I have come across some people who have been asking this question; how can I start up a business of my own?
Well, I would like to begin by using this popular saying; that “entrepreneurs are made, but not born”. This is to tell you that anyone can become an entrepreneur, although, some families are naturally enterprising. The truth still remains that anyone can become an entrepreneur not withstanding one’s educational level or background. I have seen some illiterates who are successful in business; this is because they have a very good entrepreneurial skills. There are so many school drop outs today who are successful entrepreneurs in every part of the world.
Succeeding as an entrepreneur requires hard work and persistence because, unfortunately, there is no business-startup fairy who magically bestows success on small businesses and their owners. Most successful entrepreneurs follow comparable patterns and share similar basic characteristics.
There are some processes involved in entrepreneurship and these processes are all interwoven, but it all begins with opportunity identification. Now that we know that entrepreneurship begins with identification of opportunity, the question now is; how do I locate Business ideas or opportunities?
How to Identify Business Opportunities
At this juncture, it will be interesting to first of all understand what opportunity is and how to know when it comes knocking at your door.
According to Dictionary.com, “Opportunity can be defined as a favourable, appropriate or advantageous combination of circumstances”.
How do I know when an opportunity come knocking? Well, unfortunately, it never knocks. You are opportunity and you must knock at the door to your destiny. You can wait for the rest of your life waiting and listening for opportunity to knock, sorry, you will hear no knocking. Many people might even tell you to be patient and good things will happen. The people who say that are the people who are yet to achieve what they want. The more impatient you stay the quicker your business will grow and succeed. when i say to be impatient, i mean in the positive manner. As you develop the strength of your personality, you must prepare yourself to recognize opportunity, to pursue and seize it, says Maxwell Maltz. What makes the difference is that Entrepreneur see opportunity which others did not see. Most times, opportunity comes inform of a challenge. And you know what? People tend to run away from challenges, I think this is natural but an entrepreneur will instead study the cause of the challenge and think of a way to proffer solution. Eleneanor Roosevelt said; “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”. You must learn to take risks. The most successful entrepreneurs like Branson and Trump didn’t get to where they are by playing it safe. As an entrepreneur, you need to take calculated risks to move your business forward ( from wikihow.com).
Now another question one may ask is; how do I identify an opportunity? Well, the answer is very simple; just start looking for problems people are facing in their day to day lives. For instance, I read about a city where there was a swamp that separates a part of the locality from the other part. There was no bridge that links the two parts together. Because of the distance one has to cover, most people use to take a bike which costs like 50 bucks on an average fare. It was really a big challenge to the inhabitants of that city but an entrepreneur saw it as a good business opportunity. He made a wooden bridge across the swamp. Any time anyone passes via the bridge, the fellow will pay 20 bucks. The place is densely populated that there is no time of the day that there is no traffic of people passing on the bridge. People are glad that somebody provided solution and that they even pay less compared to what they pay for a bike to take them round a longer route. You can estimate how much this entrepreneur will be earning per day from the venture. Next time you hear somebody complaining about something, it can actually be a business opportunity for you. If there is no challenge, then there will be no opportunity. Some people saw the challenge in education system; they came up with private schools and institutions. Some identified accommodation problem; they went into real estate. Some identified lack of adequate power supply; they started importing generators.
Another way to identify Small Business Ideas and Opportunities is by assessing global trend. “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity” says Peter Drucker.
I don’t want to go beyond this stage of entrepreneurial process hence, this is what is lacking among our youths.
Business opportunity usually comes first as idea. Therefore, there is need to learn how to generate ideas. As you begin to generate ideas, many of them may look crazy but it is advisable that you document them. Do not throw away any seemingly bad ideas yet. Keep a journal handy to record your thoughts and ideas as idea can come at any time. Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas”. This is to say that you can get business idea while talking to a child or listening to other people. Your business idea may come by observing the products and services of other companies. You can make a list of things you use every day and think about how you could improve on them. For examples, customers usually seek improvement in term of speed, convenience, personalization and price. If you notice that any of these is missing, you can create a business around it. Business idea does not necessarily mean that you have to reinvent from the scratch. You just need to be creative and innovative. You can do something ordinary in an unusual way.
Considering your skills and hobbies can be a good starting point to identifying small business ideas and opportunities. You then consider how you can match these with consumers needs and wants.
Possible places one can easily catch business ideas include the following:
3. Comments on discussion forums or blogs
4. Tourist centres/Amusement parks
5. Quite environment
6. Trade shows and exhibitions
7. Newspapers and magazines. Just to mention but few.
It is mentioned earlier that many ideas will come to your mind. After you must have come up with some ideas, you need to consider which of them will give you a sense of fulfillment as a person. Deciding what you want to do, what you can do well, and what can give you the highest rewards for your efforts is the starting point in getting the best out of yourself.
It is time to start taking action, you don’t need to look far before you locate Small.
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