Startups

How can business ideas benefit from SWOT Analysis?

Written by Shalique M.S

Markets always have some voids calling the attention of potential entrepreneurs. By voids, I mean the areas which are left untouched by the existing players. Any major startup which has skyrocketed in growth or revenue has undoubtedly filled these market gaps over the years. Netflix for instance, with its initial mail-order movie rentals and then with its streaming platform. Oyo Rooms filled the market gap of budget-conscious consumers who wanted a safe, convenient place to stay with minimum necessities. In fact, every successful business you can think of has addressed sort of market gap.

Be it for people who are starting a small business or looking for scaling up an existing business, identification of voids can lead to a quantum jump in your business potential. Use these tips to identify and take advantage of the opportunities around you.

Assess Your Strengths

It’s not just that you are a perfect novice in an area. When someone asks you an area you are good at, do you immediately get an answer? If yes, Hurray! If not, still nothing to worry at, just sit back and relax for a minute. You will surely find something you feel you are always better at.  It doesn’t do you any good to find a gap in the market that you can’t take advantage of. There might be few airlines in your country, but it’s not easy to fill that gap. So before you start to look for market gaps, it only makes sense for you to know exactly where your strengths lie.

Make a list of your perceived strengths. You may use your past experiences to guide you through the process. Think about the resources you have and how best you can use them. Beware! This is not a professional test what I am talking about. For instance, if you have a good working knowledge of how a particular business works, that’s obviously your strength, but beware considering far unrelated attributes as your strengths.

Weakness

Sometimes an industry can go through big challenges because of failing to understand the poor performing attributes.

Unless there is constant learning of the best practices in the industry, you might think that the firm is performing at it’s best. Remember that there is always a better way of doing things and reach out for those!

Threat

Whenever you are about to make a market entry, it is important to properly identify and study your competitors. Proper identification of competitors is also critical. Imagine that you are going to start a gold jewelry boutique. In this case, your competitors will not just be the gold jewelry boutiques around you but the alternatives to gold as well like diamond, platinum, silver etc. This study is important because while you study each competitor, you understand the trend in that locality, whether people in the locality prefer platinum to gold in which case you are at an obvious threat!

Opportunity

Many start-ups fail by not targeting a specific segment while they launch a product. This can cause a considerable loss of cash in the form of untargeted or wrongly targeted marketing campaigns or even product. Hence it is always better to think small when it comes to gaps in the market. The more specific your market, the more likely you’ll be able to target them effectively.

How niche is too niche? Well, you want to make sure that the market is big enough to sustain growth. It should have many existing products because that shows you that there is demand in the market. There should also be an easily identifiable customer base. Without those things, there seems to be little opportunity for generating enough cash flow.

While sensing an opportunity, do not blindly apply to your intended business. Any big or small business should commence with a proper market feasibility study. Though you might think it is a waste of time and money, think in terms of the huge volume of money being probably wasted on an infeasible project!!! The losses can be devastating. Even if you are sure that the business is going to be a big shot, it is always better to hear from experts who can definitely add value by providing the right market entry strategy.

 

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About the author

Shalique M.S

Research Scholar, IIM Kozhikode

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