How Do I Identify Business Opportunities?

From Red opportunities to Blue opportunities

The dynamic and often complex Zimbabwean economic landscape provides various opportunities for entrepreneurs who are astute and are able to identify opportunities in an environment here others only see barriers. But what this requires is a different mindset to traditional business opportunity identification. Your goal should not just to identify business opportunities but you should aim to identify unoccupied blue opportunities from the regular often so-called obvious red opportunities which every player in that sector is currently focusing on serving. Here are some tips that will help you identify blue opportunities.

To more effectively identify new blue business opportunities, you have to dig deep and ask lots of questions. Take a step back, and use these questions as a guide to help you identify these opportunities in the changing Zimbabwean environment.

  • What frustrates customers or users of this industry? Some of the best ideas come from looking at things that bug you, including not having enough options or selection, not getting the product or service quickly enough, and poor quality.
  • Can you identify any opportunities to consume products or services in different ways that are being created by barriers such as infrastructure short comings or cash shortages? For example conducting business in the virtual space?
  • Are there any opportunities of developing networks or partnerships that can allow you to exploit new red opportunities?
  • Are there any areas which everyone else is regarding as ‘no go difficult areas ‘ to think of serving as entrepreneurs?
  • What does everybody think "won’t work" in this industry? Asking questions about what others have thought impossible is a great way to get new ideas.
  • What should businesses be making, providing, selling in this industry that many are not yet doing? What do you believe customers will want three to six months from now, one year from now, that they can’t find today?
  • What have you experienced as a consumer of this industry? How would you do business differently? What would you change based on what you experienced?
  • Are there any failed initiatives that have been recently tried in your target sector? What lessons can you draw from these failures? Are there any opportunities for re-visiting these ideas and maybe do things differently to get a different outcome?

Unleash Blue Market Opportunities from Red Opportunities

Identifying New Business Opportunities via Acquisitions of Existing Business

The current environment in Zimbabwe has seen a rise in the number of entrepreneurs putting up their businesses for sale in multiple sectors for various reasons. This opportunity identification can extend to areas such as mining claims and land lease claims. This is one way to becoming an entrepreneur but you need to undertake an enterprise evaluation process in order for you to make an informed decision on whether or not to buy the business in whatever form the opportunity is presented.

  1. Establish the full ownership structure of the business or mining or land claims.
  2. Establish type of growth potential which the business has and actual current market share?
  3. Does the business have regular customers? Where are they located? Why do they buy products from the business?
  4. Does any single customer account for a large portion of the business’ sales volume? If so, would the business be able to survive without this customer?
  5. What competition does the business face? How can the business compete successfully? Have the business' competitors changed recently? Have any of them gone out of business, for instance?
  6. Is the business’ demand seasonal?
  7. In the case of mining and land claims, is there any form of business income generating activity currently being implemented?
  8. Will you be able to save the business if it is currently in decline?
  9. What is the business’ financial condition? Have you accessed any evidence such as audited year-end-financial statements or tax returns?
  10. Where relevant does the business have appropriate all the equipment necessary? Will you need to add or update any equipment?
  11. Establish the business' current inventory worth? Will you be able to use any of this inventory, or is it inconsistent with your intended product line?
  12. In the case of mining and land claims, have you seen and verified appropriate official letters with relevant authorities?
  13. Does the business have any debts or liens against it? If so, what are they for, and in what amounts?
  14. Establish the number, contribution and cost of employees to the business
  15. What is the business' current inventory worth? Will you be able to use any of this inventory, or is it inconsistent with your intended product line?