Knowing how to identify business and market opportunities is crucial to the sustainability of an idea in the ever-changing entrepreneurial world. The path to building a successful is unpredictable and daunting, so it’s imperative to make an informed decision. A good idea without a viable market to serve is like a standard football pitch without a goal post and vice versa.
Therefore, you must continually look for viable innovative ideas and ask yourself if the ideas fulfil a market need, solve a problem, or improve an existing invention. To answer the questions, use these as a guideline:
Recognising a personal problem
Business opportunities are, at times, problems that need to be solved. These can be personal problems that affect the general public. One of the tactics to discover a problem is to relate it to yourself.
Since many people experience the problem, there is a market need for it that you can fill. This makes it viable and sustainable.
Renowned entrepreneurs have used this method to identify opportunities. For example, Ifeoluwa Dare Johnson, the founder of HealthTracka, saw an opportunity and a ready market in Nigeria after her father’s death. She believes her dad could still be alive if an accurate diagnosis was conducted. Hence, she created a digital health platform.
Unmet needs in an overcrowded market
There is never an oversaturated market. All you need to do is identify a niche yet to be met by the existing businesses and create your market.
For instance, there is an upsurge in financial technology (fintech) startups in Africa. Despite this, more and more fintech startups are being established as people still need more products to hire for their financial bidding.
The key here is understanding the idea behind disruptive innovation. There are market leaders in every market, and often they have the might to snuff life out of competition. It is, however, recommended that, as a new business, enter from the bottom. Perhaps, offer a minor service or product in the market and go from there. The profit may not be significant at; first; it will add in the end.
The idea is for the market leaders not to recognise you enough to muscle you. Grow gradually until you capture a significant portion of the market. In a nutshell, the competition should not see you coming.
The low-end market opportunities help you enter small and dominate later. Slow and steady wins the race.
Cheap economy strategy
On the other hand, a new-market opportunity creates a new space in an already existing market. Here, you are leveraging on the lack of accessibility of the existing products, maybe due to affordability.
To maximise the opportunity, create a cheaper product without lowering the quality bar. This way, you would be disrupting the market. You’ll capture not only the consumers who couldn’t afford the existing products but also those who could. Most people want to pay less for good quality.
However, you must stay ahead of the curve as the existing brands would want to fight back. Either by creating a version of their product that caters to the price-conscious consumers or create a value-add that makes their existing product a better choice. The idea is to innovate consistently.
Lessons from innovative startups
Innovation is one of the keys to discovering new business and market opportunities. Since the strategy here is remodelling existing products, the easiest way to get the needed information is to research the existing products, compare and contrast and look for what the existing brands fail to see.
You can Google the products and check out the descriptions and reviews. Leverage the difference to create a market percentage for your business.
Conduct Market Research
For every business, there must be market research. This research serves as a medium for recognising business ideas. From the research findings, you can get the weaknesses of existing brands and use them to start your business. Since you are solving the flaws of an existing business, you will invariably convert their current customers to you.
The research covers areas such as the competitors’ products, strengths and flaws, and target customers. This way, you have first-hand information about what makes your competitors formidable.
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