If there is one aspect that defines the entrepreneur, be it the brave who is mounting a startup or the one who launches new lines of business in a consolidated company, it is his ability to identify new business opportunities and above all, to go further and get to work to take advantage … but how to do it? What options are there?
HOW CAN WE DETECT IDEAS FOR NEW BUSINESS?
As often the clients I work with ask me how they can identify ideas or business opportunities on which to build this innovative model that we all pursue, I have decided to gather the main sources of identification of new opportunities that exist in my experience:
1. FINDING INFRA SERVED (OR PRESERVED) CLIENTS
The basis for creating and leveraging a customer niche is to identify a group of customers whose needs are only partially solved , if they can cover the basics of their problem and are not happy with how their specific needs are met ( usually derived from being a “tribe” or niche, such as Eco-conscious customers, pet fans … etc ). Similarly, there are customers who consider that the current market offer is “excessive” for what they need, and would be happier with a cheaper offer but with better prices (as with low-cost airlines )
2. LOOK FOR INEFFICIENCIES IN THE MARKET
That is, look for aspects in the markets that can be improved and allow the customers to take better advantage of their products or services. This means, for example, increasing the information available to the client to make better decisions, making it easier to obtain a product or service by improving access, optimizing processes to make the relationship faster … etc. Put another way, fixing something in the market that we think does not work well enough ( for example, hotel price comparators exist to facilitate an inefficient process for your customers, finding the best price among hundreds of options )
3. NEW DEMOGRAPHIC OR MARKET SEGMENTS
New customer segments appear periodically, either because there are changes in demographics ( increased population, new social classes … etc ) or simply because a segment that was not representative becomes important ( classes without access to certain products that have seen a great improvement in their economic situation in recent years ) … and recognizing their existence and analyzing their specific needs is usually a good starting point for new business.
4. LOOKING FOR UNRESOLVED FRUSTRATIONS
This is arguably one of the most powerful elements for identifying viable businesses, and I speak not only of “needs” but of day-to-day aspects that make a customer frustrated (which differentiates a need from a frustration is their level of intensity, the greater the more likely the customer is willing to pay). It is often the source of “aspirin” products, and usually, the best way to identify these frustrations is through personal experience or that of someone close to you who suffers from such frustration.
5. NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR PRODUCTS
One of the elements that most quickly transforms markets is the appearance of a new technology … since if we do a good analysis we will find dozens of opportunities that can accompany it. This has happened with products like the iPad ( which has led to new educational, health, entertainment or professional uses ) or GPS technology ( that beyond navigation has revolutionized for example the world of sports ).
6. NEW LEGISLATION OR POLICY
The emergence (or disappearance) of regulations, laws or policies are usually the germ of a large number of products and services that are either “palliative” and facilitate adaptation to the law or are vaccine products that thanks to it’s contracting we can avoid future pain. They need to be very attentive to the appearance of new regulations and react very quickly once they are launched. The hundreds of products and services that have served to adapt to the regulations of personal data protection or regulatory changes in the field of photovoltaic energy are good examples.
7. CHANGES IN COST STRUCTURES
Sometimes a consequence of the large-scale production of a type of product ( as has happened with the components of mobile phones ) and the reduction of the necessary resources or the adoption of a new technology or approach ( eg, the use of “cloud” applications ), there are situations that make viable products or services that were unthinkable long ago or to which only the highest segments of the market had access. These kinds of new business opportunities allow you to transform non-customers into customers.
8. POSSIBILITY TO ELIMINATE TRADITIONAL BARRIERS
We often have many ideas in our heads that we do not give them a second because our way of understanding the world or the way things work now makes them unfeasible. In order to be able to evaluate in a real way and see if these barriers are an insurmountable problem or simply a challenge, it usually works to ask questions such as ” If I had a magic wand how would I solve this problem? “Or” What rules established in the market or the industry are so ‘because if’ and that no one questions ? “.
9. COMPETITIVE VARIABLES INCORRECT IN SATURATED MARKETS
Sometimes when we are competing in a saturated market (characterized by the fact that the customer is only concerned about the price, does not value new features and also the competition is becoming more intense) the best idea is to rethink if we are “struggling “The right battle. For example, in the case of the insulin market years ago, all laboratories competed in the “% purity” factor when the product was already sufficiently for the customer well, and therefore only worried about the price. Then one of the actors, Lilly, thought that the important thing was not purity but the convenience of application, and for this created the auto-inject able pens that greatly facilitated the use of insulin.
10. THINGS THAT WORK ON OTHER SITES
Finally, when someone tells me that he has no business ideas, I always recommend traveling … not only because it opens the mind and exposes you to new environments and people, but because it is usual to discover that something that succeeds in another city/country/continent can work in your market, or otherwise, something that works in your market can work in another country ( as has happened with the boom of churros in China )
Each of these points or strategies can help you identify new opportunities on which to build an innovative business model … but remember that what you decide is just a “candidate” idea, you still have to validate the hypotheses on which you base your idea.