The business opportunity I identified
There is one business opportunity that I have for a long time thought of trying it out. The opportunity is about starting and running a carwash in my home estate. I come from a relatively wealthy neighborhood with a good number of car owning residents. It is estimated that averagely, there is at least one car per every three homes in my estate which has a population of about four hundred residents. This represents a sizeable market for my opportunity.
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Another factor is that the estate is centralized with three adjacent main gates which make it easier to market the business upon starting as all cars pass through these gates. In addition, there is no such business in the area making it more marketable due to less competition.
There are a number of driving factors that made me identify this opportunity. The most outstanding one is the need for extra money to settle my bills. This made me start figuring out how I could make some money of my own besides what my parents provided. My parents were financially burdened with school fees and our upkeep expenses thus could not adequately provide for the whole family. Another factor was boredom. Most of my peers were in schools and some working thus sitting at home was becoming too boring and I felt I had to find something to keep me busy besides making me an extra coin.
The idea came one day through a conversation with our neighbor who bitterly complained that carwashes in town had become so expensive. She had preferred washing her car every morning of which she found it difficult and had asked for my help a number of times. I confirmed complains on carwashes in town from roughly ten residents who gave me the psyche with my idea. In addition, the logistics of starting and running a carwash were manageable as there was enough water, site and cheap and readily available labor from the idle estate boys.
The opportunity after reading the articles on opportunity recognition
Having read the article on opportunity recognition, my business idea appears real and promising. It is a good choice of business idea as it is in line with my passion (cars). With the idea, I will get the opportunity to explore different car models, seeing their engines, their interiors and inquire from their owners on their performance. Starting the business will also give me the desired financial freedom as I will not have to continue being fully dependent on my parents.
From the article I also learnt that the idea growing to full business requires a number of things. For instance, patience is a key virtue for any entrepreneur. At times the things do not go as expected and it is then that patience plays a big role. Starting a business with a new idea my take some time to pick and start rewarding financially. Being passionate about my business idea is another factor that will boost the chances of the business standing (Harvard Business School, 2011). Liking what you do gives you the morale to go on even when things seem no working out as expected.
SWOT analysis favors my opportunity. According to the article, my idea is realistic as it requires relatively minimum capital to start and run it (Mind Tools, n.d.). The site for my intended business is guaranteed as my parents own a small plot at the junction between the three gates that will gladly give it to me. Having secured the appropriate site, I will need to hire around five people who will be washing the cars while I do the advertising and market research as well as handle the finances. It will also be my responsibility to clear with all legal requirements and acquire the necessary documents before the business starts.
Importance of the document on opportunity recognition
It is most definite that the article on opportunity recognition was of great importance to me as far as my business idea is concerned. Reading the article enlightened me on a lot of things that I did not know concerning putting up a new business. At one time I thought of carwash as minor business and wished for big businesses such as putting up a factory. However, Hamel (2000) writes, “Entrepreneurs do not look around for the next big idea, Instead, they look for projects that are within their areas of expertise, that incite a passion backed by pragmatism, that have customers, and that have the right market timing” (p. 65).
There is more to starting an actual business than just thinking of the opportunity itself. For instance, there are a lot of things that have to be put in place before one can set up the desired business. In my case, for my idea to grow to full maturity, I have to carry out an extensive opportunity assessment. This may include carrying out a field study on the opportunity (Harvard Business School, 2011). It is a wise exercise as it helps set up the required resources to start and sustain ones idea. For example, from the assessment I will get a rough estimate of the budget of starting the carwash as well as learn of all legal requirements in the carwash business.
The article also enlightened me on how to carry out an in-depth exploration of the market and evaluation of the entrepreneurial opportunity. The success of any business is not based on how big the idea behind the business is but rather how well assessed was the idea before it was adopted. In the book; Value-based Requirements Engineering – Exploring Innovative e-Commerce Ideas, Gordijn (2002) argues that there is no need for one to go after a big idea unless he or she can deliver on it.
Having decided on starting a carwash as my opportunity, the article enlightened me on how to assess the idea in terms of input, output and market among others (Mind Tools, n.d.). For instance a SWOT analysis as explained in the articles will be of great importance in evaluating the business idea. Through the analysis (SWOT), I realized that my opportunity enjoys a less competitive market, cheap and readily available labor, availability of resources (water, carwash detergents) and capital as its strengths. On the contrary, emergence of competition thereafter, my going to school (when the school reopens) and lack of space to expand the business may stand in as threats to the business when it starts.
Another inspiration from the article is that as an entrepreneur, one has to think big no matter which opportunity you embark one. Thinking big comes with hearts that can take risks and are flexible enough to adjust to situations as they come without drifting from the sole purpose which is success (Harvard Business School, 2011).
The only limitation of the article is that it does not expound on how to go about setting up the actual opportunity. As much as it enlightened me on identifying the correct idea, the logistics of launching and running it is not explained in details in the article. Nevertheless, it addresses the most important part which is identifying the right business opportunity.
Gordijn, J. (2002). Value-based Requirements Engineering – Exploring Innovative e- Commerce Ideas. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit.
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Hamel, G. (2000). Leading the revolution. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Harvard Business School. (2011). Finding an idea. Web.
Mind Tools. (n.d.). SWOT Analysis Discover new opportunities. Manage and eliminate threats. Web.