University of Maryland Extension

SWOT analysis and business planning

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SWOT analysis and business planning

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a tool you can use to improve your business. You can use it to plan a new business venture, think of solutions to a problem, prepare for future risks, or strategize about how to market your products. Here is a form you can fill in for your own SWOT analysis. 

Table for SWOT excercise

10 ways to learn more: There’s something for everyone!

Resources from University of Maryland Extension

  1. Starting a Farm Business in Maryland
    This short factsheet lists and links to resources and topics to consider as you start a new farm business.

  2. Beginning Farmer Success website
    This website has information for new farmers on a wide range of topics, from production to marketing. Highlights: Farm Business Planning workbook and supplemental materials

  3. AgMarketing website
    This website has great resources on marketing agricultural products, particularly for new farmers, alternative crops, and value-added products. Highlights: Ag Marketing 101This guidebook covers agricultural marketing at an approachable level. 

  4. Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center
    Don’t let the “rural” in the name put you off. These resources can also be relevant to urban farmers. Highlights: Dream, Plan, Implement. This concise guide walks you through the steps to make your dream business a reality.

  5. Trending Enterprises in Maryland
    This web-page collects information about trending alternative enterprises.

  6. MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture 
    MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture is an Extension program that is dedicated to providing knowledge and resources to women who share a passion for agriculture. But everyone can attend their Wednesday Webinar series, and watch their extensive webinar archive! Highlights: Enterprise Budgeting webinar
  7. Ag Law Education Initiative (ALEI)
    ALEI explains agricultural law topics like farm liability and labor rules in clear, easy to understand way.

Resources from Extension nationwide

8. AgPlan
    With a free account, you can build a business plan in the website and share it with collaborators. 

9. SARE Building a Sustainable Business 
You can download a free pdf or buy a paper copy of this guide.

10. Penn State “Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making”
This website goes over the basics of farm enterprise planning and financial management

Browse through and see what looks right for you!

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