A business opportunity thus requires that the entrepreneur follows the following process;
- Identify his strength
- Assess his surrounding
- Identify gaps that may be capitalized on.
- Select one of the gaps identified based on his strengths.
- Identify the risks and constraints involved.
- Lay out an execution plan
1. Identification of strengths
The entrepreneur needs to assess himself first before embarking on a business venture. This is important as it will enable him project how far he can carry on an idea that has been in his thought.
One major disappointment that befalls many entrepreneurs is the realization that an idea that once promised so much reward and fulfillment doesn’t bear the results that were expected. This happens because the entrepreneur did not look deep into his abilities before going forth with his plan.
A strength can be a talent that has been in a person since earlier days and has always manifested itself over time even in very subtle ways. One needs to identify these traits ad look at their business aspects.
2. Assess his Surrounding
Once the entrepreneur has assessed his abilities, he needs to look back at what is surrounding him. This entails learning the economic trends of his surrounding and trying to project the outcome of certain events.
The entrepreneur needs to study the economy very well. This is important since the result of his study will act as a personal bench mark for him to know how far he can go in an attempt to bring in some thing new. The study of the economy can be achieved by reading journals and articles written by experts, studying current economic events both in his country and the world at large.
For a comprehensive analysis, the entrepreneur will need to go far back, may be five years. This of course, will depend on the nature of the economy and the growth rate. Certain events may have short term implications and some may have long term implications, so the entrepreneur needs to look at all these in perspective.
The entrepreneur will need to relate the various economic events to each other and identify a connection, if any. The world economic climate has an effect on the local economy and this will need to be studied in detail by the entrepreneur.
As part of his surrounding, the current political and social situation will also impact on the identification of a business opportunity. These form the foundation of a stable society that will support his business in future.
The entrepreneur should also assess his potential competitors. This involves analyzing the latest technologies that are in use in most businesses that he may find lucrative to engage in. He also needs to find out the availability of supplies for his business and whether these are likely to be reliable and if not, what other options exist.
3. Identification of Gaps
The result of the study above will give the entrepreneur sufficient material to identify loopholes that need to be filled. This will happen as a result of serious study and analysis. What the entrepreneur needs to ask himself is ‘What role can I play to fill these loopholes?’
Once he has a solution to this basic question, the entrepreneur is well on his way to coming up with a brilliant idea. Many renowned entrepreneurs such as Steve Wozniak of Apple Inc., who made computers suited for ordinary people, identified the need for the ordinary man to be computer literate. This of course among other outcomes made many people become more efficient and productive in their work places.
4. Selection of Gaps to be filled
The loopholes may be very many but the entrepreneur needs to identify only those that bear a correlation with his strengths as identified earlier on. He will be able to relate what he is good at with what problems lie out there that need to be rectified. This will ensure that the entrepreneur does not engage in a venture that may take all his resources and be a disappointment as a result of poor correlation between his strengths and the gaps identified.
A mistake would be the entrepreneur taking his chances and trying to solve many problems at the same time. This will overwhelm him and will be a sign that the first stage of this process was not done thoroughly enough. The entrepreneur needs to take his time and select only those problems he finds himself capable of contributing towards finding a viable solution.
5. Identification of Risks and Constraints
Here, the entrepreneur will look at potential weaknesses that would exist in the business. Any business venture has pitfalls which if not well planned for, can ruin it. The entrepreneur needs to come up with strategies that will enable the business to get through the potential risks and constraints that may include; change in legislation, natural disasters, burglary e.t.c. He may mitigate against these risks, for instance, by insuring the business against losses that may result
from these events.
6. Lay out an execution Plan
The Entrepreneur should put all his ideas and plans in writing. This involves coming up with a business plan that clearly sets out the objectives and strategies of the business. The business plan acts as a reference whenever he needs to communicate with thirds parties in convincing them, for instance to invest.