It’s a goal for many people to become an entrepreneur. However, the hardest thing most people run into is how to identify a good business opportunity. One reason why it’s so hard to identify a business opportunity is that we think we need to create a brand new, revolutionary idea. Most times that isn’t the case. Most successful businesses don’t reinvent the wheel. Usually, all they do is take an existing idea and innovate upon it.
In this post, we will break down the 13 ways to identify business opportunities for beginners. After reading these 13 ideas you will have a great sense of how to start spotting viable business opportunities.
1. What Is Already Selling
As we said before, the goal isn’t to reinvent the wheel. The easiest way to identify a business opportunity is to see what is already selling. If you wanted to enter a space like lamps for example. You can type into Google, “best-selling lamps.” Then you can go to their “Shopping” page and sort by review score.
In the screenshot, you can see all the best-selling lamps. Now you should look and see if there are any recurring themes. Does the shape stay constant? Are the prices somewhat uniform or do they vary? By looking at the best sellers with the best reviews you can see what is already working and then you can innovate from there.
2. What Problems Do You Have In Your Own Life
Odds are if you have an issue with something there are other people who share this exact same issue. Ask yourself, “What issues do I constantly run into?” Let’s say you’re a runner. Unfortunately, every time you run you get blisters on the bottom of your feet. Type into Google, “how do I stop blisters on my feet when running.” Google will then show you the results for that query.
As we can see there is actually a company paying to show up on the first page for that query. You can see the very first result says “Ad” right next to the URL. That notifies us that this company, Compeed, has paid Google to show up as the first result for our search term. Let’s look at their landing page.
After clicking on their link we can see they sell cushions to help stop blisters. From here you can click on their Amazon link and see what their reviews are. Are they positive? Is there room for improvement? Are there recurring complaints on how they could make the product better? This will help you brainstorm new ideas.
3. Solve An Existing Problem With A New Solution
Another great way to identify a potential business opportunity is by finding a new solution to an existing problem. Everyone hates mosquito bites. A common solution for helping stop the irritation of mosquito bites is by applying ointment to the infected area.
The ointment is what is called a reactive approach to solving a problem. As in, the issue is already at hand and we are reacting to it. Instead of creating another reactive approach to a problem see if you can find a proactive approach. A proactive approach seeks to solve a problem before it arises.
Instead of trying to create an additional ointment to help with mosquito bites, you can help prevent mosquito bites in the first place with a mosquito repellent. Looking at ways in which you can be either proactive or reactive can help when brainstorming business opportunities.
4. What Do People Come To You For Advice On
A great way to identify a potential business opportunity is by asking yourself, “What do people come to me for advice on?” Are you good at basketball? Are you a fast reader? If so, you can easily monetize these skills.
If people are asking you for advice on how to do something it validates two things.
- It validates that people have an issue.
- It shows that people trust you to solve this issue.
5. Which Businesses Get The Most Funding
According to CB Insights, in 2021, venture investments reached $621 billion, up 111% from 2020 levels! A lot of this funding is public knowledge. Head over to Alley Watch and check out their Funding News section. You can see which startups are getting funding and see if there is a trend. Is it personal finance? Transportation? Aerospace? If you can see a recurring theme that businesses within certain industries get the most funding that is a great indicator that this industry has high growth.
Additionally, a great thing to look at is which Kickstarters get the most funding. Head over to the Most Funded section on Kickstarter and look for themes here.
6. Use Google Search Intent
Have you ever typed something into Google and then seen a drop-down list of potential terms you could be searching for?
This isn’t by accident. Google keeps track of what everyone searches for on its platform. By keeping track of this they can autofill what they think you are going to enter. In the visual above, you can see some of the most common things people search for after typing in the phrase, “Why can I…”
What you can do to identify a potential business opportunity is to go into Google and type in “How to” and see what drops down. This will show which questions are frequently being asked on Google.
“How to” is a great search term because we know that whatever shows will be some of the most asked questions on Google. Since Google has over one billion monthly users, this is a great indicator that whatever shows up could be a fantastic business opportunity. A different search query that also works well is, “Does anyone know how…” and let Google fill in the rest.
7. What Do People With A Similar Background To You Do?
We all have different backgrounds. Some of us are into finance, others into art, and others into history. There have been successful businesses for each of these different categories. The best thing to do here is type in your background plus “business idea.”
