The most usual way new business opportunities are born is when people notice a market inefficiency and have an idea of how to correct it. Interestingly, 42% of all startups fail due to lack of market need, so spotting the difference between real and imagined market inefficiency can be tricky. It takes a true genius mind to go one step beyond and see a business opportunity where nobody else can and supply a solution for the problem not many people knew existed. That can be a tall order for many of us, so we will focus on things we all can accomplish.
Do the Research
Remember that 42 % of failed startups? Those are the people who took one look at research and said: “Nah, I don’t need this.” They decided that their time and money were better used at other things. Whatever the expenditure research would take, we are willing to bet that they would pay twice as much once they realized that researching the market is actually vital and that their unwillingness to do it is the direct reason why their business failed. Don’t repeat their mistakes and do the leg work. Make sure you know what you are getting into and as a bonus, you may get an idea or two on what you can offer that nobody else did.
Check Out the Competition
They say that wise people learn from the mistakes of others and fools learn from their own. Don’t be a fool and always keep an eye on the competition. If they are failing, make sure to understand why it is happening, so you can avoid it. If they are succeeding, compare your business to theirs and see what is it that you are missing. Often, it can be small things, like better customer service, but it is interesting how sometimes big stuff gets overlooked, despite all the attention and numerous sets of eyes. Yet, the moment you see your competitors doing it, it dawns on you. It probably has something to do with the plank in your own eye etc.
Ask Your Customers
Your customers can be a very valuable source of information about the direction in which your business should be heading. It is often the easiest way to determine what new improvements to the existing products should be added. Perhaps you can even discover a new product or service idea, based on the feedback. For instance, that is the way the top online casinos determine which new games to offer. After all, people who have been using your products for years often know more about them than even your designers or engineers who built them.
Keep in Touch with The Technology
Keeping in touch with the latest developments in your field is always a good idea, especially if you own or are planning to start an online business. The pace of development is often so fast that taking even a short break can leave you hopelessly behind. It also means that new business opportunities are created almost daily and often, being first is all that matters. Following industry trends sounds boring, not to mention tedious and time-consuming, but all it takes just one good insight to spark an idea that will help you start your own successful business. At that point, it all will be worth it.
Anticipate the Market
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in a small garage back in 1998, not many people in the world knew what Internet, let alone a search engine, was. Yet, Page and Brin correctly surmise that a better search engine will be needed to help people navigate the ever-growing number of Internet sites and by doing so, started one of the most successful companies in history. This is a radical example, granted, but it goes to show just how powerful anticipating the market can be. It doesn’t have to be a new product, often a simple improvement can go a long way into attracting customers and creating great business opportunities.
Having a brilliant idea that will transform the world and make you rich and famous in the process is actually pretty rare, so relying upon such an event to start your business may be a forlorn hope. Instead, try to focus on things we listed above and your chances of coming up with a sound business opportunity will be much greater.
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