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Chapter 1.2. A Model for Strategic Planning, Analyzing Cases and Decison Making

Chapter 1.3 Forest & Forest Case

Chapter 2. Influencing / Persuading

Chapter 3. Negotiating / Conflict Resolution

Chapter 4. Networking / Self Marketing

Chapter 5. Entrepreneuring / Venturing

Chapter 6. Business Plan Outline

Chapter 7. HBS Case Method Deprives Students of An Authentic Learning Experience

Chapter 8. Improving Your Ability to Recognize Business Opportunities

Chapter 9. Why Business Schools Need to Know What MBAs Want to Learn and How to Find Out

Chapter 10. What do MBAs Want and What Do They Get?

Chapter 11. Applying Services Marketing Concepts to the Administration of A Business School

Chapter 12. A Model of the Business School as A Developer of Achievers

Chapter 13. Obtaining More Options in Your 401(k) or 403 (b) Retirement Plan

Chapter 14. Breathe Slowly - Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Chapter 15. The Body Mass Index (BMI) Is Wrong

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Chapter 8. Improving Your Ability to Recognize Business Opportunities


A survey of beginning MBA students revealed that of 16 abilities listed, "Ability to Recognize Business Opportunities" was ranked highest with respect to value for maximizing success in business and perceived need for self-improvement.

To satisfy this need, I developed the assignment described below and incorporated it into my Core graduate Marketing course.  The material presented below is adapted from the instructions provided to students.

The business world rewards people who discover profitable business opportunities.  Some receive promotions from their employers.  Others earn their rewards as entrepreneurs.  The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience in developing ideas for new businesses.  Once you start looking for business opportunities, you are more likely to find them and thereby increase your success in business.  Listed below are seven search methods innovators have used.  Examine this list and select any three search methods.  Apply these methods to find at least one business opportunity with each of the three.

    1.  Applying technology.  The innovator found a new application for a technology.
    2.  Exploiting opportunity.  The innovator discovered a need for a new product or service.
    3.  Surveying sellers.  One innovator asked sales representatives what products or services customers were trying to buy and had trouble finding.
    4.  Surveying buyers.  Another innovator asked purchasing agents what products or services they found difficult to buy.
    5.  Networking.  An innovator asked all his business acquaintances to describe all the business ideas they were aware of.
    6.  Current job.  An employee suggested a new business, the employer rejected it and the employee quit and started his own new business.
    7.  Some entrepreneurs have turned hobbies into businesses.
    8.  A consultant has solved a problem for a client and finds that his solution can help other clients.
    9.  A part-timer starts something small, working mainly evenings and weekends while keeping the day job. The side business grows.  The part-timer transitions full-time to the new venture.


After you have completed your search, prepare a two page report.  Cover these topics.
    I.   List and evaluate the search methods you used and list all the ideas you considered.
    II.  Identify your best idea and prepare a mini business plan:
        A.  The product or service.  In what ways is it more attractive to buyers than existing products or services?
        B.  The market.  Who will buy the product or service?  How much do they buy of the type of product or service?  How much do you expect to sell them?
        C.  The environment:  Competition, trends in relevant external factors, such as the economy, regulation and technology.
        D.  Marketing strategy: personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing including Internet, service and warrantee policies and public relations campaign for the new venture.
        E.  Capital requirements.  How much money do you need for starting the business?
        D.  Other.  What else do you need to do to get ready to start the new business?

If the new venture looks promising, prepare a business plan.  See Chapters 5 and 6.  Consult other sources, as required and network.  See Chapter 4.

If the new venture does not seem promising, repeat the entire process until you recognize a promising business opportunity.


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Last update: Monday, October 10, 2005 at 6:56:59 PM
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