Ideas Versus Opportunities

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What does Ideas Versus Opportunities mean?


Definition of Ideas Versus Opportunities

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?

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How do you tell the difference between an idea and an opportunity?

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)

How do you create an opportunity out of an idea?

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.). Determining the difference between ideas versus opportunities is the key in making money and capitalizing on trends.

General FAQ

What is an example of ideas versus opportunities?
An example of ideas versus opportunities would be stumbling on a concept for a restaurant that screens movies while diners eat. This is pretty bare-bones as it is, and while it seems like a commercial idea with the potential to offer customers an eating experience with a difference, it’s not an opportunity in itself. To make this a business opportunity, you would need to conduct market research to determine if there’s an audience willing to pay for this service if the necessary resources are available and if the business is capable of turning a profit. Market conditions and a lack of demand may mean that while this is a fun idea, there simply isn’t room to transform it into an opportunity just yet.
Why should businesses use ideas versus opportunities?
Businesses should use a process of identifying ideas versus opportunities to avoid spending money on initiatives that fail. Rushing into an idea without conducting the necessary market research — or identifying which audience segments who would see value in the product or service — could lead to serious financial trouble, reputation damage, and loss of stakeholder confidence.

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