ONLINE SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOP > Exploring Business Opportunities
First Step: Develop several ideas from your concept.
Many people think that all you need to start a business
is one good idea. While that can sometimes be true, the
best foundation for business success is to have several
possibilities for creating profits. If the main idea does
not test out well, an alternative is available to be tried.
It is a worthwhile exercise to explore additional products,
services, procedures and processes that may enhance your
initial idea. This section provides you with forty concepts
that may help you with this process. Some business people
are skilled at carrying out this process on their own,
while others may want to assemble a "team" -
people with different talents and skills who can interact
to produce useful ideas and evaluate their potential.
Ongoing business success is often linked to the ability
to produce ideas on a continuing basis, testing each to
determine its suitability. This process ensures that a
business stays in touch with the real opportunities of
Second Step: Evaluate your ideas. Identifying business opportunities requires
an approach that combines systematic analysis with unstructured
creativity. Remember that it is always cheaper to examine
an idea thoroughly in advance than to incur the expenses
of a business failure.
Third Step: Prepare a business plan. You have now selected an opportunity as the
basis for a new business venture. There are several
reasons for preparing a thorough business plan before
prepare a plan?
business plan identifies the amount and the type of
financing or outside investment required.
plan makes it easier for a lender or investor to assess
you and your proposal.
helps you to better identify your customers, your
market, your pricing strategies and the competitive
conditions under which you must operate to succeed.
improves your ability to manage your business.
business plan provides an outline of your short term
and long term business goals.