A business opportunity exists when one has discovered a product or service for which there is sufficient market. SOURCES OF BUSINESS IDEAS One of the most important steps in identification of a business opportunity is observation. Observe the environment in which you live: Think through what you see, hear, smell, touch or feel.
Observe to see whether there are any needs not being satisfied in the market: Keep a record by filling any needs in the market that requires fulfillment. Search out for new ideals and these can come from any source i. e. Internal or External. •Internal source includes: Your Family Members; Your friends; Business magazines e. t. c. •External : source includes: Customers; Industrial and business magazines, etc. Buying Decision : Before you decide on the new product or service, you have to evaluate a couple of factors that influence the consumers in making a buying decision. These factors may be political, economic, religious, aesthetic, sexual, physical, intellective, emotional, social and recreational in nature. •Examine each factor to determine whether they are favorable or unfavorable. •If the product fills a consumer needs, wants or desires, commit your fund into the Project. CRITICAL ASPECT FOR CONSIDERATION Having identify the business opportunity through the business ideals you got, Below are factors you must consider critically before committing your fund on the project: i. The market size You must find out the number of potential consumers of the product/ services. ii.
The Management Team You must consider the caliber of people to run the business and this should include their background as well as their experience. iii. Financial Requirement. The financial requirement involve to set up the project must be determine at the earlier stage. iv. Formulate Marketing Plan. Here you will determine how you will sell the product/ services. v. Determination of profitability. At the planning stage you must ascertain after some analysis how much profit to be expected from the business. HOW TO COLLECT THE INFORMATION YOU NEED. Facts you must know and consider before you gather your information: 1.
Unless one can face challenges one cannot be a businessman. 2. Unless there is adequate information one cannot write any meaningful feasibility report. 3. Determine what kind of information you need so as to prevent you from collecting useless material. KINDS OF INFORMATION REQUIRED A. Market Information You should try to answer the following questions: •Who are the major consumers of your product? •Where are they? •What is their purchasing power? •What is the competition? •Where are they located? •What are their (competitor) practices and policies, e. g. Pricing and so on? What is the total known or estimated volume of competitive business within the geographical area in which you want to do business? •What is the source of raw materials and their cost? Note: Study business directories, industrial directories, telephone directories and any other relevant directories to find out who my competitors are and where they are located. Also utilize other public sources you can think of. B. Logistic Information. •What are the form of transport available and their cost? •What is the reason or reasons for locating your business in the present location? •Are here any custom duties or exercise to be paid? B. Information on Manpower Requirements. •What is the type of machines and equipment needed? •Any building necessary? •Any land acquisition necessary and if so what is the cost? C. Legal Requirements. •Is your business a Partnership or a Limited Liability Company? •Do you have a Lawyer? D. Bankers or Lenders Requirements. •Do your business have a bank? •Do you intend to obtain loan to finance your business? THE METHODS OF COLLECTING YOUR INFORMATION. These are: •Observation ; •Questions / questionnaire ; and •Library research.
Observation: Be very observant if you must succeed in business. Visit the places where your competitors are doing business and collect as much information as you can by observation. Remember to put your observation in writing as soon as you leave the scene. Questions / Questionnaire: Learn to get information on the market for the product, logistics, manpower requirement, and capital requirements. •At any point in time, you must determine whom you are going to ask questions; consumers, suppliers, competitors, government officials etc. You can put these questions either verbally or in writing depending on the situation. All these means you must come out and visit places and offices where you can get information on all the areas where information is required. Note: In this area you must demonstrate your own creativity and ingenuity, for research is after all, a creative task. Library Research: Before you go to the library make sure you kwon what you are looking for. Library clerks will help you out. •For instant, if you are looking for information on imports of a certain commodity in this country, say cars. Request the librarian to help you locate any publication, which will give you information or the amount of cars imported into this country. Once you have collected all the information through observation etc. Before you start to write, make sure that you organize the information you have collected. Organize them in a file or files as the case may be. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MARKET. •How many consumers are within the town or your area of coverage, E. g. Port Harcourt? •How many consumers are within the State? •How many competitors are within the State? •How many are still functioning? •What is the range of their price per unit? •What is the type of product (range) in circulation? •What category do people buy most? •What brand do people patronize, E. g. Coke or Pepsi.