Entrepreneurship takes a unique set of skills, with an emphasis on persistence and determination, but success depends on much more than just keeping one business going. Rather, the most important capacity may be an eye for what comes next – the best entrepreneurs need to be able to see opportunity even in unlikely situations.
Of course, opportunities don’t come around every day, so patience is key to entrepreneurial success. If you’re trying to evaluate the business landscape, here are some factors to consider that might lead you to that perfect opportunity.
Know Your Role Models
Many people describe entrepreneurs as tenacious; they’re people who don’t give up and don’t give in to negativity. One reason that they can do that, though, is that they’ve seen it modeled by others. Identifying and connecting with role models can help you learn the ropes, refer you to opportunities, and provide networking opportunities that will help you grow your existing business and identify chances for expansion. Often, more senior entrepreneurs are offered opportunities that they don’t have time to pursue or which aren’t a good fit for their current projects, but they may offer them to their proteges.
Keep an Open Mind
One myth about entrepreneurship is that, when it comes to starting a business, cities are the place to be. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities in the suburbs, especially if you want to start a brick-and-mortar operation, but overall, growth is centralized in big cities. In reality, though, the best entrepreneurs keep an open mind about potential opportunities.
In many cases, there are real advantages to operating in a rural or suburban environment, rather than an urban one, at least when it comes to the right business. For example, if you’re considering buying FedEx routes, rural routes typically have fewer stops and are less stressful, leading to lower turnover rates than urban ones, but urban routes experience less wear and tear on vehicle fleets, which can be beneficial in terms of operating costs. When location is a potential variable, it’s critical to weigh all the factors and keep an open mind.
Be Ready for Risks
Taking too many risks or the wrong risks is an easy way to tank a business, but you can’t succeed as an entrepreneur by avoiding all risks. Rather, you have to strike a balance between being too risk-averse and taking appropriate leaps because you never know what will happen. You can navigate potential risks by doing your research, working with the right professionals, like financial consultants, and learning how to mitigate risk when you do choose more precarious projects.
Build a Niche but Think Bigger
It’s often easiest to grow professionally within a relatively restricted sector; you become an industry expert and a trusted source. That can be a good move, but it’s also inherently limiting. When trying to identify new business opportunities, then, it’s important to lean into the sort of integration that larger industries typically pursue. That means launching businesses adjacent to your current work and which may even steadily lock clients in to your service set. But, it’s also possible to branch out into entirely different sectors with sufficient preparation, especially if your earlier efforts are now self-sustaining. The key is to ensure you can commit enough time and energy to all your projects.
Identifying your next big business opportunity is ultimately all about hard work, but there will always be elements of luck, especially when it comes to timing and risk management. In other words, as much work as you do to find the perfect opportunity, failure is always possible.
Still, with the right preparation, you can take control of your entrepreneurial destiny – the only question is, what will you try next?
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
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