Different Sources of Entrepreneurial Opportunities

As an opportunity seeker, the entrepreneur will surely discover other sources of opportunities. Unexpected successes (or failures) can lead to good opportunities.

Another potential source of opportunity is the entrepreneur’s own set of skills or expertise, or hobby. New knowledge as well as new technology can be the source of highly innovative opportunities.

1. Customer preferences change over time.

Example: The prevalence of sugar-free products is now becoming the new normal, particularly to products that used to be sugar-full like soft drinks and desserts. Cola manufacturers have long introduced their respective sugar-free cola drinks as healthier alternatives to their regular cola drinks. This caters to the health-conscious consumers who have shifted due to fear of obesity and diabetes.

2. People’s tastes in clothes, music, shoes, entertainment, dance, sports, hobbies, and even careers have evolved over the years.

Example: The 1980s could be best described as the era that gave birth to music television or MTV. This era was all about image that went with the popular artists at that time such as Michael Jackson and Madonna. These artists had become iconic because of their talent, fashion styles, and persona, which defined the 80s decade. Hip hop, new wave, and hair metal were the musical genre that emerged.

3. What piques customers is a great source of opportunities.

Example: Government-related services are now made more available to the public because they have opened up satellite offices in major malls. Before, people had no choice but to go to the main office, line up for hours, to apply or renew their licenses, clearances, passports, etc. Now, with these satellite services closer to the public, more people are encouraged to transact with these government agencies because it has become more convenient.

4. Before the customer is won over, there is first a battle for the mind. Next, there is a battle for the heart. Finally, there is a battle for the wallet.

Example: When the new smartphones came out, customers were being convinced by the different competitors on what was the best choice to make. This is the battle for the mind. When customers got attracted to the features and brand image of one competitor, it had won the battle of the heart. Finally, when customers lined up to buy their preferred smartphone, the competitor had won the battle for the wallet.

5. The longer the customer wants to use the product, the greater the chances of creating lasting loyalty.

Example: Among Filipinos, there is this old adage of “nakasanayan na” (got used to it) especially when it comes to loyalty to certain products. This is true in the case of Jollibee, which has captured the hearts of the Filipinos. Jollibee has been so successful due to the “Filipino taste” of their products such as its spaghetti, which is a little sweeter than many of its Italian counterpart. Kids got used to the taste of Jollibee spaghetti and became repeat customers over and over again.

6. Opportunities abound in shaping consumer perceptions or occupying spaces in their minds or places in their hearts that have not yet been filled.

Example: A television commercial of a supplementary drink for diabetics instills ‘fear of death’ in the minds and hearts of its potential consumers. The product is meant to aid in controlling the blood sugar level of diabetics, together with the proper diet and a healthy lifestyle. The commercial ad instills fear that shapes the consumer’s perception about what is good or bad to drink. 

7. New Trends

New inventions, new systems and work processes, new insights about the human psyche, new applications for old knowledge, new revelations about how the physical world works, new interpretations, new combinations based on the convergence of previous technologies, new outlooks about how life should be led, and a host of other new things are tremendous sources of opportunities.

Example: Due to the advancement of technology applied to the medical field, open surgery has become a thing of the past when removing smaller cysts or tumors. This was made possible by the invention of laparoscopy, one of the technological breakthroughs in medicine. Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows surgeons to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions on the skin. This is a go-to procedure for people who want to avoid the surgeon’s knife.

8. Determining personal preferences and competencies lay the foundation for a new business venture.

Example: The mushrooming of culinary schools indicates the booming interest of students in pursuing their love for cooking and/or baking. One of the career tracks offered by these culinary schools is ‘enabling the student to put up his or her own restaurant or pastry shop. Several weekend markets and food bazaars have also opened up to showcase the talents of these young culinary students.

9. Unexpected occurrences in both the external and internal environment of the enterprise indicate that significant changes are happening and opportunities are sprouting.

Example: Who would have thought that videos taken by closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) would make waves in the news headlines as one of the best evidences in a crime? Installed practically everywhere, the use of CCTVs has created a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs, particularly those already engaged in the safety and security industry. In fact, there are cities and municipalities that have already issued ordinances requiring the installation of CCTVs before renewing or issuing business permits.