One lucky day, entrepreneur Ken Hakuta received a toy, a gift for his son, from his family in Japan. When thrown against a wall, the 8-legged toy, soon to be named the “Wacky Wall Walker”, scrambled down the wall instead of falling off of it. After Hakuta’s family played with it for hours, he realized that the tiny toy presented a great marketing and financial opportunity for him. Little did he know how successful his rubbery octopus would become.
In fact, the Wacky Wall Walker became one of the best-selling fad toys of the 1980s. Its appeal extended to other markets including television (NBC produced a Christmas special based on the toy) and breakfast cereal (Kellogg’s inserted them into cereal boxes). In the wake of his fad’s popularity, Hakuta created and hosted a TV show for child entrepreneurs and authored a book entitled, How to Create a Fad and Make a Million Dollars, in which he candidly shared his experiences marketing the Wacky Wall Walker.
A popular Hakuta quote reads, “People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in every direction, including yours.” The problem with business opportunities is not that they don’t exist; it is that they don’t necessarily fall into our laps. We have to be open and actively pursue them. Here are ten ideas for finding the next great opportunity that awaits your business.
- Seek out opportunities. Discover opportunities or create them yourself. Be open to finding a gift in your mailbox and recognizing its potential.
- Talk to your customers. Fill product and service gaps noted by your clients and customers.
- Brainstorm with your team. Tap their creative juices to stimulate unique and innovative ideas.
- Solve a problem. Pinpoint unique solutions for existing challenges.
- Be cognizant of new technologies. Consider business opportunities that may result from technological advancements.
- Evaluate your competitors. Determine what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Identify and learn from their competitive advantages.
- Take advantage of market booms, even if they may be short-lived. Weigh the potential short- vs long-term gains.
- Note pricing movements. Exploit potential increases in market segment when the price of a product or service falls.
- Identify gaps in your market for certain products and services. Consider moving into other markets as well.
- Analyze industry trends. Take advantage of emerging opportunities in your industry.
iSeek Solutions offers many Resources that facilitate identification of “opportunities”. Here are highlights of a few of our resources:
Strategic Plan Development Workshop (iSPD Workshop©) examines your organization’s strategic mission, goals and objectives to help you gauge the value of opportunities that come your way. The strategic planning process produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.
Business Health Check (iBHC©) provides a big picture view of your business, a synopsis of where you stand in meeting the goals and objectives set during the strategic planning process. You’ll gain basic knowledge of the overall performance, opportunities for improvements, employee health, end-user experience, and organization culture, engagement and alignment
Business Performance Assessment (iBPA©) is another way of measuring the actual performance of your business against pre-determined goals and objectives. The performance assessment evaluates the organization’s addressable spend, organization alignment and human capital to identify opportunities to save costs, increase revenues – perhaps through new revenue streams, and enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Whether you’re pursuing new opportunities or improving the health and performance of existing opportunities, we can help! Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on Ken Hakuta and Wacky Wall Walker came from: Wikipedia