The Role of SWOT Analysis in Identifying Business Opportunities


Opportunities occur when people discover a problem of some kind that can be solved with the provision of product/services, or when people decide they have certain needs or want to satisfy.

Opportunities may also arise from change. Sources of opportunities could also be an observed demand and supply gap arising from society’s needs and function, growing and evolving economies and economic niches, technological change, social change, demographic change, political changes such as war, tariff and embargoes or artificial scarcities.
Other conditions that may create opportunities’ include shortages, surpluses, price response, and shifts in demand.

SWOT analysis

SWOT Analysis

(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) enables the entrepreneur to mirror himself in relation to identification and assessment of business opportunities.

  • Strengths are his stronghold,
  • Weaknesses imply shortcomings, and
  • Opportunities are’ possible areas of exploitation while
  • Threats are those things that are cogs in the wheel of progress, such as competitors.

For new entrepreneurs, the process of conducting a market survey involves the following steps;

(1) Defining objectives of the market survey and specifying what information is required.
(2) Working out the details of the study, such as;

  • Identifying sources of obtaining information.
  • Time and cost involvement for the study.
  • Methodology to be used in gathering information.
  • Developing a plan of action.

(3) Selecting samples and deciding what contacts and visit should be made.
(4) Preparing questionnaire and plans for surveys and interviews.
(5) Collating and analyzing data.
(6) Preparing a report of findings.

Business idea Generation



A business idea is the response of a person(s) or organization to solving an identified problem or to meeting perceived needs in the environment (markets, community, etc)

A business idea is a pre – requisite for a successful business venture. Good business ideas result from effort and often creativity of the entrepreneur. Finding a good idea is the first step in transforming the entrepreneur’s desire and creativity into a business opportunity.

Sources of good Business Ideas: There are several sources of good ideas. To be successful in generating or finding one, however, the entrepreneur needs to keep his/her mind and eyes open and be alert to opportunities. An idea however good, is only a tool at the end of the day.
It needs to be developed and transformed into a viable business opportunity.

Sources of business ideas include:

  • Hobbies/interests
  • Personal skills and experience
  • Franchises’
  • Mass media (news papers, magazines, TV, internet etc)
  • Exhibitions
  • Surveys
  • Complaints
  • Brainstorming
  • Creativity

Reasons for generating business ideas:

  • Business idea generation is a sine-qua-non (inevitable) for. business.
  • Ideas are generated to respond to market needs
  • Ideas are also generated to respond to changing fashions and requirements.
  • In order to stay ahead of competition
  • To be in tune with latest technology so as to do things better.
  • In response to product life cycle
  • In order to spread risk and allow for failure.



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One Response
  1. March 29, 2011

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