What goes in to a good business opportunity?

  

Before jumping into any business venture, it’s important that the idea be evaluated to see whether or not it’s actually a good business idea to pursue. When given the task to decide the best business opportunities on campus the two teams came up with different criteria that guided us through the process, but when we came together as one unit, we were able to decide up one set of criteria for evaluating rather or not an opportunity is a good one.

Need 

The most important aspect of finding a good business opportunity is finding out does it fulfill a need or a want to a consumer. Can the people you are trying to sell your product or service to justify your existence.

Durability  

Durability leads to the notion that a product or service can withstand the changes and flux in the market. One type of durability would be whether a business could exist if competitors enter the market. If the answer is no, then the business is probably not too durable. Other factors that can tie into durability are technology, fads, and ability to make your product unique. Durability is a vital aspect to look at when evaluating the potential of a new idea because the idea may sound great on all sides, but then when you realize that the idea can only be maintained for a week, or a month, for most businesses this is not as viable an option as one that can withstand the winds of change seemingly indefinitely.

Patterns 

Identifying patterns is a very important factor in evaluating the potential success of any start up company or idea.  A pattern would be an observed new behavior or a change in an existing behavior.  These changes can be social, economic, and emotional or come in any form.  Regardless of what type of pattern opportunity lies within.  For example the pattern of increasing foreclosures in Detroit could lead you to start a new business dealing with financially distressed home owners. 
Opportunity within a pattern! 

Timeliness 

Timeliness is very important when opening a business because if the need or want is not there at that time no one will use your services. If another business recently opened up in the field that you wanted to go into, it probably would not be the right time to add competition. For example, if a growing trend was approaching and you open a store supplying what the people want before hand would be great timing. If the trend is going away and is barely hanging on opening a store at the tail end of the phase would not be very profitable, therefore possibly losing money instead. Also doing market research will give you an idea of what the people want and when they want it. Having statistical data available as opposed to just having a gut feeling, may tell you when the correct time to open the business would be.

Feasibility  

Feasible- capable of being done, effected, or accomplished: a feasible plan.

Feasibility to start a business is one of the most vital things to asses before opening a business. It incorporates realistic start up costs, experience, and time. It doesn’t matter how great the need for the business is if it’s not suitable you won’t be able to get it off the ground. For example: A full time college student wants to start a fast food franchise on a college campus. It sounds like a great idea. College students and fast food are a perfect combination especially if the entrepreneur is going to offer a new healthier selection that the campus currently is not offering. But is it a feasible opportunity?

The campus entrepreneur should consider the average start up cost for a fast food franchise is $150,000. What full time college student do you know with that type of start up capital? In addition the entrepreneur could have little to know experience in this industry. This means they’d have to take the time to learn it or the time to hire someone to run it. The campus entrepreneur should also consider the amount of time required to successful run this business. An average full time college student takes approximately 18 credit hours of class in a semester. This results into approximately 36 hours of study time per week. So when you look at feasibility realistically as it relates to start-up cost, experience and time is why a fast food franchise for a full time college student is not a feasible opportunity.

Attractiveness  

Attractive, as a business opportunity, means that the product is appealing to the public. Do people actually have a need for it? Are they intrigued by your product? Is it the type of product that people are going to line up for? Can people afford your product? Are people willing to purchase your product at a high price? If you can answer yes to all of these questions your products is, most likely, attractive. To better illustrate the idea of attractive, take this example. A couple of weeks ago I read an article that announced the NBA’s plan to start showing their games in 3-D at movie theaters. Will people think that that’s attractive? Well let’s see. Would NBA fans enjoy watching their favorite team, among friends and on a big screen? Would NBA fans enjoy watching that game in 3-D? Would NBA fans pay top-dollar to go to the theater and watch the game in a fun and innovative manner? I’d have to answer all of those questions with a big fat “Yes”. This, in my opinion, is what constitutes an attractive opportunity.

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