Distinguishing between ideas and opportunities is the fundamental challenge facing every businessperson. Those who can correctly sniff out the opportunities are the ones who will build successful businesses and create real value.
Identifying opportunities requires a systematic consideration of key characteristics and relying on a decision-making discipline that not all professionals have, but which can be learned. Start by considering the following:
• Opportunity in Execution. There is often an untapped wealth of opportunity in simply doing things better than the rest. Call it customer service or building customer loyalty, but the fact is that business opportunities can and are created solely on the basis of superior execution, even in the face of significant competition.
• Copying Another’s Business Model. Copying another’s ideas and even their business model may in fact be the best and smartest way to launch a business. Many businesses have achieved success by simply taking another’s basic business model and making minor improvements in content or execution.
• Applying Technology. Consider what happens to the business model when technology is applied, or newer more advanced processes and workflow procedures are employed. Often such improvements significantly enhance the business to a degree that a higher price can be charged, costs can be reduced, or more customers served—all resulting in a more viable business model.
There are countless opportunities to pursue—many with tremendous potential. Those who can set their emotions aside and carefully work through their evaluation are more likely to select the very best and achieve the ultimate success they are seeking.
T. Craig Bott, President & CEO Grow Utah Ventures Salt Lake City