“As an entrepreneur, the ability to spot ideas and opportunities in business is one of the greatest skills or attributes you need to acquire and utilise this year. This skill can make your life and business a huge success story as well as reference point. Highly successful and super rich entrepreneurs like Steve Job, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all used this skill or attribute to thrive in business.”
CLUES FOR SPOTTING BUSINESS IDEAS
Ideas are everywhere. The trick is knowing where to look. If there’s anything you know for sure, it’s that you want to own your own business. There’s just this little matter standing between you and success finding the right business idea.
Don’t despair. There are business opportunities all around you – if you know where to look. Here are five signs of money-making opportunity to watch for wherever you go:
- Things People Are Too Busy To Do
Business owners are some of the busiest people in the world. Shea Allen, 14, of Destin Florida, thought a flier delivery service could be one way to help business owners in his hometown save time. So Allen visited all the sub and pizza shops in his area and offered to deliver their fliers to the 2,000 homes in Destin. The owners took him up on his offer, and he was in business! Others jobs busy people may not have time to do include: shopping, ironing clothes, baby sitting (crèche) as well as indoor and outdoor painting, etc.
- Things People Don’t Like To Do.
Cooking for a big crowd isn’t most people’s favourite thing to do, so when they plan a party, they usually want help. Though a graduate and employed, Mrs Funmi Peters likes to cook and make beverages, drinks and smoothies, so she decided to capitalise on this need. The Lagos-based entrepreneur started Funpee Foods and Impact Catering. Today, she is thriving in business and has got an edge on the competition. She is also training other people on the special skills she has. Other jobs people may be happy to be rid of include: organizing closets, garden weeding, washing windows and lawn care.
- Things that get dirty over and over
There’s nothing more frustrating than washing your car and having bad weather the next day that gets it dirty again. But many young entrepreneurs like Uche Kolade enjoys washing cars, and bad weather doesn’t bother him at all. So when it comes to keeping their cars clean inside and out, plenty of people are happy to let Uche take over. That’s one of the reasons her business, U-K Auto Detail, has been a success. Other jobs that fit this bill: boat and RV cleaning, swimming pool maintenance, fish aquarium services, and cage and stall cleaning.
- Things people throw away
When Kevin Hanks’ neighbor gave him eight broken bicycles that were gathering dust in a shed, Kevin immediately recognized a business opportunity. He repaired five of the bikes and displayed them in his front yard with a “For Sale” sign. When Hanks quickly sold all the bikes for $35 to $40 each, he decided to turn his one-shot deal into a business called Mass-bike. The Wilbraham, Massachusetts, teen, now 18, has invented some creative ways to deal with his business’s biggest challenge: finding more used bikes. He places ads in local advertising papers and bids on bikes at police auctions. Recycling isn’t limited to aluminium cans, newspapers and glass.
With a little creativity, items such as leftover buttons, wire and wood can be turned into sale-able craft items.
- Things that make use of special talent or experience.
An advertisement for Jeremy Scott’s business could read: “Have Saxophone, Will Travel.” But the Racine, Wisconsin, teen is already so famous in his hometown and surrounding areas that he doesn’t need to go far. This jazzy 18-year-old, who plays the tenor, alto and soprano saxophone, has turned his talent into cash by giving concerts and performing at special events. Scott has even opened for famous artists like Smokey Robinson.
Got a talent you could capitalize on? How about one of these: foreign-language tutor, face painter, clown, computer consultant or sports coach.
5 PRACTICES TO START SPOTTING MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
It seems like some entrepreneurs just know how to spot a good business opportunity. I always picture spot a good business opportunity. I always picture Steve Jobs when I think about entrepreneurs spotting market opportunities. While spotting business opportunities may be a talent, I think entrepreneurs can get better at spotting opportunities if they practice. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
- Keep an Opportunity Journal
Not every opportunity will be goldmine, but keeping a list will help make sure you capture all the opportunities you find. Seeing the business opportunities you have spotted may also to more opportunities. In other words, you might see a connection you would have missed otherwise. Write down in a journal any experience you had with a product or service that wasn’t what you thought it should be. Also, note how you thought the product or service could be improved. If you are really ambitious you could also try to come up with a rough outline of how you can take advantage of this business opportunity.
- Read about the Opportunities Others have Spotted
Entrepreneurs love to talk about the opportunities they have spotted. It is only natural because they are excited. Knowing how other entrepreneurs go about finding market opportunities. Use the wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur magazine, and blogs like under30ceo.com, to see what others are doing to spot market opportunities.
- Ask Yourself “How can You make it Possible?”
Making the impossible possible is what entrepreneurs are supposed to be good at. By making something possible, you will find new ways of doing things that others have not thought of. If these new ways of doing things involve products or services, you have found an opportunity. Rather than give up and say, “This is impossible”, you should work to train your mind to ask, “How can I make this possible?” For example, if you don’t have the money to buy something, ask yourself, “how can I afford this” rather saying, “I can’t afford this”. When tackling the problem of making a seemingly impossible thing possible, write down your assumptions about the problem. Then ask yourself how you can tweak the situation to eliminate the need for those assumptions.
Entrepreneurs are used to delegating tasks. However, they usually confine themselves to tasks within their business. Expand your perspective, and look for ways to outsource all the tasks in your life. The point here is not to use the services that you find (unless you want to), but to find a hole in the market. Try to find someone to do everything for you from mowing your lawn to grocery shopping, to running your business. Is there a company that can provide that service for you? Is the quality or price of that service great? If not, you found an opportunity.
- Ask For More Than You Think You Will Get
People are afraid of being seen as unreasonable. People think it is embarrassing to ask for more than you think you will get. But, entrepreneurs know better. They build their businesses by asking for more and more.
So ask for more than you think you can get. If no one can give you that, you have found an opportunity. It may take some time and practise, but I hope these 5 suggestions help you find your market opportunity. Good luck. It may take some time and practise, but I hope these 5 suggestions help you find your market opportunity.