Look at the screenshot above. By searching, “art + business idea” you can find multiple list articles of business ideas you can pursue as an artist. Remove art and type in your background and see what ideas you can find.
8. What Freelancers Have The Most Demand On Freelance Networks
There are multiple freelance networks out there that business owners go to so that they can outsource various activities. The two most common freelance networks are Upwork and Fiverr. For example, you can go to Fiverr and view the best-selling freelancers for your skillset.
Let’s say you were a digital marketer. Watch our video below to see how you can discover the best-selling freelancers for the Digital Marketing category of “Email Marketing.”
Now that we can see which email marketing freelancers are the best sellers on Fiverr we can start looking for any recurring trends with them. Which Freelancers get the most work? What types of email marketing do best? This can help us find what services are most in-demand.
9. What Youtube Channels, Podcasts, And Blogs Are Most Popular
Over 2 billion people log into YouTube each month; 140 million Americans listen to podcasts, and 75% of users who use the internet read blogs. You can identify a business opportunity within any one of these mediums. A google search of, “Which blogs generate the most monthly traffic” will show the blogs with the highest amount of traffic. Same works with Youtube channels and podcasts. If we can see that people are tuning in to watch, listen, and read certain types of content we know there is a demand for it.
After some research, you can start to figure out which top blogs or podcasts are in similar niches. If so, that means that there is a great opportunity for you to enter the same segment.
10. What Products Get The Best Reviews On Amazon
Amazon, for all of its products, allows customers to leave reviews. In these reviews, you can see what people are saying about the product in question.
The first step for you to do is to pick a product that you would like to sell and filter it by four stars and higher. By doing this we can make sure we are only seeing the best products on Amazon for this segment.
In order to innovate and make the current products better, you want to look at the two to three-star reviews on Amazon. The two and three-star reviews will show you what can be improved from the best sellers. You want to avoid the one stars because those are often people who just hate the product. You will also want to avoid the four to five stars because those could just be loyal fans of the product. The two to three-star reviews will have all the information you need to innovate and optimize the product.
11. What Can You Cut A Step Out Of To Make Something Faster/ Easier
As Americans, we all want to accomplish things very quickly. That’s why some of the most successful products and companies out there are the ones that help us save time. Think of TurboTax or Amazon. With Turbo Tax we can file our taxes quicker and don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes to do so. With Amazon, we no longer have to go to a store to buy something. We can now go on our phones go to the Amazon app and purchase whatever we need at the click of a button.
What is something you do in your everyday life that takes up a lot of time? Make a list of all the things that take up the most time of your life and think about what is a quicker way to do this that doesn’t exist yet. If you can start brainstorming ideas on how to make your current tasks quicker, you can monetize that idea and start a successful business.
12. What Can You Do Better Than Everyone Else
Similar to what people come to you for advice on, ask yourself, “What can you do better than everyone else.” Do you only have to study for half of the time that most people have to before an exam? Are you funnier than most people? Does putting together a car engine seem relatively simple to you?
If you can pick up on the various things that you can do better than your average person you can monetize that. You will find that most people want to be able to do what you can do with relative ease. The best way to monetize this is by helping people do this task by having them outsource the work to you. Or, you can sell an information product that teaches people how to do something at the rate at which you can do it.
13. What Industries Can You Cut Out The Middle Man
Dropshipping has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and there’s no surprise why. A conventional business model is where you have a manufacturer, a retailer, and a customer. The manufacturer makes a good and charges a higher fee to sell it to the retailer. The retailer then charges a higher fee to sell to the customer.
Dropshipping has shaken up this business model because it allows you to no longer hold any inventory. You can now purchase directly from the manufacturer, only when the customer buys from you. This allows you to mark up the product only once.
Another great example of businesses that have cut out the middle man is Netflix and Warby Parker. Netflix made it so that you don’t need to go to movies anymore to watch your films. Warby Parker made it that you don’t need to go to a lens retailer to buy your glasses.
What other industries can you enter and what you can take out the middleman? If you can figure this out you’re well on your way to creating a viable business opportunity.
With these 13 strategies, you can now see that there are multiple ways for you to identify potential business opportunities. The question is, will you actually take action. The most famous entrepreneurs all had one thing in common: They all took massive action to achieve their goals. None of this happens overnight. You have to be willing to be in it for the long haul and in return, you will see amazing results.