Factors Involved In Sensing Opportunities

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Factors Involved in Sensing Opportunities

To sense an entrepreneurial opportunity, an entrepreneur employs his sharpened skills of observation, analysis and synthesis to identify an opening. The most important factors that are involved in this process are:

(i)    Ability to perceive and preserve basic ideas which could be used commercially.
(ii)    Ability to harness different sources of information.
(iii)    Vision and creativity.

Ability to Perceive and Preserve Basic Idea

Spotting of an idea often triggers the process of sensing an opportunity. However, every idea does not create an opportunity. For the sake of clarity we can assume that an opportunity is an idea that is based on what consumers want. Basic ideas emerge from different sources as discussed below:

(a)    Problems. When an idea revolves around a problem faced by the people, the solution is most often a business opportunity. The best example is the safety razor. It was a problem for men to shave with a sharp shaving knife quickly and without getting nicked. This problem gave rise to an idea that resulted in the development of safety razor.

(b)    Change. Any change, be it social, legal or technological can usher in new business opportunities. The mushrooming cybercafé and computer institutes are good examples of such opportunities.

(c)    Inventions. Inventions include creating new things of value as well as new and creative processes that add value to existing products or services. Change over form audio and video cassette players to CD players is an example of opportunities brought about by inventions.

(d)    Competition. In order to beat the competition, an entrepreneur should introduce new ideas.

Ability to Harness Different Sources of Information

Harnessing information from different sources is an important aspect of sensing opportunities. The information gathered from different sources ahs to be analyzed and utilized for the identification the right opportunity. Trader Baylis, an English inventor, developed a portable radio that was powered by clock-work instead of batteries. He displayed his invention on BBC’s ‘Tomorrow’s World’ programmed. While thousands of people watched the programmed and forgot it after sometime, but an accountant by the name Christopher Stains saw an opportunity in the invention. he was convinced that there was great potential in the idea and bought the worldwide development rights from the inventor. His reasoning was that the radio would be a success in poor countries where people could not afford to buy batteries. The venture, proved was a huge success. Here, while the news of the invention come  to him from the television, Stains obtained the figures concerning the number of radio users in poor countries from other sources.

Vision and Creativity

One of the most striking behavioral characteristics of an entrepreneur is his creativity. He should be able to develop creative ideas. The best example of a visionary and a creative genius is Henry Ford who had vowed to build a motor car for the common man, so low in price that any person of moderate means may own one. It was this vision and creative pursuit that gave to the world the legendary car ‘Model T’. He fulfilled his vision through a creative team of engineers. Creative people try to find solutions to problems.

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