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IDENTIFICATION OF

BUSINESS
OPPORTUNITIES
opportunity implies a good chance or
a favourable situation to do
something offered by circumstances.
business opportunity means a good or
favourable change available to run a
specific business in a given
environment at a given point of time.
 The term ‘opportunity’ also covers a
product or project. Hence, the
identification of an opportunity or a
product or project is identical and,
therefore, all these three terms are used
as synonyms. The Government of India’s
“Look East Policy” through North East is
an example of ‘opportunity’ to do
business in items like tea, handicrafts,
herbals, turmeric, etc.
 Opportunity identification and selection are like
comer stones of business enterprise. Better the
former, better is the latter. In a sense,
identification and selection of a suitable
business opportunity serves as the trite saying
‘well begun is half done.’ But, it is like better
said than done. Why? Because if we ask any
intending entrepreneur what project or product
he/she will select and start as an enterprise,
the obvious answer he/she would give is one
that having a good market and is profitable. But
the question is how without knowing the
product could one know its market?
A business opportunity is a situation in
which someone can buy, lease or hire
a product or service that allows them
to begin a business. Other criteria that
define a business opportunity is that
the investment should come with a
location that the purchaser can buy to
use for business.
What is a business opportunity?
List some examples of the types of
companies that you do business
with on a regular basis. At one
point in time, each of these
organizations was nothing more
than a business idea that an
entrepreneur turned into a
business opportunity.
When trying to come up with fresh
concepts for business opportunities, it's a
good idea to focus your attention on the
types of products and services that people
need, yet aren't able to easily get from
reliable sources for good prices. After all,
building a successful business is all about
identifying an unmet consumer need and
coming up with a way to meet that need in
an effective manner.
Factors to Help You Get
Focused
 Your Interests:
When you're trying to identify business
opportunities for yourself, it's important to
keep your interests, talents, skills, and
abilities, in mind. If you're going to start a
business, it should be something likely to
hold your attention and fully utilizes your
talents.
Access to Capital:
It's important to keep the amount
of capital required to start
different types of businesses in
mind when brainstorming. It's true
that you may have to spend money
to make money, but you have to
be realistic about how much
money you have to invest.
Work Schedule Needs:
When you own your own business, you can
expect to put in long hours performing all
types of tasks. Be sure to keep in mind the
type of schedule you are able to work when
choosing a business opportunity. If you
don't want to work early in the morning,
opening a day care center is probably not a
good idea. If you don't want to work at
night, you shouldn't decide to go into the
bar or restaurant business
When you're ready to go into
business for yourself, first answer
the question, What is a business
opportunity? Considering the
criteria mentioned above, make a
list of possible examples to get
started. This will serve as the
springboard to get you on your
way.
Here are a few ideas to help you get
started:
Turn a Hobby Into a Business
 Many people find a way to turn their
favorite pastimes into full time careers.
When you're coming up with your list of
potential business ideas, spend time
thinking about the types of activities you
enjoy. You might learn that you can make
a living doing what you love.
 Love dogs? Consider starting a pet sitting or dog walking
business.
 Cooking enthusiast? Think about opening a catering or
meal preparation company.
 Enjoy helping your kids with homework? Maybe you'd
enjoy a owning a tutoring business.
 Fluent in a foreign language? The demand for quality
translators is likely to continue to increase as the
economy becomes increasingly global.
 Great with numbers? There is always a need for
bookkeeping businesses or tax services.
 Strong computer skills? Web developers are in high
demand, as are computer repair technicians.
 Franchise Opportunities
 Others who want to own their own businesses choose to
open franchise operations rather than trying to build a
business from the bottom up. If you plan to invest in a
franchise, be prepared to make a significant financial
commitment. A few of the many available franchise
opportunities include:

 1-800-Flowers
 AIM Mail Centers
 Cartridge World
 Express Personnel
 Firehouse Subs
 Global Travel International
 Direct Sales Business Opportunities
 If you like the idea of being in business for
yourself, but you don't want to be all alone, you
might want to consider beginning a direct sales
business. Many people enjoy successful careers as
sales representatives and managers for
companies such as:

 Discovery Toys
 Mary Kay Cosmetics
 Southern Living at Home
 Tastefully Simply
 Tupperware
 Many other home party business opportunities
 Choosing The Right Opportunity
You're the only person who can decide
what type of business opportunity is
right for you. Spend some time
reflecting on the types of activities
you enjoy and the demand for services
or products in your part of the world.
The ideas you come up with are sure
to be very helpful in steering you
toward a business opportunity that is
right for you.
Competition in Business
 Use Change Management Tools to Learn How to Adapt Quickly
to Competitive Actions
 Competition in business is always a challenge. Understand,
and use, the definition of strategic planning by using
business and sales plan examples. And use change
management tools to adapt to competitive actions.

