Every business starts with an idea. An idea that the entrepreneur is able to shape to turn into a profitable and viable business over time. However, there are many entrepreneurs who stagnate in this first phase. And it is that finding business opportunities is not always a simple task, especially in a market as congested as the current one.
The identification of opportunities of business supposes the beginning of the entrepreneurial activity. When we talk about the different approaches to entrepreneurship, we observe that there are different theories about how this process occurs, from the causal approach where the opportunity is something objective in the market and that therefore it is necessary to detect, even the effective or DIY approaches that place us in more complex and uncertain environments, where opportunities are a social construction in which the means available to carry them out determine a good part of the process.
From any of the possible approaches to generate ideas with value, it is necessary to understand in depth the needs of people. For this, market trends can guide us on the way in which companies are satisfying an existing demand, however, innovation often means thinking beyond the marked line, of the planned trajectory, to generate changes, not so much incremental, but of a disruptive nature.
In this sense, there are many people who try unsuccessfully to find a profitable idea from a commercial point of view. This search is a fundamental part of the process of creating a company, but where can we find ideas that work and do not have too much competition? Where should we start? Is there a key that guarantees the viability of our company?
Where can ideas come from?
There are many ways to access business ideas but almost all are accessed through a proactive, curious, receptive attitude on the part of the entrepreneur. Some ways to reach them would be:
- Observing daily life, society trends and market changes. Example: mop, trips for singles, precooked dishes.
- Observing the interests and preferences of consumers. Example: language learning, bilingual daycare, Rent Residential Properties
- Locating an absence of product or service in the market or an unsatisfied demand. Example: Cosmetic products made with natural ingredients.
- Analyzing similar businesses and their shortcomings. Example: Physiotherapist with home delivery,
- Of the inventions and technologies. Example: mobile phone, ATM.
- Of hobbies or personal hobbies. Example: sports shop, crafts, craft courses, online store. Case: The crazy one of the cats.
- Depending on the formation from which we start. From a previous professional experience. Attend to changes in legislation. Example: Energy efficiency certificates.
- Networking: contacts with creative people. Example: fairs, meetings with entrepreneurs.
- Analyzing new social trends Example: Mobile applications.
- Observing what is done in other parts. Example: trips.
Business opportunities: How to identify them
To find a business idea, sometimes it is only necessary to look at what is being done in other countries or, even more simply, to recognize our own needs. Many entrepreneurs have found brilliant ideas simply by identifying their own needs and giving them a solution. Next, we are going to give you some keys to identify business opportunities.
- New market segments
New targets continually appear due to the evolution of society itself. Minority social groups become majority, the immigrant population grows, the number of elderly increases, new urban tribes appear … These new segments usually have their own needs, so offering services for them can be a good way to start.
- Focus on a niche
In all markets there are small niches that feel that their needs are not sufficiently resolved. They tend to be small groups, but very loyal if they find a company that cares about them. We speak of groups that love a particular sport, a hobby, pets, ecology … They are usually homogeneous groups, with common tastes and interests, and it is easy to reach them by adapting the message to their needs.
- Save time for users
In such a congested market and with such a wide offer, especially through the Internet, users often “get lost” by searching hundreds of pages to find the product or service they need. That is why platforms that compare hotel, insurance and flight prices have triumphed. A good business idea can revolve around optimizing customer time and ordering the enormous volume of information on the network.
- New technologies
Products and technologies that automatically create needs and business opportunities come to the market continuously. The technological field does not stop launching news, so if we analyze this niche well we can find dozens of profitable ideas in the short and medium term. Do not lose sight of the news that comes every year to this market, as daily needs arise to cover and new ideas.
- Products ‘boom’
In a consumer society like the current one, each year there are phenomena that generate great profitability in a short period of time and then disappear. We just have to think about the success of a fashion series, a television show, a video game or a specific product.
Do you hear phenomena such as Pokémon Go, spinners or Monster High dolls? They arrive, devastate in a few months, and disappear. Being aware of these trends can help us earn a lot of money in a very short time. Of course, the business will only have viability in the short term, but if we are continuously analyzing these phenomena, we can find hundreds of opportunities.
- The key, in the news
In relation to the above, the news offers us endless news that give us daily business opportunities. A conflict like the Catalan has triggered the sale of stelae, flags of Spain and other related products, while the exit to the arena of concepts such as Tabarnia, has also boosted the sales of the symbols of this hypothetical region. Thus, whenever big news appears in society, business opportunities appear for those who know how to see them.
- Legislative changes
The laws change, so being up-to-date with current legislation can give us the key to finding our business idea. A product that was illegal can be legalized, in the same way that a new law can subsidize the purchase of certain products or open the door to the arrival of new services.
- Imported ideas
As we said at the beginning, a good way to identify business opportunities is to analyze what triumphs in other countries. Nowadays, it is easy to study online what ideas work in countries such as the United States, Japan, China or the United Kingdom. All we have to do is find these projects and adapt them to the reality of the national market.
- Detect products and services that can be improved
It is very common that there are products that solve a need ineffectively, generating frustration among customers. A good idea? Improve them in the case of the mop, the market already had products designed to clean the floor, but they did it creating frustration: people had to kneel and clean the floor by hand with the existing cloths. Its creator did something very simple: improve this product so that customers could clean standing and with less effort. The result? A resounding success.
- Talk with other entrepreneurs
Many times, business opportunities arise talking to other entrepreneurs. Surround yourself with them, go to fairs, read forums, participate in Facebook groups, look at LinkedIn … In short, surround yourself with people with your same concerns.
Every businessman faces the fear of failure, especially those who have ventured into the business previously unsuccessfully. Different people have different ways of handling that fear.
Some immerse themselves in the tasks they have on hand in order to keep their minds out of doubts that may slip through their mind.
It is the moment to go determining to what sector you want to dedicate yourselves, what ideas are particularly attractive to work on them.