A business opportunity does not present itself to you. It takes a keen eye to spot it. Most of the time, these business "spotters" are the entrepreneurs because they can make a business out of just about anything. But for non-entrepreneurs or for those new to the game, here are some of the tips to spot a business opportunity.
- If there is a need, there is an opportunity. Businesses thrive because of customers. And customers go to a business because they have needs that they cannot service themselves. Catering to these needs, you are most likely to succeed because of a steady flow of customers. Wedding planners are in demand because there is a need to organize one's wedding without the groom and the bride going through all the hassles. If you think about it, this business used to be nonexistent, but is now very popular. Evaluate if the demand is temporary or permanent, as this will affect the viability of the business.
- There is business in crisis. For some, a crisis is an opportunity. Looking at successful tycoons today, most of them came from the war era, or are veterans of economic crises and depressions. Imagine how tough the business environment could be at that time, yet they reached unimaginable heights. Crisis also presents opportunities. Personal finance gurus are now in demand because people would like to know how to save and manage finances during this time. Remember the SARS scare? Gas mask prices jacked up due to an abrupt increase in demand. Drug stores selling these masks (especially in epidemic areas in Hong Kong) made a killing because of this opportunity that presented during the time of crisis.
- Be the first. Being the first captures an untapped market. This will make you an automatic market leader when competition arrives. Turn your creative ideas into businesses. Think about products that are not yet developed and try to make it commercially available. Being the first makes you an original, and an original is something consumers look forward to, aside from the price.
- Challenge existing business models. Sometimes, one doesn't have to get new ideas in order to hit it really big. Observe the current businesses and see how you can improve the industry. The business mantra today is total customer satisfaction, so a rich and enjoyable user experience is the key in today's market. Who would have thought that iPods will be such a big hit that the young generations simple cannot leave without home without it, next to their cell phones? But the iPod was not the first ever MP3 player. Apple simply "reinvented" the existing media player to come up with a gadget that's easy and fun to use. Apple has, to date, launched several versions of the iPod, from the smallest to the most advanced that can be operated via touch screen.
These are just some of the ways to spot business opportunities. But one warning: be careful with scams posing as business opportunities. There are a lot of fake opportunities today, capitalizing on our human desire to make our lives and our family lives comfortable when retirement age comes. Business opportunities don't just give you millions overnight. You have to spot them, nurture them, and work hard and work smart in order to succeed. Taking online courses in business or even gaining a business degree online will help prepare you for the true opportunities that will come your way!