6 Processes Of Exploring Opportunities

Processing opportunity is a favorable challenge posed by the environment which may lead an entrepreneur to enjoy differential advantages such as profits, survival, potentials etc. It is just a set of business conditions waiting to be perceived and conditioned by someone. Dynamic prospecting for
environmental opportunities may lead an entrepreneur to start producing a new product, install a new method of production, open up a new market, discover a new source or uses of raw materials, reorganize an existing enterprise etc. Nigerian business environment is saturated with lots of challenging opportunities. Opportunities are not in short supply, rather, entrepreneurs capable of capitalizing on existing business or of creating new ones are in short supplies. Opportunities are always ever there waiting to be plucked. To take advantage of them, someone must hunt or prospect for them, perceive, capture and realize them. In the words of Carlin (1965), “Opportunity offers itself to men in direct proportion to their ability, will for action, power of vision, experience and knowledge of business” The ability of an individual to create money-making ideas and/or designs, formulate processes/ product/service, is the greatest single power he possesses. Money making requires that opportunities be identified, selected, captured, capitalized and realized by organization to pursue what is captured; retain the organizations; maintain them and sustain their growth and success. Willing entrepreneurs must go through the following process in order to capture attractive investment opportunities, take advantage and make a success of them. 

1) Recognize needs for running a venture:
A venture must be fully recognized. The very propelling influence, need, motive or drive that is responsible for the entrepreneur’s eventual mindset to want to run a venture. 

2) Conduct self – approval:
Define your values, competitive strength, behavior, resources and other capabilities (personal capability analysis). Prospective entrepreneurs must analyse themselves and see if they possess the occupational, professional and entrepreneurial competence needed to run an enterprise being contemplated. Capability and value assessments are technically referred to as “enterprise or company profile” 

3) Scan the environment and industry.
This will enable the entrepreneur to understand the force, institutions and actors that are currently and potentially germane to organization’s activities and performance. Environment of business may be domestic or international, immediate or remote, external or internal, absolute or comparative.
To understand the environment, the following are paramount:
 Environmental scanning
 Environmental forecasting
 Organizational adaptation to environmental changes. 

4) Analyze Business ideas/opportunities: Possible business idea/opportunities should be analyzed to enable the adventurer to determine the interest or otherwise of the idea/opportunity and capability and competence or the financial viability of the project; technical or production pre-feasibility of the project; marketing, commercial or economic viability of the project as well as social desirability. Investment appraisal of the project(s) or ideas may be conducted first, through a pre-feasibility study which highlights the prospect of the project(s) and second through a
comprehensive feasibility study that provides critical, technical, economic, and financial and management of the project(s). 

5) Select the best idea/opportunity/project. This stage is an investment  decision stage. Criteria for accepting or rejecting the project, called selection factors, are put in place. Such selection factors may be objective (quantitative) or subjective (behavioral, qualitative or judgmental). 

6) Capture/implement the idea/project; the business ideas are bodies of thought and reflections about the nature and structure of business and what should then be the guiding principles on which to build the business. It guides the direction of the enterprise; idea tells the entrepreneur what to do and what not to do. For the contemplative entrepreneur not to remain a dreamer, he has to be on the alert to start something. He must have courage and self confidence in his ability to run and manage an enterprise. The first step of the implementation process is to start with a comprehensive business plan, which marshals, allocates and deploys resources needed for the actualization of the business. Have a nice day.