How to Investigate business opportunities?

How to Investigate business opportunities?

How to Investigate business opportunities?

 Read everything you can get your hands on.
 Go to trade shows.
 Surf the Internet.
 Attend conferences.
 Never stop learning.

Once you have uncovered a business opportunity, there are two key factors to consider:

1. Could this be a viable business?
Only further investigation, such as conducting a feasibility study or writing a business plan, will answer this question.

2. Has anyone else done this before?
Your research will uncover whether or not this opportunity has been discovered before. If it has, investigate who is successful at it to find out what they are doing right and if there is any room for you to do it better. You need something to differentiate your business from the competition. This is a critical part of deciding whether or not this idea will make a viable business.


Business opportunities can come from two different sources. They can evolve as a result of your personal background including your previous jobs, hobbies and personal experiences or from opportunities in the external environment or general marketplace.

Look at Yourself
The following list highlights the possible sources of business opportunities that are generated from your own life. Review each of these topic areas to see if there is a business opportunity ready to be uncovered.

 Lifestyle and Experience
 Your Job
 Your Hobbies
 Education
Why would business opportunities develop from your personal life? A major consideration in any business venture should be to love what you are doing. It is only natural that looking at past experiences and interests could reveal an opportunity to further develop them into a viable business. Possessing transferable skills is key to business success.

Lifestyle and Experience
Ideas may arise from casual observations of daily life situations. It’s simply a matter of being more attuned to what is happening around you. Ideas may become obvious as a result of travel, your own experiences in seeking products in the marketplace, ideas expressed by others who have recognized a problem or opportunity, or simply the result of observing the behaviour of other people.

Your Hobbies
Hobbies or interests may lead to business opportunities. Examples include serious athletes who distribute sporting goods, fishermen who open fishing lodges, boaters who establish rental or tour services, casual writers who establish publishing companies and so forth. An entrepreneur must be careful that they remain objective when assessing business opportunities in this area since what one loves to do may not always be the most profitable business opportunity.

Your Job
This is one of the most common sources of business ideas which is not surprising since it also normally provides an excellent match with the entrepreneur’s skill set. Ideas from your employment can evolve in many different ways. You may have identified a product or service opportunity that your employer is not pursuing. Perhaps you have developed specialized technical skills or knowledge that may be of interest to others in the industry or maybe you have a product to sell to your employer. If you decide to develop something similar to your employer’s product be sure to seek legal advice to ensure you are not violating any legal rights of your employer.

Lifelong learning is an important requirement for successful entrepreneurial endeavours. In addition to developing skills, education – whether formally through courses or seminars or informally through self-directed reading – can lead to business ideas. It will significantly broaden your perspective and help you see opportunities in areas that you may not have otherwise considered.

Look at What Is Happening Around You
The following list highlights factors in the environment that may provide you with ideas for a business opportunity. Remember that when something changes, the result usually has an effect on something or somebody, often creating new needs or shifting the demand for products or services. Hence, the possibility for you to develop a creative solution.

Changes in the Market
When consumers change their buying habits and preferences there are always new opportunities to tap into. For example, the shift from going outside of the home for entertainment to staying at home and watching videos created a whole new opportunity for the growth of video stores, manufacturing of larger home entertainment centres and building smaller (cozier) movie theatres.

Changes in an Industry
When governments change regulations there is often an effect on many industries. Opportunities arise to help provide solutions to companies to deal with these changes or to service new needs created by them. For example, when regulations for first time drivers changed to a graduated system, the demand for driver education programs increased. Drivers who take a driver education program are allowed to test for their license earlier than those who do not take training.

When you start a business, be sure you’re going to be doing something that you truly love doing. You’ll be spending at least 50% of your week working at it.

Technological Influences
The impact of technological growth has had an influence on almost all sectors in business from car maintenance to photo radar to video conferencing. New opportunities that exploit new technologies are developing at an incredible rate.

Competitive Pressures
The demand for certain products has created a very competitive market place in some industries. The personal computer industry is an example where competitive pressures have greatly influenced this market.

Demographic Shifts
Changes in the age, income, and status of the population have contributed to increased demand in many sectors such as health care, financial planning and travel advice.