Strategies for exploring opportunities in the Environment


Strategies for exploring opportunities in the Environment

What is Opportunity exploitation?

Opportunity exploitation:  Refers to activities conducted in order to gain economic returns from the discovery of a potential entrepreneurial opportunity. It involves the decision to act upon a perceived opportunity and the associated behaviours aimed at realizing the value of the opportunity.

What do entrepreneurial opportunities look like? How do firms discover and exploit these opportunities to create value and sustain competitive advantage? This paper reviews the strategic management and entrepreneurship literatures to identify the nature and character of entrepreneurial opportunities and the entrepreneurial strategies that firms employ to seize and commercialize these opportunities. Three emerging schools are identified. The economic school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of the distribution of information about material resources in society. The cultural cognitive school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of environmental ambiguity and the cultural resources available to interpret and define these opportunities.

Finally, the sociopolitical school stresses the role of network and political structures in defining entrepreneurial opportunities. 

We integrate these perspectives to offer a way to improve understanding of the opportunity creation and exploitation process.


Four Ways to Identify more Business Opportunities

1. Listen to your potential clients and past leads. When you're targeting potential customers listen to their needs, wants, challenges and frustrations with your industry.

2. Listen to your customers.

3. Look at your competitors.

4. Look at industry trends and insights.


Exploit New Business Opportunities

Once you have identified new business opportunities, narrow the list down to those customers that you think are potentially the most lucrative. Using a more targeted approach will prevent you spreading your marketing budget and time too thinly. Any business opportunities you identify need to be managed. Carefully examine the action you plan to take - you need to make sure the opportunities fit in with your business objectives.

Be careful that you don't develop the business beyond your means - make sure that your capabilities match the opportunity. There is no point securing too much new business if you can't then successfully deliver your promises.

Planning is essential to all businesses during their entire lifespan. It focuses on defining business goals for the future and determining steps, activities and resources needed to achieve them.

Successful businesses regularly review their business plan to ensure that it continues to meet their needs and responds to any internal and external changes. This guide explains how you can turn your business plan from a static, 'one-off' document into a dynamic template that will help your business both survive and thrive. It describes the benefits of ongoing business planning and the importance of writing clear business growth plans. It also explains how to use a business plan to allocate resources effectively and tells you why you should carry out regular business plan reviews.

Take advantage of new opportunities

Monitor your competitors: Identify areas they don't operate in and find out who they sell to - these are potential customers for your business as well. Examine their product range or the services they offer, check out their marketing and investigate their pricing. A competitor's poor performance could create an opportunity for your product or service.

Look for events or changes that could trigger a need for a new type of product or service, for example:

• New legislation can create opportunities for business consultants or advisers

• Two organizations may be merging - providing a great deal of opportunity for all types of services and trades.

Look beyond your current market: Looking further than your sector or established market can open up business opportunities. By looking to other sectors, businesses and countries for inspiration and ideas you can combine existing ideas to produce a more effective product or service and take a fresh approach to meeting an identified need.

Consider working in partnership with other businesses that offer complementary services to yours and which are aimed at similar customer groups. The number of potential opportunities could be increased in this way by:

• The partner business selling your products or services to customers who don't currently buy from you

• You selling your partners' products or services

• Jointly developing new products or services based on a combination of your business and theirs

You will have to agree fixed fees or commission rates with the other business if you are selling each other's products or services. A further benefit of working in partnership is that marketing and promotional costs are shared (equally or proportionately). Pooling your resources can also increase your bargaining power, enabling you to negotiate better deals with suppliers.

Identify your competitors, study their market trend and identify gaps. Take advantage of the gap to improve your techniques. Search for support and collaborations in your line of business with those who are interested in your line of business.

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