Suddenly he hears the snap of a twig on his left. Immediately he crouches and scans the surrounding area, rifle on his shoulder, eye to the telescope.
Then he sees it! A spotted deer fills the rifle telescope, apparently blissfully unaware of impending danger. He almost feels sorry for it, it is so beautiful. But heck no, he’s tired; been tracking game all day, so…
…carefully he aims, making sure that the crosshairs in the scope’s lens are dead centre, pulls the trigger and…misses. Damn!!
Then it slams him! He forgot to have his telescope’s boresight setting adjusted, so no shot would anyway go where directed, even if he was to try again later. Tired, irate, hungry and miserable he drags himself home.
Are you tired?
Feel like that hunter?
Been trying to identify money making opportunities, but for the life of you just can’t see them? Or, if you did identify and exploit them, still very little or nothing you had done ended up in you bank account?
If that sounds like you, then that rifle scope has a lot to teach you.
A telescopic sight is like a super magnifying glass that sits atop a rifle and is a sighting device that helps the hunter aim accurately at a target. It enlarges the target many times, thereby making it much more visible while the crosshairs in the lens allow the huntsman to precisely align his aim before he shoots.
Last time I spoke about looking at your talents and skills to see what you had in the way of using them to make an economic difference to your life. But why stop there, unless you want to?
Also look outside yourself to life in general when searching for opportunities. But from different angles or points of view. This will allow you to see much more that you couldn’t previously and can bring surprising rewards in terms of identifying problems people experience. And solving people’s problems is the bedrock of business.
In this post I’d like for you to come along as we take a look together at some of those angles, but unlike the hunter in the story, we’ll have our telescope’s boresighting adjusted beforehand, to not only magnify what we see, but also aim at specifics. Why?
Because it is absolutely useless knowing that the herd is out there, but you don’t know at which deer to aim. Then it was a waste of time writing this post and you’ll waste your time reading it.
However, if you look through a super magnifying glass like a rifle scope, you’ll be able to identify detail, not just generalities. Will hone in on specifics, be helped better in identifying some real opportunities…
So, get your gun and scope and join me as we go hunting for those opportunities and zoom in on them. But before we do that, you first need to do something else.
Searching for lucrative business opportunities is a lot like hunting game. In both pursuits, the physical position you assume during the process is critical. So before we set out on the expedition, we first need to work on our position.
Imagine yourself belly crawling on the wet, muddy forest floor as you hear a snort on your left, but cannot see much. So you shift your legs to a somewhat better position, one that will actually enable you to see past some foliage obstructing your view.
Looking from this different position or angle, you can see a spotted deer a short way from you, and as you move sideways even more (carefully, so they don’t hear you) an unbelievable, out of – this – world scene suddenly pops into view that seconds before was not there:
A whole herd of deer, chomping on grass!
In like manner, there can be a whole herd of business opportunities skulking out there among the foliage of life; you’ve probably just been unable to see them!
Maybe because you did not know quite where to look.
So, if you’ve been unable to spot them, it’s just a matter of looking from a different angle.
But apart from this, it’s absolutely impossible to fire off a well aimed shot from anything other than a secure position with your eye firmly trained on your target.
So, take off the eyepieces you usually wear (meaning the way you usually look at things) and put on a whole different set of blinkers, wear a different set of goggle – call it what you will – when looking at these angles.
This is the secret to success in seeing them. Keep those specs on. Even after you’re done reading here. You might be surprised at what you actually see.
So, pick up your rifle scope and snap on your goggles please. We’re going to hone in on specific parts of our money making forest and see what materializes in our crosshairs.
The different angles of the money making forest
These parts of our forest are called angles and there are seven in total. I will discuss the first three in this post and the last four in part two (coming next week. Be sure to watch for it)
I’ll start off each time with a brief overview of the angle in question and when the icon of a hunter appears, that’s when we’ll zoom in with our scopes to some specific areas within that angle where opportunities may lie hidden. Ready?
- The Angle of Direct Problems and Frustrations People Experience.
In a sophisticated economy, problems can usually be found in areas such as administration systems, production bottlenecks, repairs and maintenance areas. There are also usually problems present in the limitations of existing products / services and their production systems.
