Spotting the Right Opportunity
That right business opportunity, the unicorn just waiting in the enchanted forest, might first be hard to spot. But learning how to sense those great opportunities for you and your business is not as difficult as it seems. Industry professionals know that it can time to get “it” right--the “it” here being your nose for successful ventures. As you wade around trying to figure it out, here’s a jumping off point: three key factors in assessing opportunities.
Spotting and Utilizing Market Inefficiency
One of the simplest means of identifying new streams of revenue is to look for holes in the market. What’s not working now that can work better? And how can your business help facilitate that? This interview with Raffi Amit, a Management professor at Wharton College, is very helpful in breaking this down. Amit explains, “If you have the resources and capability — or at least the ability to bring together the resources and capability needed to correct that inefficiency — that could be a very interesting business idea.” An example might be workflow. If your company is a software company that utilizes specific online platforms to organize workflow but must cobble together aspects of multiple platforms to run efficiently, a new revenue stream might simply be creating the perfect Frankenstein system.
Developing a Location Specific Idea
Demand is often location-dependent, so seeking out needs and niches in the same neighborhoods as your offices or projects can be a great way of finding opportunities to grow. The manifold positive outcomes of securing location specific opportunities include being able to watch from the driver’s seat, broadening your local reputation, and creating the potential for more revenue streams simply through visibility. Finally, your company might hold the economic key, so to speak, for a specific region. Some locations are too economically down to spend time and money on investments for the community, but if you can help meet a need and generate revenue, why not? See this article on Inc.com by John Rampton, an entrepreneur and investor, for more ideas.
Doing Your Research
Most opportunities might seem golden until you do a little digging. But, the digging is so important. First, ask yourself: is the timing right? This question doesn’t apply just to the opportunity but to your company as well. Taking on a new project when you’re already overburdened can be damaging instead of beneficial. It seems obvious, but when an opportunity knocks in a technicolor dream coat, it’s sometimes hard to say no.
Next, consider the training your staff might have to undergo in order to prepare for this new opportunity. Is this training financially viable? If the timing’s right and the money’s there, you might have found the best opportunity for you. This excellent article from Entrepreneur helps analyze all the different business opportunities out there, while also explaining how they may or may not be a good fit for your company.
Have you found a golden opportunity where you least expected it? Any suggestions on how to streamline the decision process when it comes to exciting new ventures? Please share in the comments below.