 Understanding your competition is important: whether you


are starting a new business, operating an existing business,
entering new markets, or launching new products and
services.
 Competition in business can be a major stumbling block to
growth and success.

 To develop a strong competitive strategy, it is necessary to


conduct a competitive analysis.
 One of the best methods of dealing with
competitive activity is to learn how to adapt
and change quickly.

 Use change management tools to learn


managing change techniques.

 Managing Growth and Change


 A definition of strategic planning includes an
understand of markets, customers,
competition, and your business capabilities.
Once you have that understanding (through
research), you need to build strategies to
handle your competitors.
 As a small business owner, you need to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal
with your competition (for example, you might want to include a pricing strategy;
or perhaps, an alternative competitive strategy to cutting price; or a value chain
analysis to assess your competition, and so on) and to operate in highly
competitive markets. Even if you are the market leader today, the threat of losing
that position tomorrow, or into the future, is very real if you do not have a solid
plan in place.

 Review sales plan examples to see how, when, where, what and why businesses
change their plans to deal with competitive activity.

 Writing a marketing plan includes doing a competitive analysis section. You need
to assess your competition in business and try to predict what your competition
might do in the case that you add new services, lower your price, raise your price,
move closer to their markets, hire some of their staff, and more.

 To analyze your competition, you must find out as much as you can about them:
(do this for the top 3 to 10 competitors; you can analyze fewer if they hold big
market shares; or analyze up to 10 if the market is buying from many).
 Create your competitive analysis: Gather the following
information:
 Who are your competitors? Identify your Top 3 to 10 (representing
up to 80% of market share). List them by company name, business
owner, address, etc.
 Who are your indirect competitors that don't necessarily sell the
same products or services but their sales can affect your sales (e.g.
if you sell motorcycles, bicycles and cars can be your competition)?
 What share of the market does each competitor hold? Get as close
as possible. Is their position stronger or weaker in the market this
year, compared to last year, compared to 3 to 5 years ago?
 What do you believe to be their strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats (SWOT)? What marketing tactics can you
use to minimize their strengths and opportunities and maximize
their weaknesses and threats?
 What are they doing in the marketing mix side: how are they
handling marketing mix product, price strategy building, marketing
mix promotion, and place or distribution (the forgotten mix in the
4 Ps of Marketing)? How effective are they with this program (rank
them)?
 Do they have a website?
 What's their advertising frequency? Can you estimate their
advertising/promotions budget? How do they advertise: television, radio,
newspaper, trade magazines, direct mail, point of purchase?
 If their price advertised; is it higher, lower or about the same?
 What are their product/service features, advantages, and benefits (their
product positioning, product differentiation, or product life cycle)?
 Compare their marketing mix approach to yours. What are their strengths and
weaknesses?
 What is unique about your product or service compared to theirs? What is
unique about your business compared to theirs?
 What about your customer service: is it better, worse or the same as your
competition?
 Do you share customers? Or are your customers 100% yours?
 For indirect or new competitors: what is their barrier to entry into your direct
market?
 Is physical location important in your market? Who has the 'best' location?
 Is brand recognition important in your market? Who has the 'best' brand?
Competition in Business
Sources of competitor information:
1. Website (if they have one); internet searches to see if
the name(s) comes up;
2. Annual Report (if they are a public company) - compare
profitability of their business (and other comparable
business performance measures) to yours;
3. Their promotion and advertising program; try to get
copies;
4. Shared customers;
5. Your sales staff; often they know a lot about the
competition in business that they face;
6. Your suppliers; often they supply your competitors; if
they don't they may more freely share information about
them;
7. Trade shows; you can pick up promotional material
from their booth, ask others about them;
8. Trade associations; you can meet them directly, or find
out more about them;
9. Trade magazines; check out the back issues for
announcements or news on your competition;
10. Other media; newspapers, magazines, books,
television, radio;
11. If they have a physical storefront open to the public,
go in. (Yes, that makes many people squirm but you're not
doing anything illegal.) Check out their displays, see how
they handle customers, how does their physical space look
(clean, tidy and well organized)?
Once you've completed a thorough competitive analysis
for your marketing plan, keep it up-to-date
Understanding your competition in business
means reviewing your gathered data on
your competitors try to determine what
their business strategies and growth
objectives are; do your competitive
intelligence work regularly. Continually
assess progress they might make, against
your own business progress. Assess the size
of the market and try to determine if it will
support the competition - if not, someone
will go out of business. Make sure that it's
not you.