Editor's note: The Business Mentor is a weekly business column by Armando "Butz" Bartolome, president of GMB Franchise Developers Inc. and chairman of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc.
MANILA, Philippines - As a business mentor to many entrepreneurs, I have seen successful people identify a business opportunity in the most ordinary times or in times when everybody does not dare to move.
They may have extra BIG EARS, NOSE and WIDE EYES as to hear, smell and see what is coming up.
To come up with a good idea is fairly easy. It can come during a period of silence or in the midst of conversation with friends.
However, the difficulty lies in discovering an idea that is feasible and realistic. There are hundreds of thousands of business ideas, but only one or a few will fit an entrepreneur.
It is important to get this part right – if one is to pursue the wrong idea, then it will be just a waste of time, energy and money.
The following questions may help an entrepreneur find the perfect fit -- a business idea that has one’s name written all over it.
Question 1: Describe the business that one is planning to start. What was the seed or source of the business idea?
It may be to get into the habit of bringing a small pocket notebook or even using the recording capability of today’s smartphones. Inspiration may come at even weird hours of the early morning or even as when taking a shower.
Bottom line is to capture the very words to pave the way for the birth of the business idea. Incubate the idea until it is ready to hatch. Nurture by looking at different angle and doing the pros and cons.
However be careful as to allow financial constraint kill the idea. This happens along the process and it will certainly pop the bubble. Accept and consider options on funding. Investors will be ready to fund if there is some concrete factors shown.
Question 2: Identify the product or service to offer.
We have to accept the fact we cannot carry and please the entire consuming population. Instead, focus on specific products or services, which our target market may be patronizing. This is one area I pay attention when I coach people.
There is a tendency to overload the offering. The result could lead to negative profitability. My good friend Ardy Roberto once shared the acronym AIDA: A stands for something, which is annoying, I for Irritating, D for Demand and A for Acute. It served as a guide in discerning what product or service the market may be in need.
Remember everyday there is always an opportunity. Look at the way of living in the metropolis. With a lot of condominium dwellers, check what the basic needs people are looking for.
Question 3: Is the product an innovation or an evolution of an existing product?
Successful entrepreneurs always look and review how and what manner can a product be re launched or improved. Remember the hot pandesal craze? There were so many who began to sell pandesal at almost every corner. Yet there was one thriving bakery, which stood the test of time.
Today Julie's Bakeshop has over 600 branches nationwide. Chicken Inasal has been and a part of the history of Bacolod. The one who gave the Inasal a kick was Edgar “Injap” Sia II of Mang Inasal from Roxas City.
So there are you are the first three may hopefully inspire to think and begin to identify an idea truly worthwhile.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zukenberg, Julie Gandionco, Injap Sia and a host of many all saw what many of us may not have seen the BIG business Idea turning into a money making opportunity.
For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email: [email protected] His website is http://www.gmb.com.ph