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How do you find a business idea that pays?

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By Maina Gachanjah | Sep 13th 2016 | 2 min read
By Maina Gachanjah | September 13th 2016
FINANCIAL STANDARD

In every market economy there exist two business situations that would-be entrepreneurs face.

There are those who have loads of money yet lack business ideas to venture into. And then there are those who are bubbling with business ideas but lack the capital to roll out their plans.

The latter group is lucky as financial institutions can come to their aid. The group I would like to speak to is the one that lacks ideas on where to invest. Do you introduce a new product or service? Select an existing product or service from one market and offer it to another where it is needed but lacking? Maybe you should venture into a franchise contract?

These possibilities, and many more, can become a nightmare, especially if you are itching to cross over to the world of enterprise and become your own boss.

So how do you find the business opportunity that suits your expectations?

• The first step is to sniff out inefficiencies in the market that have actually caused you inconveniences as a consumer.

For example, before Safaricom launched M-Pesa, it conducted a thorough market survey and discovered that most consumers of banking products do not want to queue in banking halls for hours just to handle one transaction. Mobile money transfers now save depositors the time previously spent in banking halls.

Sniff out an inefficiency, figure out how to correct it, and there you have a brilliant business opportunity.

• Another business opportunity lies in a product or service that is offered abroad but is highly needed and lacking locally. You could research on reliable foreign suppliers and enter into a franchise contract with them. Be careful, though, when making payments for imports lest you lose your hard-earned cash to suspect dealers or suppliers.

• Customers can also provide business ideas through feedback. Listen keenly to their aspirations and mobilise resources and capacity to offer them ways to achieve what they want at a reasonable cost.

The next war in business will be won by producers of goods and services targeted at the bottom of the pyramid. The market yearns for high-quality goods offered at low prices. This market segment is huge and tends to be very loyal.

Pain points

Assess consumer pain points and alleviate their frustrations through solutions, products or services. Continuously understand what customers want, where they want it, when and at what price. Ask yourself what the risks in that venture are, and compare it with the revenues likely to be earned. If the revenues outweigh the risks, go ahead and launch your business.

Commodities and online stores are other examples of brilliant ideas that connect buyers and sellers. Think of a market place, automate it, and you could soon be smiling all the way to the bank. There is no substitute to analysing and sorting out consumer needs in the market.

The writer is a marketing consultant at Juhudi Investments Consultancy.

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