A lot has been written over the past ten years about business owners as risk-takers, and the characteristics or qualities that they possess which allow them to be successful in what they do.
But very seldom does this skill show up on the lists that writers prepare extolling the virtues of the top entrepreneurs.
Yes, persistence, attention to detail, willingness to take a risk, and determination are all candidates for the usual list of “must have” qualities for the successful business man/woman.
But there is another ingredient that I have found to be most important – even crucial – to the success of the creator of a profitable small business.
I will call it “opportunity identification.”
Sometimes this skill is referred to as one having a “knack” for business. Sometimes it might be referred to as the “midas touch” – every business the entrepreneur gets involved in becomes successful – it turns into gold!
In my mind, the very top entrepreneurs, the ones that are outstandingly successful in starting companies, are those that easily and intuitively learn to see opportunities and identify or recognize them for their inherent business potential and value. It is a talent worth millions! It is a mindset that very few people seem to embrace on purpose.
It seems to me that very few businesses are actually created as a result of some invention that has been built or some totally new innovation that comes onto the scene that turns the niche industry upside down.
Rather, and most often, a skilled entrepreneur sees an opportunity that others fail to recognize.
He identifies the opportunity for what it is and figures out a way to make a profit from his idea. What a wonderful skill to have!
Entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily inventors. They are opportunists that see what others can’t see. They look at problems and solutions in a way that others don’t. They are quickly able to cut through all the clutter and noise and grasp what it will take to bring a solution to a common problem to bear on the issue.
And that skill can be acquired, learned, and honed over time as the business owner gets experience in his trade.
So, how does one go about becoming an opportunity identification expert?
Here are a few simple suggestions or thoughts:
1. Don’t be quick to accept the status quo. So many online businesses these days are simply mirror images or “knockoffs” of existing businesses. They are created because the owner has no clue what a business should look like … so he simply “rips off” another established business without putting any effort into being unique or original.
Often, the new business has a very difficult time competing against the business it was patterned after. There is a first mover advantage that usually resides with the original business. They have branded themselves as the innovator, the “first”, the “original.”
The successful entrepreneur will instead, be unsatisfied and unaccepting of the status quo. He will be interested in looking for advantages that lie outside the sphere of the normal, usual systems and processes of the already functioning business community.
2. The top entrepreneurs will also have a keen eye for discovering areas or places of added value. Many businesses are built on the notion that they can deliver more value and worth to the customer than their competitors because they have integrated additional and important benefits into their product or service that others don’t have.
Thinking in this way becomes “routine” for every new project that enters the entrepreneur’s mind. He is constantly asking himself what it would take to do this or that to increase the usefulness of the service or product in question.
3. Great entrepreneurs see simple solutions to problems that others have overlooked. They have trained themselves to see beyond the conventional wisdom and thinking of the masses. They are able to envision how a particular solution could be implemented in a cost effective and time saving manner.
4. Opportunities are not seen as singular events that only come along once in a lifetime. Rather they are everyday occurrences and so it is not important if this or that opportunity slides by without action being taken. These experts pick and choose the very best opportunities rather than feeling compelled to try to make something out of each one.
5. They are trained to look deeper than others, or in non-traditional environments for solutions from other disciplines or industries. These great minds recognize that solutions don’t have to be specific to a niche; rather, they can be customized for the niche without the basic solution being modified.
Great entrepreneurs have minds that are constantly looking for business opportunities and they have the ability to identify those ideas that are most likely to be monetized successfully.
To your online business success!