What is the difference between a business plan and an opportunity assessment

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A market opportunity assessment is the process of synthesizing market research and client data to identify opportunities for growth in a specific market an opportunity assessment plan is NOT a business plan. Compared to a business plan, it should: Be shorter. Focus on the opportunity, not the venture. or business area and formulate an actionable strategy to realize this growth. Identify, target, action

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You and your team may be considering a variety of new business ideas and market opportunities, but not all of them are worth pursuing. It’s important to narrow down your options and make sure you focus on the ones that have the highest potential for success. 

Chasing too many growth initiatives can be dangerous for your business. According to the Harvard Business Review, “As an executive team’s priority list grows, the company’s revenue in fact declines relative to its peers.” But focusing on a small set of promising initiatives can lead to above-average revenue growth.

Follow these five steps to evaluate the attractiveness of a new market opportunity.

1. Research your customers and competition.

Use market research to analyze your customers and competitors on multiple levels. This will help you evaluate whether the demand for a product/service is real, and whether expanding into a potential new market is worthwhile for your company. Knowing who your key competitors are and assessing their strengths and weaknesses can also illuminate specific growth strategies and ways to differentiate your products and services.

2. Get a high-level view of the market.

However, assessing your customers and competitors is not enough. You also need to obtain a broader understanding of the market as a whole and what the potential of success is in the market. 

When analyzing a market, these high-level questions come into play:

  • What is the market size?
  • How quickly is the market expanding or contracting?
  • How many buyers are there?
  • What are the barriers to entry?
  • What is the bargaining power of suppliers?
  • What is the industry value chain?
  • What is the intensity of the competition?
  • Is there a threat of new entrants or substitute products or services?

3. Explore adjacent opportunities.

Pursuing adjacent opportunities can also be a winning strategy.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of a market will help you to maintain a proactive approach and profitably outgrow your rivals by finding ways to expand outside your core business.

4. Understand the business environment factors.

Another area to explore is the overall business environment, which can have a profound impact on company performance and the ways industries operate.

The business environment includes factors such as:

  • Technological developments
  • Government regulations
  • Geopolitical shifts
  • Economic indicators
  • Trade policies
  • Social and cultural norms

5. Find the market research you need fast.

Gathering and synthesizing information about all these categories can take significant time, effort, and expertise, but market research reports can give you a helpful leg up.

“Off-the-shelf” reports, such as those available on bizplanhero.com can supply you with much of the information you need for a comprehensive understanding of the customer, competition, industry, and business environment.

In these reports, you’ll find information on market size, market share, market forecasts, information on regulations, consumer demographics, and much more. In addition, many reports explicitly share analysis on key opportunities for future growth, next-generation product innovation, and emerging marketing strategies.

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