There are many reasons why people choose to become an entrepreneur. Some do it for passion, some for profit. Some do it to achieve freedom from the constraints of an 8 to 5 life, work cubicles, and financial chains of a fixed paycheck. Some start a business solely for personal fulfillment or improving other people’s lives through innovation.
So you have the motivation and a good idea to build a business around with. But the big question is—do you have a market for it? Every business requires a viable idea with market potential. Many entrepreneurs start from distinguishing potentials in the market that they can tap and take advantage of mostly by solving problems, satisfying consumer needs, filling a gap in the industry or by establishing a niche market.
Start right by doing market research even before you register your business. And when you do launch, you must always be on the lookout for opportunities that will allow your business to grow, expand, and improve.
Here are a few ways to spot opportunities in the market for your business:
#1. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that surround a business’ product or service. In a Business News Daily article, contributor Ryan Goodrich said that “when examining the potential for a new business or product, a SWOT analysis can help determine the likely risks and rewards.” Before we discuss how you can work on your SWOT analysis regardless if you are a fledgling entrepreneur or a seasoned entrepreneur, let us first establish its importance.
What are the advantages of conducting a SWOT Analysis?
Like going to war, knowing the threats to your business before you even operate can prepare you for worst-case scenarios. With ample time to recognize, assess, and create strategies, you will have better chances to alleviate, if not eradicate, risks. Threats are not limited to competition. It can include product, financial, market risks, and other external threats.
Identifying emerging opportunities
In conducting SWOT, business owners are able to foresee short-term and long-term opportunities that they can take advantage of now or plan for growth and expansion in the future.
Managing resources efficiently
Even the largest, most competitive corporations have limited resources. By knowing the strengths of the business, you can use resources in a manner that will yield higher profitability for the company.
Creating business strategies
Research is extremely necessary when creating business strategies. By conducting SWOT, entrepreneurs can anticipate both threats and opportunities where they can build an effective strategy out of.
Let us deconstruct the important factors of SWOT:
Your strengths refer to the positive aspects about your business. These are internal factors that you can control and use to the advantage of your business. For example, you have a brilliant management team, good relationship with suppliers, loyal clients and basically anything that gives your business an edge when compared to competitors.
What are the vulnerabilities of your business? What can you improve in your product or service? What is the usual complaint of your customers? What factors result to lost sales opportunities? In what aspects do your competitors do better than you? When identifying your business’ weaknesses, stay realistic and be meticulous in finding weak spots in your business. Look at each item from the perspective of both an insider and outsider.
What are the current trends in your industry? Are there any upcoming local or international events that you can tap? Look at innovation and technological advancements especially if it is related to your line of work. Are there any new government policies? How is your market—are there changes in terms of population, preference, social patterns or lifestyle?
As with any kind of venture, there will always be risks. Your competitors are one of them. For example, if your business is planting and selling organic vegetables, bad weather can be considered a threat. Or if you are in the manufacturing industry, a tax increase can affect your business. The important part is being receptive and having contingency plans to address foreseeable threats.
#2. Find out your USP
Entrepreneur Magazine defines USP or Unique Selling Proposition as “The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.”
It is important to recognize what is unique about your business compared to other businesses offering the same service and selling the same product. Why will potential customers choose your business over your competitors? The answer to the WHY is most likely your unique selling proposition. It could be convenience, performance, status, design, user experience, lower cost, lower risk, customer service, exclusivity—whatever sets you apart from competitors.
An example when it comes to unique selling proposition is TOMS Shoes. The brand gives a pair of shoes to a child who is in need for every pair of TOMS Shoes that you purchase. Now, doesn’t that make the brand stand out?
If possible, identify your unique selling proposition even before you develop your product or launch your service. The better prepared you are, the easier it is to implement marketing strategies.
#3. Work with an expert
There is no shame in asking help from industry experts. Many successful individuals have reached their destination through the help of their mentors. Richard Branson, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Virgin Group of Companies, is a big believer of having mentors. In an article published at Entrepreneur Magazine, Richard Branson mentioned that “No matter how smart you are, or how brilliant or disruptive your business concept might be, every entrepreneur needs a good mentor. Someone, somewhere, has already been through what you are experiencing right now, and he has come out the other side armed with invaluable insights.”
When you find yourself clueless about the potentials of your business, do not hesitate to approach people who have more experience than you.
Once you find out that there is a market for your idea and you are ready to register your business in Singapore, give us a call. We can help ease your company incorporation process and even provide support services including secretarial, accounting and tax services.