Can Lost Opportunities Be Regained? by T.W.Oke
‘Opportunity lost can never be regained’ is one of the most used quotes. How true is this, and what really constitutes an opportunity?
In the business sense, opportunity is the nectar for entrepreneurial bees. It is a raw resource that doesn’t appear to be of much use to most people, but which entrepreneurial bees can identify, and turn into honey.
Opportunities may not only knock; they can be found or created
Finding opportunities may seem difficult, but they are all around us, although oftentimes, there’s so much going on that we don’t get to recognize these opportunities. However, the entrepreneur’s senses for perceiving opportunities should be apt. He should be fully aware of his environment and should know how to utilize information around him to create new business opportunities and turn them into profitable business ventures.
Nestle came up with Nespresso to fill the need for instant espresso coffee; they recognized that making it a luxury gourmet item would set the product apart.
It worked! They saw a gap of opportunity and filled it. Other companies have since followed their lead.
Opportunity may not be a new business idea; it could simply be filling a vacuum that in existing markets. For example, Sir Richard Branson seeks opportunities, enters the market with value innovation and product differentiation, which eventually leads to success.
How do we spot opportunities?
Opportunity from Passion
Most successful businesses are born out of passion, and when passion meets opportunity the business grows. When you are passionate about your business, everything about it gets your attention and you are more likely to openings to fill. So what are your passions? Identify them and discover opportunities there in.
Opportunity from Skill
If you are skilled at something, there is the possibility to turn it into a business opportunity. A good shoe repairer can begin a shoe restoration business. There are endless possibilities when people acquire skills of any kind, as turning skill into a business is an opportunity on its own.
Opportunity from Contacts
"The best entrepreneurs are people’s people"
Successful entrepreneurs nurture and build relationships with a variety of people. They don’t only consider short term business relationships or the potential for a quick transaction, but value long term relationships and repeat business ventures.
A wise entrepreneur doesn’t just keep a list of contacts, but maintains the relationships, and keeps them active by keeping in touch and constantly checking-in during important dates and events.
Opportunity from Trends
Finding out what’s new should be a pastime for people who love to find opportunities from emerging trends. Such people can anticipate the next trend, and can even spark up a new trend. They keep abreast with developments in their business world, and can ‘see clouds gather.’
Opportunity from Problems
The solution to a problem is a potential opportunity. While one person complains, another is thinking and proffering a solution for profit. Some people are experts at business and product development; theirs is to scrutinise the market and identify loop holes for developing a new business or product. Having special eyes and mind for critical thinking is required to fish out opportunities in problems.
Opportunity from the Unexpected
Great breakthroughs in science are not marked by a researcher shouting “Eureka!” but mumbling something like “hmm! that’s funny or that's interesting...” as they get an unexpected result from an experiment. This is also true in business. You need to watch out for the unexpected, something that breaks the acceptable pattern, a deviation from the norm. Sometimes a mistake may become your winning solution; embrace it, patent it, get rich with it!
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