How To Identify A Business Opportunity

identify a business opportunity

How To Identify  A Business Opportunity- Business opportunities are chances/ openings to take advantage of an occurrence in the market to start a business. Business opportunities usually appear briefly and if you don’t take advantage of such, another individual would. A good example of business opportunity was in the year 2020 when Covid-19 came and there was need for people stay safe. A lot of business opportunities arose as a result: production and sales of facemasks, handsanitisers, handwash , vitamin C, etc. While some people were recounting their losses after the lockdown, some others were busy smiling to the bank. The people in the later category were able to identify a business opportunity from an unseemingly unpleasant situation.

In this article, you will discover different ways to identify a business opportunity.

How To Identify A Business Opportunity

If you want your organization/ business to remain competitive, you must be able to identify a business opportunity. A number of times, these opportunities come so disguised, that if you are not skilled enough, such might just slip past you. And by the time you realise, it will be too late.

Types Of Business Opportunities

  • Franchising
  • Distribution and deals
  • Marketing
  • Licensing

Here is how to identify a business opportunity

How To Identify A Business Opportunity

  • Interact with your customers
  • Close up on your competitors
  • You may want to check out other industries
  • Watch out for external factors
  • Find a problem and try to solve it
  • Carry out market research
  • What can you do so well than other people

1. Interact with your customers

One way to grow your business and even identify a business opportunity is by talking  and interacting with your customers. Have a system that allows for you to get feedback from your customers. In such interactions , you get to know how your product or service is faring , areas needing improvement and suggestions . Give customers room to make suggestions. Sometimes, hidden in this suggestions are business opportunities with great prospects. You can also send questionnaires to your customers to get feedback from them:

  • How did you hear about our product/service?
  • Why do you prefer our product/service?
  • What complimentary services would you like us to offer?
  • Is there any feature in our product that could be enhanced?
  • In what way do you think we can do better than our competitors?

2. Close up on your competitors

Don’t be an island, doing your own thing all by yourself. You must close up on your competitors. Check on what they are doing, why they have better results. By so doing, you can be able to identify a business opportunity. Have a list of your close competitors handy. You must be able to answer the following questions below:

  • What are my competitors doing differently?
  • Are my competitors targeting same kind of customers as I?
  • What are my competitors offering their customers?

You must regularly close up and check on your competitors. It is in doing that you can track their weaknesses and strengths. You will be able to identify a business opportunity.

3. You may want to check out other industries

At times, for you to identify business opportunities , you may need to check other industries . Check the way things are being done in those industries and try to replicate what is being done  or even do better.

4. Watch out for external factors

These factors most times are not directly within your control. Examples of such factors include trade policies, economic changes, scientific advancement, government policies & regulations, new technological innovations, etc. For instance, the Covid 19 pandemic that came in 2020  and the lockdown that followed  suit was an external factor . This factor brought some juicy business opportunities to some people.

5. Find a problem and try to solve it

This is another way to identify a business opportunity. Look around you for existing problems and try to think up a solution . The process of finding a solution will lead you to identify business opportunities.

 For instance, sometimes ago in Lagos, Nigeria, there were issues of traffic that made people arrive late to work or miss some critical appointment . Some genius saw this problem  and thought up a solution  through motorcycle hailing service (OPay, Maxokada, etc.). People can flag down a motorcycle right from their sitting room using their smartphone. In some minutes, the bike will be around to pick them and drop them in their destination in a short time. Although , many months after, a government policy came up that lead to the death of that business .

So when you are able to solve a problem, business opportunities will start flowing in.

6. Carry out market research

When you have a business idea, you need to ascertain that some great opportunities would come out of it. You need to carry out  market research. You can then decide if you should start execution or throw such idea in the trash can.

In your market research, you need to ascertain the following:

  • Who are your target audience?
  • Are such product/ service already existing ?
  • If yes, how are they faring in the market?
  • If the product is already in the market , what are people saying about it : love, like , hate or asking for improvement.?

7. What can you do so well than other people

Another way to identify a business opportunity is to look deep within yourself. What are those things you can do better than anyone else?  What are those things you can do spontaneously and easily ? Try to think about how you can put such together and monetize it .

For example, you can talk and  make people laugh easily, that attribute of yours can generate you income by going into comedy. That is a great business opportunity for you.

How To Unlock Business Opportunities

For you to be able to effectively unlock business opportunities, you must undergo training. You need to learn some critical things such as business leadership, strategic negotiation, conflict resolution, becoming a successful entrepreneur. You need to sit under the tutelage of business coaches via face-to-face or virtual learning sessions to learn the nitty gritty of the business.

You can also get some knowledge through digital courses, e-books and other online learning resources. Some of these resources are actually free while some will involve some payment.

Important Skills You Must Possess To Identify A Business Opportunity

These are some of the important skills you must possess in order to be able to identify business opportunities:

  • Financial literacy
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Negotiation
  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Sales, etc.

Final Words

It is not enough to identify a business opportunity, you must also know how to unlock and maximize such opportunities. Your level of exposure (in terms of books, trainings , relationships, etc.) will determine how well you will do with such opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the characteristics of an opportunity

An opportunity has the following characteristics:

  • It is rare
  • Timely
  • Attractive
  • Anchored in a particular product or service

What are sources of business opportunities?



New discoveries

Existing product & service


  • www. tycoon story. com – 4 Types of Business opportunities
  • www. online. hbs. Edu- How to identify business and market opportunities
  • www. euruni. edu- How to identify business opportunities in any market


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