resources.    Immersion courses.    Internship.   

Job satisfaction.    Job shadowing.    Life coaching.    Lifelong learning.    Mentor.    Mentoring.    Moonlighting.    Motivation letter.   

Non-traditional careers.    Portfolio.    Postsecondary.    Prerequisite.    Real Game.    Resume.    Sabbatical year.   

School-to-career program.    Self-employment.    Self-instruction.    Skills.    Undergraduate.    Work-based learning.   

Work exploration.    Work readiness.    Work study.    Workforce development education.    Youth apprenticeship.

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