To Recognise Business Opportunities,

Before we start, just remember that An Idea is not Necessarily an Opportunity

There is one crucial difference, however, between an idea and an opportunity.  An opportunity is based on what consumers want.  Many small businesses fail because an entrepreneur didn’t understand this. 

A business opportunity is an idea plus these three qualities:

  • It is attractive to customers.
  • It will work in your business environment.
  • It can be executed in the “window of opportunity” that already exists.
  • You have the resources and skills to create the business, or you know someone who does and who could start the business with you.

1- Where Others See Problems, Entrepreneurs Recognise Opportunities

Many famous businesses have been started because an entrepreneur solved a problem by turning it into a successful business.  The problem was treated as an opportunity. Georgette Klinger founded her skin care company because she had terrible acne.  Anita Roddick started The Body Shop – a cosmetics company that uses natural ingredients in its products – because she was tired of paying for fancy packaging when she bought makeup.

To become an entrepreneur who can recognise business opportunities, ask yourself such questions as:

  •             What frustrated me the most when I go buy something?
  •             What product or service would really improve my life?
  •             What makes me particularly annoyed?
  •             What product or service would eliminate that annoyance?

List three problems that bother you and a business solution for each:

Problem                                           Business Solution 

1. ______________________________                    ______________________________

2. ______________________________                    ______________________________

3. ______________________________                    ______________________________

4. ______________________________                    ______________________________

2- Entrepreneurs Imagine What They Want and Then Create It

Businesses also come into existence when entrepreneurs fantasize about products or services they wish existed.  You can jump-start your imagination by asking yourself (or your friends) questions like the following:

  •             What is the one thing you’d like to have more than anything else?
  •             What does it look like?
  •             Or taste like?
  •             What does it do?

List three products or services you would like to see created:

  1. ________________________________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________________________________

A “window of opportunity” is the time you have to bring a business possibly to the marketplace.  You might have a great idea, but if competitors have had the same thought and brought the product or service to the customer first, your window of opportunity has been slammed shut.

The Roots of Opportunity in the Marketplace

Problems are just an example of opportunities that entrepreneurs need to be able to recognise.  A changing situation or trend is another. There are five roots of opportunity in the marketplace:

  • Problems that your business could solve.
  • Changes in laws, situations, or trends.
  • Inventions of totally new products or services.
  • Competition – If you can find a way to beat the competition based on price, location, quality, reputation, reliability, or hours, you can operate a very successful business with an already existing product or service.
  • Technological advances – Scientists may invert new technology, but entrepreneurs must figure out how to market it.
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