There are quite many challenges and roadblocks which one meets in the process of identifying opportunities. All can be overcome if you approach them with a positive mindset. Opportunities in life are many but we do not recognize them as they appear in the form of challenges. Challenges tend to be avoided and hated by many of us. In identifying opportunities, one has to design and implement a systematic approach which incorporates the following ideas;
Identification of opportunities is not easy task. They are often disguised as challenges. In addition the opportunities have varying potential returns. You are therefore forced to rank the opportunities in terms of potential returns to enable you to make a choice.
The opportunity one goes for will very much depend on whether your mindset is a fixed or growth mindset. Fixed mindset people may tend to go for opportunities within their fixed resources envelope. Growth mindset people believe resources and capabilities can be acquired or developed over time to pursue huge projects.
One has to follow a systematic approach in identifying opportunities as opportunities are many and tend to appear in different forms including problems or challenges or complaints or public nuisance. Many successful people have tended to adopt the following approach in identifying business opportunities;
- Scanning the environment for opportunities
- Prioritise the opportunities in accordance with expected returns
- Choosing the opportunities to pursue
- Progress review
Use of professionals
You have to note the systematic approach to identification of opportunities is taken at individual level. Most people who venture into the business do not have the luxury to engage professionals to identify and evaluate the opportunities. Professionals are often engaged after the decision has been made and implementation is on course. BUT you do not have to stop adventuring into business because you do not have professional advisors at the very start.
Tools for identifying opportunities
There are no special tools for identifying opportunities except the God given five senses of seeing, smelling, touching, feeling and hearing. Many of us miss out on opportunities because we do not want to use and trust our five senses. For example many of us take off when we are confronted with a challenge; we tend to avoid any discomfort which comes to our way. Remember at this stage we all tend to run away from business opportunities. For example you are faced with a dirty city in a given country, the natural tendency is to leave the city as soon as possible to avoid catching diseases. To a few the dirty city is an indicator of the following business opportunities;
- Supplying the city with clean drinking water and cleaning services
- Creating a garbage collection company
- Developing public convenience places
- Starting a recycling business
- Offering capacity development services
- Selling various items to the city to enable the city authority to keep the city clean.
Living in comfort zone
Many of us miss the business opportunities as we tend to visit only places which are comfortable, developed and safe. Most people who have travelled out of their home countries will talk of London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Hong Kong among others. These are developed and competitive places with reduced return on investments. . Very few African travellers will talk about their experiences around Africa. . The risks are high in Africa but so is the return.
Business opportunities cannot find you in your bed
The business opportunities cannot find you in your bedroom or sitting room and you have therefore to look for them. You have to adventure and visit places you have never been to. This is exactly what the developed countries did when they were starting their journey of development. They sent out explorers to look for resources and markets around the world.
The world we live in has plenty of unexploited resources waiting to be exploited. The opportunities are quite easy to identify if we adopt a systematic approach as discussed above.