All entrepreneurs, regardless of size, can harness the tremendous power of opportunities to make it big. Opportunities are all free and freely available to everyone. Golden opportunities, specifically, have the potential to attract all the team and resources you need to scale. The opportunities have to be golden, however; nothing less will cut it.
Venture capitalists usually invest in the potential market size of an opportunity. Capital principally flows to the opportunity, not the entrepreneur.
What Creates Golden Opportunities?
One of the biggest sources of golden opportunities is friction in the environment. This could include any pain, dissatisfaction, unhappiness caused by poor service, inadequate products, or failure by existing companies to respond adequately to change in the environment. Friction creates value gaps that you can fill with your useful service. Friction means something isn’t working.
Friction causes pain. The greater the friction, the greater the value that can be created by fixing it. You need to find the source because it is a source of potential opportunity.
What Makes a Golden Opportunity?
Opportunities with the following characteristics are more likely to be golden:
- Opportunities should provide a useful service. Useful service is the key driver of value and is, therefore, more important than all the other evaluators.
- Opportunities should be substantial, with large-scale potential.
- Opportunities should be relevant – needed now.
- Opportunities should be unique – those that are relevant but not unique are commodities.
- Opportunities should be sustainable – difficult for competitors to copy or attack.
- Opportunities should be accessible, with low barriers to entry, at least for you.
- Opportunities should be suitable – align well with your mission, model, market and domain environments.
- Opportunities should be actionable – feasible to execute at scale.
The Opportunity Process
Why Do You Need a Process?
Processes are the foundation of the modern world. Most companies choose their business opportunities without a process and waste crores of rupees on concepts that don’t work. Opportunity is simply too important to leave to chance.
Step 1: The Opportunity Audit
In order to gain awareness of your environment, you must first do an audit. What is an audit? An audit is a complete picture of reality.
The objective of the audit is to isolate the key drivers of both positive and negative change in each segment of our environment and examine how they interact with each other. We need to understand what is denying us opportunity as well as providing us opportunity.
Step 2: The Opportunity Inventory
A thorough examination of your environment will reveal a whole array of opportunities that you could potentially pursue. These include:
- Opportunities that you’re currently pursuing
- New opportunities that you are thinking of pursuing
- Old opportunities that you had pursued in the past that failed
- Old opportunities you thought about in the past but never pursued
- Nopportunities you should reduce or abandon
- New opportunities you have never considered before
Step 3: Evaluating Your Opportunities
Your next step is to carefully filter each opportunity in your inventory through your key drivers to determine whether they are compatible with your unique opportunity environment. You can also use additional customized evaluators based on your unique mission and model.
At the same time, you can evaluate potential nopportunities that you can remove. This is a concept that is not a golden opportunity that can be harnessed.
Step 4: Implementing Your Opportunities
The key driver of implementation is alignment. First, opportunities must align with your environment. If all the pieces of mission, model, market and domain fit together, you can implement smoothly.
Let’s say you have identified an opportunity that looks big. How do you know? The implementation process is focused first on testing opportunities for feasibility and market potential. Opportunities have to sink or swim on their own merits. Only those that can generate sufficient value to attract adequate resources will go on to survive and thrive.
About the author:
Richard M. Rothman is the founder and director of Open Mind Opportunity Consultancy – the first and only opportunity consultancy in the world. In his latest book, The Power of Opportunity, Rothman presents a systematic and accessible Open Mind Process to uncover, recover, and discover opportunities for sustained, profitable growth. This process was developed over a thirty-two-year period.
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