JOBLESS!? Here are some tips to on how work things out.

The greatest obstacle that all would-be entrepreneurs face is finding the business opportunity that is right for them but good entrepreneur is always on the hunt for new opportunities. 

Opportunities are factors that can contribute to your growing success. These factors are typically outside of your control, which is why they are consider external factors. Identifying the market trends and the people’s wants can be an effective way to identify viable opportunities for business because it forces you to go beyond superficial demographic markers that correlate with purchase and use to zero in on frustrations and desires that motivate purchase and use.

To help you brainstorm possibly opportunities, one needs to ask themselves several questions to help to help them determine if their business idea would apply in the said location and time.

These questions include, but not limit to;-

~ What are the market trends and how could you take advantage?

~ Are there chances of you closing shop due to potential new or stronger competitors?

~ What opportunities can you think of that can move with these changing demographics?

~ Have you considered the changes in customer preferences that affect buying habits?

The first step of our quality improvement journey begins when someone recognises that an opportunity for improvement exists. Seductive simplicity hides a rich, robust set of opportunity identification tools. To find an opportunity where your competitors cannot will take skill and creativity. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

NOTE:

A BIG mistake people make is thinking untapped market is best place to go. At times, it is advisable to take what’s already working and make it better instead of chasing new opportunity all the time. But the fast track to success is picking busy markets where the action already is.

There are many sources for new venture opportunities for individuals. Clearly, when you see inefficiency in the market, and you have an idea of how to correct that inefficiency, and you have the resources and capability–or at least the ability to bring together the resources and capability needed to correct that inefficiency–that could be a very interesting business idea.

Fixed Mindset.

In this journey, success demands that the entrepreneur sets up some lofty explicit goals and visualise them intensely. They are demanded to assume the attitude that if they don’t reach their goals, they will literally die.

This type of ‘gun-to-your-head’ forced focus… survival pressure mindset, no matter how briefly used, stimulates one’s mind, forces them to use their time effectively…and illuminates new ways of getting things done.

(Related story: HOW TO IDENTIFY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES)

The following are some frameworks and tools to help you identify, assess and prioritise opportunities for exploitation...

1. Identifying current gaps or opportunities.

Many people struggle to strike a balance between a growing list of new and pending opportunities and the need for existing core services that can be exploited without additional resources. However, in this age of the Internet, there is no shortage of examples of entrepreneurs who started a company based on a perceived need. 

There is no substitute for understanding the unmet needs of customers. That will allow you to discover whether you are able to supply those needs, at the price customers want to pay, and if you can still make a profit.

2. Conducting some customer/competitor analysis.

The first step that everyone should go through is to ask the question, is the market real?
Asking the “W questions”– who, where, what, when – is the first step.  You can attempt to answer the question, “Who is my customer?” What does my customer want to buy? When does the customer want to buy? At what price is the customer willing to pay?

At the end of the day, the one thing every entrepreneur is looking for is revenue, and the revenue will come from customers. That is why you need to ask yourself, is there a market here?

You need also to ask yourself - who else is supplying that particular market? That is what we call competitor analysis.

Ask yourself who else is in this market, and what are they doing for the customers. Are they supplying a similar substitute product or service as you have in mind? This analysis will help you understand better what need is not met at the moment. That will also give you the opportunity to zero in on the price points and feature points of where you can differentiate yourself from existing players in the market.

3. Opportunities and threats.

Before you venture into your new enterprise, you should first list the threats and opportunities facing your business to weigh if the opportunities outnumber the threats.

When listing opportunities, consider emerging technologies, availability of new materials, new customer categories, changing customer tastes, market growth, new uses for old products, new distribution or location opportunities, positive changes in your competitive environment and other forces that can affect your success.

For the threats, consider the impact of shrinking markets, altered consumer tastes and purchase tendencies, raw material shortages, economic downturns, new regulations, changes that affect access to your business, and competitive threats, including new competing businesses and competitive mergers and alliances. Also think about the impact of expiring patents, labour issues, global issues and new products that may make your offering outdated or unnecessary.

Once convinced that you have the capabilities to capitalise on the pluses and counter the negatives, you are good to go.

4. Preparing yourself adequately.

The most frequent mistake that people tend to make is to think everybody in the market is like them. If they like the product, everybody else will. Sometimes entrepreneurs focus so much technology features of the particular product rather than on the need that they are trying to fulfill.

Very often, entrepreneurs, particularly smart entrepreneurs, are overwhelmed by the technological aspect, and they pay too little attention to what the customers want. Customers don’t buy technology. They buy products that add value. Customers buy products that they need in order to satisfy some issue that they wish to satisfy. It is not the technology per se that matters; but the services of the technology.

5. Having that “I can make it” attitude.

Very many people are hesitant to start new businesses, because they think they don’t have the characteristics of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Others believe that it’s too risky to be an entrepreneur.

There are no unique characteristics or traits that distinguish entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs, or successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

All one needs to do is to believe that they have what it takes to be exceptionally successful. It is no more risky to start your own business than getting employed in a company. The perception that working for a large company is somehow safer, is not, of course, borne out by the reality. That company too can go bankrupt.

6. Creating a business model that works.

Some business models are as old as the marketplace itself; others are as new as the Internet. Some have weathered the test of time; others are almost experimental.

The simplest model involves creating a product and selling it directly to customers. Other models involve selling wholesale to retailers, selling through distributors, licensing products to other companies, selling online, selling through auctions, and countless other alternatives. No one-size-fits-all solution exists. In fact, most ventures use some combination of business models to arrive at a unique model.

7. Knowing how your customers pay.

An effective business model also takes into account how customers pay. When customers buy a product or service, they typically have a number of payment options. The most common choices include paying in one lump sum or spreading the purchase price over monthly installments.

In some businesses, customers also have the choice to pay as they go or to prepay for unlimited use of a product or service. Other times, a company invites customers to buy or to rent, to finance their purchases, or to lease products instead of purchasing them.

Each option has financial consequences that affect your business model. As you establish the purchasing options you plan to offer customers, consider how each selection will affect your revenue picture.

8. Timing your future.

How you expect to make money is one part of your business model, but when you expect the money to roll in is another important factor. Some enterprises run up costs and spend cash months (even years) before a revenue stream begins to flow. For that reason, your business model must include a timeline that takes the following into account:

- The upfront costs you expect to incur when setting up your business

- The source of funds to pay for your upfront costs

- A schedule showing when you expect revenues to pour in


Now you are good to go. Set yourself apart from your competitors by positioning yourself as being different to your competitors. Identify why customers should buy from you and promote this.  
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