5 Practices to Start Spotting Market Opportunities

by / ⠀Finding Customers Startup Advice / July 5, 2012

Photography by acaben

It seems like some entrepreneurs just know how to spot a good business opportunity.  I always picture Steve Jobs when I think about entrepreneurs spotting market opportunities.  While spotting business opportunities may be a talent, I think entrepreneurs can get better at spotting opportunities if they practice.  Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Keep an Opportunity Journal

Not every opportunity will be a goldmine, but keeping a list will help make sure you capture all the opportunities you find.  Seeing the business opportunities you have spotted may also lead to more opportunities.  In other words, you might see a connection you would have missed otherwise.

Write down in a journal any experience you had with a product or service that wasn’t what you thought it should be.  Also note how you thought the product or service could be improved.  If you are really ambitious you could also try to come up with a rough outline of how you can take advantage of this business opportunity.

2. Read about the Opportunities Others Have Spotted

Entrepreneurs love to talk about the opportunities they have spotted.  It is only natural because they are excited.  Knowing how other entrepreneurs go about finding market opportunities will prime your brain to see more opportunities.

Use the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur magazine, and blogs like under30ceo.com, to see what others are doing to spot market opportunities.

3. Ask Yourself “How Can You Make It Possible?”

Making the impossible possible is what entrepreneurs are supposed to be good at.  By making something possible, you will find new ways of doing things that others have not thought of.  If these new ways of doing things involve products or services, you have found an opportunity.

Rather than give up and say, “This is impossible”, you should work to train your mind to ask, “How can I make this possible?”  For example, if you don’t have the money to buy something, ask yourself, “how can I afford this” rather saying, “I can’t afford this”.

When tackling the problem of making a seemingly impossible thing possible, write down your assumptions about the problem.  Then ask yourself how you can tweak the situation to eliminate the need for those assumptions.

4. Outsource

Entrepreneurs are used to delegating tasks.  However, they usually confine themselves to tasks within their business.  Expand your perspective, and look for ways to outsource all the tasks in your life.  The point here is not to use the services that you find (unless you want to), but to find a hole in the market.

Try to find someone to do everything for you from mowing your lawn to grocery shopping, to running your business.  Is there a company that can provide that service for you?  Is the quality or price of that service great?  If not, you found an opportunity.

5. Ask For More Than You Think You Will Get

People are afraid of being seen as unreasonable.  People think it is embarrassing to ask for more than you think you will get.  But, entrepreneurs know better.  They build their businesses by asking for more and more.

So, ask for more than you think you will get.  If no one can give you that, you have found an opportunity.

It may take some time and practice, but I hope these 5 suggestions help you find your market opportunity.  Good luck.

Tomas Merrill helps entrepreneurs to start and run the small businesses they always dreamed of owning so they can fire their bosses and gain the freedom they deserve. Learn more about Tomas at SoloSmallBusiness.com.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.