New business opportunities! If there is one aspect that defines the entrepreneur, be it the brave one who is setting up a startup or the one who launches new lines of business in a consolidated company, it is their ability to identify new business opportunities. Above all, to go further and put to work to take advantage of them … but how to do it? What options are there?

How can we detect ideas for new businesses?

As often the clients I work with ask me how they can identify ideas or business opportunities on which to build this innovative model that we all pursue, I have decided to gather the main sources of identification of new opportunities that exist according to my experience:

Find infra served clients

The basis of the creation and use of a niche of clients is to identify a group of clients whose needs are only partially resolved , that is, although they can cover the basics of their problem they are not happy with how their specific needs are met Similarly, there are customers who consider that the current market offer is “excessive” for what they need, and would be happier with a cheaper offer but with better prices (as with low-cost airlines )

Seeking inefficiencies in the market

That is to say, look for aspects in the markets that can be improved and allow the clients to take better advantage of their products or services. This supposes, for example, increase the information available to the client to make better decisions, make it easier to obtain a product or service improving access, optimize processes so that the relationship is faster … etc. Put another way, fix something in the market that we think does not work well enough ( for example, hotel price comparators exist to facilitate an inefficient process to their customers, finding the best price among hundreds of options )

New demographic or market segments

New customer segments appear periodically, either because there are changes in demography ( increase in major population, new social classes … etc ) or simply because a segment that was not representative becomes important ( classes without access to certain products that have seen much improvement in their economic situation in recent years ) … and recognizing their existence and analyzing their specific needs is usually a good starting point for new businesses.

Search for unresolved frustrations

This is possibly one of the most powerful elements to identify viable businesses, and I do not speak only of “needs” but of day-to-day aspects that make a client feel frustrated (what differentiates a need from a frustration is your level of intensity, the greater the client is likely to be willing to pay). It is usually the origin of “aspirin” products, and usually, the best way to identify these frustrations is through personal experience or that of someone close to you who suffers from this frustration.

New technologies or products

One of the elements that most rapidly transforms markets is the appearance of new technology … because if we do a good analysis we will find dozens of opportunities that can accompany it. This has happened with products such as the mobile back cover ( which has led to new designs and evolution of printing technologies ) and according to one of my clients Zepper.in, Their plan to introduce new printing ideas in the saturated custom printing business worked for them or GPS technology ( which, beyond navigation, has revolutionized, for example, the world of sports ).

New legislation or policies

The emergence (or disappearance) of regulations, laws or policies is often the germ of a large number of products and services that are either “palliative” and facilitate adaptation to the law or are vaccine products that thanks to their hiring we can avoid future pain. They need to be very attentive to the appearance of new regulations and react very quickly once they are released. The hundreds of products and services that have served to adapt to the regulations of protection of personal data or changes in regulation in the field of photovoltaic energy are good examples.

Changes in cost structures

Sometimes, as a result of the large-scale production of a product type ( as has happened with the components of mobile phones ) and the reduction in the necessary resources or the adoption of a new technology or approximation technology ( for example the use of applications “in the cloud” ), there are situations that make viable products or services that were unthinkable long ago or to which only the highest segments of the market had access. This type of new business opportunities allows for transforming non-customers into customers.

Possibility of eliminating traditional barriers

Often we have many ideas in our heads that we do not dedicate a second because our way of understanding the world or the way things now work makes them unfeasible. To be able to really evaluate and see if those barriers are an insurmountable problem or simply a challenge, it usually works to ask things like ” If I had a magic wand how would I solve this problem? “Or” What rules established in the market or industry are like that “because yes” and that nobody questions ? “.

Incorrect competitive variables in saturated markets

Sometimes when we are competing in a saturated market (characterized by the fact that the customer only worries about the price, does not value new features and also the competition is becoming more intense), the best idea is to rethink if we are “struggling” “The correct battle. For example, in the case of the insulin market years ago, all laboratories competed in the factor “% purity” when for the client the product was already sufficiently well. And, therefore, he was only worried about the price.

Things that work in other sites

Finally, when someone tells me that they do not have business ideas. That’s why I always recommend traveling. Because it opens not only your mind and exposes you to new environments and people, but also because it is common for you to discover that something that triumphs in another city/country/ continent. It can work in your market, or otherwise, something that works in your market can work in another country ( as has happened with the rise of churros in China )

Each of these points or strategies can help you identify new opportunities on which to build an innovative business model. But remember that what you decide is only a “candidate” idea, you still have to validate the hypotheses on which your plan, go out, talk to clients and see if it really is worthwhile, because: Do not sell what you can build. Build what you can sell