Admin systems: Small companies cannot always afford an admin clark. You could start a business doing admin services for small businesses. Who knows, if you’re good at what you do, word of mouth and advertising might even land you bigger clients some day than what you started out with.
Production bottlenecks: You could identify the bottleneck and create an outsource solution. Depending on the problem, unemployed labour could solve it. American engins for example, are sometimes assembled in China to solve bottlenecks in their production processes.
Maintenance and Repairs: E.g. Companies with car fleets will outsource the maintenance and repairs to an entrepreneur who performs this service for more than one company.
2. The Angle of Unsatisfied Needs.
Certain needs must be met for humans to be able to stay alive and enjoy life. Go figure! Now some needs are more important than others so they can actually be grouped in a hierarchy. Here is one by a man called Abraham Maslow.
At the bottom of the hierarchy is the need for the very basic things in life, like food, water and shelter. On the second level, the needs for safety and protection. The third represents the need for social interaction and recreation. The fourth, the need to be recognised and respected, also called the “ego need” and the final level represents the need for self-actualisation.
A need is anything human beings need to make their lives easier and more meaningful. Once a person perceives that he/she has a need, but can’t satisfy it because of some obstacle, a problem is created. If you can solve this problem for the person at a fair price, he/she will be willing to pay for the solution, and then you’re in business!
How much this person would be willing to pay will depend on how strong the urge to satisfy the need is. To satisfy a need, implies that the obstacle has to be removed – this is the solution. The gap between a need and the satisfaction thereof is therefore created by an “obstacle”, which in turn causes a “problem”. Solve this and you’re golden.
Physiological: E.g. Health foods and going natural versus fabricated. Home made sweets for example are free of the additives and colourants avoided by mothers with kids who suffer from ADHD and you can make them and successfully market them as such.
Safety: Offer for example to computerize people’s homes to make them safer etc…
Social: Social media for instance is BIG. But time is very limited and busy small business owners have a hard time managing social media marketing themselves. Offer your services in this regard, stating the importance of the issue and how you can help the company make a success of the marketing endevour by their outsourcing this function to a guru – you.
Ego: Yep. We all have one, so capitilize on it! Apart from brand products and unique cuts in clothing, see where you can make things personal and exclusive. Unique and personlized handbags, stationery, paintings, gift cards, shoes, bedding etc…
Self-actualisation: A great commodity to promote here is self study programmes that will empower people’s lives and dreams.
3. The Angle of Wants
As soon as our needs are fully met, they tend to expand into all kinds of related wants. As man’s standard of living improves and becomes more sophisticated, the want for new things appears. The effect of this improving lifestyle is that new needs appear along the way all the time.
If a want becomes strong enough and is satisfied, it often changes into a need. Due to human nature, the urge to satisfy a need is much stronger than the urge to satisfy a want. So a want could therefore also be described as a weaker form of an unsatisfied need.
For example: You live in a small apartment. But soon, wifey says she’s no longer satisfied with it and now wants a nice little house instead. So you buy the nice little house, pack up and move. But lo and behold, not long and she’s up to her tricks again (when’s it gonna end!), so once again, you buy a bigger house and do the whole trek thing again, wishing fervently it’s the absolute last freakin’ time.
Nowadays, man perceives not having a nice house as an unsatisfied need, and possessing a mansion as a want. Social trends play an important role in people’s wants.
The higher the level of economic development, the more new problems and consequently opportunities emerge. This can be illustrated by the simple fact that people in poorer communities are inclined to personally perform maintenance jobs on their cars, but in the wealthier communities this is seldom the case. It becomes a situation of the more a person has, the more he/she wants.
This is good news, because the bigger the demand for services/products, the more business opportunities you’ll have!
The sky’s really your limit here. Look at people’s wants with new eyes, they’re emerging all the time. Listen to them as they talk about what they still want to do or have (their bucket lists, you know as in the movie “The Bucket List)), read the media with a focus on this angle, soon you’ll notice waaaayyyy more wants and desires than before.
Now, climb in there and cater to some wants. You’re sure of the money.
Well, that’s all for now. Watch this spot next week for part two of the discussion on looking from different angles for money making opportunities.
See you there!
Please leave a comment, telling us about your experiences in scoping for business opportunities! We always answer queries and reply on all comments.
- Bekker, Mauritz. Entrepreneurial Business School. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org