Market opportunities are getting recognized mostly by startups and small businesses these days, mostly because large corporations are becoming more rigid and structured. Therefore if you are a business owner, you need to address this before a firm from somewhere just comes to take the opportunity looking at you right in your face.

Larger and more complex firms can stifle their own growth by the same forces which help its established lines of business run so well. This gives smaller businesses an advantage as they are able to create a different mindset than most managers and employees currently have in order to find the best market opportunity and successfully capture it.

How To Spot New Market Opportunities

Gather Options

Don’t get your heart set on an initial idea straight away, make sure you develop a broad range of business concepts to choose from. Outstanding opportunities are rare, and the chances of discovering one are directly proportionate to the number of business concepts which you can identify in these early stages. Despite this the number of opportunities isn’t the only factor at play, it is variance between them that counts.

Instead of looking for new market opportunities why not look at the existing opportunities and make it work for your firm. You can innovate with and it will look like it’s a new opportunity, this generally stems from an on-going desire to better serve your current customers – something which shouldn’t be knocked! By looking beyond to more varied ideas you open yourself up to completely new windows of opportunities, accessing previously unserved markets.

Get As Many Opportunities As Possible

There is a tried and tested tool which will help you discover new market opportunities: the Market Opportunity Navigator. This tool guides how to characterize the core abilities of your company – while keeping them detached from any specific product that you are currently producing, or specific customer group that you currently serve. The process of de-linking these abilities from their current uses allows you to re-link them to new applications and to reapply them to new customers. A great example of this process is Apple in 2001 when it took its existing skill set and applied it to a completely new market- the music player industry.

Importantly, this process will not only support you in discovering adjacent market opportunities but will also facilitate your distant search for new opportunities.  As an example, consider the Japanese company Fujifilm. Originally, Fujifilm brought photographic film production to Japan and grew based on this business. By researching and developing for many decades everything related to photographic film, from raw materials to processes to systems, Fujifilm became an expert in many different advanced materials technologies, including coatings, membranes, and organic compounds. When the photographic film market started to decline, Fujifilm was able to leverage these core technologies to create different products in multiple domains. In fact, by re-combining these abilities, the company today creates unique materials that can be used in an extremely wide variety of applications, including desalination, gas membranes, and astropore filters, far beyond its original market.

Filter The Best Opportunities

You have to screen all the business opportunities that you must have gathered to help with uncertainties and miscalculations, pick the most feasible and viable opportunity and start working on it.

By developing a set of criteria or use existing checklists to filter the market opportunities you can remove any unconscious bias from the decision making process in order to make an informed decision. For each option you need to consider two things: How big is its value creation potential, and how challenging is it for you to capture this value. A systematic measure will enable you to actually compare your options and reveal the most valuable growth opportunity.


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