Often used interchangeably, there’s actually a big difference between an idea and an opportunity in business. Put simply: a business idea is a concept that could be used to make money, and an opportunity has proven commercial value. Knowing the difference between an idea and an opportunity is crucial to avoid wasting significant time and money.
After all, everyone stumbles upon an idea at some point — maybe even several times a day! But how much potential lies in that solution? Is it ‘just’ an idea? Or is the problem you’re solving common or disruptive enough to represent a genuine opportunity for your brand?
A business opportunity is an idea that has the potential to become a viable enterprise, with a place in one or more markets. It earns the title of ‘an opportunity’ if it:
Forecasts high gross margins
Has the potential to break even within 12-36 months
Has a really dedicated, passionate team behind it
Only faces low level, or manageable, risk (and there are strong contingencies in place)
A business plan is essential to translate an idea into a viable opportunity. Look for gaps in the market and define how your idea would fit in. Within this place, you must also consider which resources you’ll need to bring your opportunity to fruition (funding, a competent team, effective leadership, manufacturers, etc.).