Every successful business narrates a story of recognizing a potential opportunity and making the most out of it before others could even realize its true potential. If a company wants to achieve and sustain its competitive advantage, it has to follow a two step process that is, it must take and leverage every possible opportunity. Furthermore, an entrepreneur must accomplish this very important task before starting any new venture.
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However, unfortunately most of the CEOs just stumble upon an opportunity, practically losing their competitive advantage and letting other companies to outperform them. Serendipity may occasionally help you to recognize an opportunity, but most often, it is the careful systemic analyses of the business environment that will help you to successfully identify an opportunity that is worth taking.
Identifying an Opportunity:
Now the question arises, “how do you recognize an opportunity that has the potential to help your business grow and thrive?” it is a well known fact that entrepreneurs are obsessed with opportunities and developing an entrepreneurial mindset will definitely help you to successfully recognize and leverage them. Entrepreneurs constantly create new opportunities by looking at the changes in political, technological, social and economic environment that have the potential to disturb the equilibrium of their business.
Similarly, they are not discouraged by the customers’ dissatisfaction, but take it as an opportunity and try to improve the quality of their products or services in order to meet their needs. Moreover, their inability to meet the needs of their customers sometimes allows other players to make their entry in the market. You as an entrepreneur, must be able to identify and exploit an opportunity that meshes well with your core competency. It is important for you to spend as much time as possible as on assessing a certain opportunity despite the fact that you might have countless ‘ideas’ in your mind and you are very passionate to implement those as well. If you do not take this necessary step, you might see your business falling flat with your target audience.
Problems faced while Accessing an Opportunity:
In simple words, an opportunity is defined as, “a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” Therefore, it seems very easy to identify an opportunity and to exploit it but in practice, it is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. There are many problems entrepreneurs have to face in this regard. For instance, the ever changing business world, coupled with continuing developments in the world of technology have made it extremely difficult for the executives to stay focused and try to explore only those opportunities that can actually yield good results for them in the long run.
In the context of the above discussion, there are two main problems that prevent entrepreneurs from identifying the right opportunity and leveraging it in the best manner possible.
Selective analysis is one of the most important reasons of failures and this phenomenon is very pronounced in the business world. We only tend to analyze the strategies of winners and ignore the rest. On the other hand, it is also important for an entrepreneur to learn from the mistakes of people who could not make their business ventures successful.
Chaos is the second most important problem that prevents business owners from making right decisions when it comes to identifying opportunities. Chaos is just like a random walk in the park with no real purpose. There are many companies in the world who have all the skill sets and experienced professionals to succeed, but cannot because they work too haphazardly without any real planning and management.
Business success is all about learning how to balance the process of survival with the process of growth. In this regard, the entrepreneurial marketing can definitely help you to achieve all of your targets while surviving in the extremely competent business environment. It also helps you to recognize and pounce upon any opportunity that comes your way before others could realize that it even existed. Following are some of the important components of entrepreneurial marketing.
- Risk taking
- Opportunity driven
- Resource Leveraging
- Customer oriented
Identifying and Acting on an Opportunity:
As per entrepreneurial marketing perspective, there are many challenges an entrepreneur has to take. The biggest of such challenges is identifying and acting on an opportunity without any doubt. It is entirely up to you to determine what situation qualifies as an opportunity for you and how do you identify it. Similarly, it is you who have to decide how to access various opportunities, which one to take and how to act upon it.
The latest developments in technology and changes in the business world have given birth to many trends, all of which entails a lot of opportunities for a sharp entrepreneur to exploit. For instance, the craze for the affordable luxury life and anti-aging has helped various industries to earn billions of dollars over the years. Similarly, mobile technology, location based services and sustainable energy are other avenues for you to explore and leverage opportunities that these industries offer.
- Framework for Assessing Market Opportunity:
The ever changing business world has made it difficult for the businesses to constantly meet the requirements of their customers, allowing other competitors to fill the gap and make their mark. You as a business owner should be smart enough to realize that a gap exists in the market and there is an ‘opportunity’ for you to exploit. If you can somehow meet all the requirements of your target audience, you will successfully establish yourself in the industry.
To learn more about the framework for assessing market opportunity, please go through the complete webinar, “Assessing Opportunity: An Entrepreneurial Marketing Perspective” by Dr Abdul Ali, Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Babson College.
Defining, Offering and Delivering “Compelling Value” to Customers:
Businesses have to offer “compelling value” to their customers in order to meet their requirements and permanently retain them. If you are not able to understand the needs of your customer or don’t have something special to offer them, why would they come to you when they are getting better services from your competitors. Therefore, you should leave no stone unturned to capture and create a sustainable value for your customers if you really want to survive in the business world that is getting more and more competitive.
Managing Change and Sustaining Value:
After identifying an opportunity and creating value for your customers, the next step is to manage change successfully and sustain the value as well.
Managing change is all about surviving by increasing sales and to grow continuously by improving the quality of existing products in addition to introducing new ones. It is also important for you to explore new markets in order to survive by sustaining the value or quality of your products or services.
Following is a detailed diagram explaining the concept of Sustainable Value.
Keys to Entrepreneurial Marketing Success:
Finally, it is also important for you to learn seven important keys to entrepreneurial marketing success.
- You should start by engaging the customers and selling your products instead of leaving this very important part of your campaign for the end.
- Develop a compelling customer value proposition. Following illustration explains how to do so.
Develop a compelling customer value proposition. Following illustration explains how to do so.
- Failure is the part and parcel of any business and therefore, you should never give up no matter how many times you fail.
- It is also necessary for you to leverage scarce resources by finding partners with the same interests. You can also use social media to your maximum advantage as a part of an aggressive marketing campaign.
- Growing your network is another great way to make your entrepreneurial marketing campaign a success.
- It is also compulsory for you to grow your credibility by offering high quality services and products to your customers.
- If you manage to successfully implement all of the above points, it is time for you to relax and have fun.
Final Words to Consider:
Never give up because you might never know how close you are to success. You should also be ready to double up your failure rate if you want to succeed. This is how life goes and this how most of the famous entrepreneurs attained their goals.