How To Quickly Capture Today’s Untapped Business Opportunities

from Forbes

During an economic downturn, if you look close enough, there are always industries that are doing better than they ever did. What’s interesting is that despite the economy’s negative impact on buyers’ purchasing power, the demand for certain companies’ products is so high that even the leaders of the industry cannot keep up with demand.

Will you do something about it? Entrepreneurs owe their leadership, hustle, problem-solving skills and risk-taking to those in need. You know there’s a promising business opportunity when you see people ready to spend their money but can’t find anyone to take it. This is as important for new ventures as it is for existing startups whose products are not a priority anymore.

Speed is of utmost importance. What matters is introducing a product that gets customers’ job done. An MVP may not have been enough to attract your competitors’ customers a few months ago, but today, in many cases, it’s all you need to get a piece of the pie.

More here.

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11 Comments

  1. This is a great piece however it is a little overstated. Today reading books about startups or watching videos all have the same message as this article, it’s nothing new. The reason startups fail within the first six months to a year is because they reach too high, missing their mark completely. This article was supposed to give what is meant to be a new approach to reaching untapped potential in the business market today, this was written April 4th. By that time everyone is stuck indoors, so there should have been more of an emphasis on different uses of social media or marketing through the internet. With the way, the market has been going more and more people aren’t conventional workers, the rise of uber, door dash, uber eats and etc. has been a huge impact. If we look at now, door dash is helping out the restaurants who don’t have a delivery service. Amazon is going to be doing so much better as the only way to shop is now online, and all other services will be moving more online. For today we don’t even need a website to have a business, there the use of eBay amazon and let go where if we want to sell a product we could use those means. Social media could also play a huge part, if we use Instagram as an example there only needs to be an account for a storefront. The posts could be about the products, if we say the page is about reselling sneakers and streetwear products, then we post what is available, the descriptions would be the price and condition of the shoe. The page could then post on the story the same information but in a video format. Using a sneaker reseller page that I saw, they branch out into third-party resellers like goat, stock x, or ebay and have their Instagram attached to the pages and prices. Over time the page will grow naturally using the right tags and the more the person sells. Using this article where it really impacted me and some of my current knowledge with the trends it seems the best way to even start something is through an online rooted approach. As more and more people use their phones and technology it is only a matter of time until every business is done through online means. For a business to get big it needs to do it over time, but the most important is having that target in mind. Elon brought a couple of companies into the ground before Tesla became a success, he learned from each one.

  2. I enjoyed reading Abdo Riani’s Forbes article about quickly creating needed businesses and the investing later. I had not known how Door Dash had started or Zappos or Airbnb. It is very motivating to hear about simple ideas that turned into large businesses. Raini stated that “as a rule of thumb, the bigger the problem, the easier it will be to attract customers with an OK solution.” At first it does not seem like the best idea, but then again it also seems like an amazing idea. Just getting a quick solution out there first and then refining it later seems genius. If people are in need of a solution they will try whatever it takes to fix it, even if the quality may not be 100%. The first draft is never prefect, but if there’s an opportunity there why wait. Another tip to making this process work by Raini is to go after your target audience, which I something I really agree with. I remember when I first started working selling fragrances, I thought I could sell to anyone who was curious. I was just wasting my time and energy because it is clear from the beginning who is genuinely interested and in need of a product while others are just browsing for fun. Some things you learn over time and I think the idea of targeting audience is something people need to keep in mind. Every product is different and identifying who the buyers are is crucial. This goes along with his point of “do things that don’t scale,” which he defined as taking action and to think of the market as non-scalable. The phrase time is money is so true, whoever takes the risk and turns and idea into a business first will likely become successful. Risks are seen as a bad thing by many people, but never taking a risk will never make anyone successful. There is always going to be a risk with whatever a person chooses to do. I think people over complicate and overthink ideas all the time. We constantly look at others who are at their best and wonder how they got there and hardly think of how much time and work was put into what they are successful at.

  3. In the current situation, the world finds itself in with a global pandemic happening many things have started to take a hit such as travel, sports, and the economy. With the economy being in a sharp downturn due to less spending because people are forced to stay in their houses and that people are less confident about what the future could be, it makes it seem as if making money right now is a mere afterthought. Along with this multitudes of people have been laid off as well, thus cutting down people’s revenue, and with a struggling economy, it makes it evident that people are spending less, leading some to question what they should do. Well, the articles on Forbes titled, How To Quickly Capture Today’s Untapped Business Opportunities by Abdo Riani, seems to have some feasible answers to these speculations. The article presents three strategies to make a successful company in this time, showing how they worked in the past, mentioning a plethora of company’s including Door Dash and Groupon, displaying that these ideas have substance and aren’t just random unproven quip’s. The first of the strategies mentioned in the article is find an opportunity worth capturing; on the base level, this may seem as a pretty straight forward idea, however, in all actuality, it isn’t. Often when I hear of someone opening a business, it is for something where the supply and demand is already met, thus making their business non-essential, thus doomed to fail. Mainly because people always try to open a business of something they enjoy doing, not something there is a demand for. That philosophy isn’t bad, but, in this time, where making money is almost impossible; the probability of someone making money off something they love is nearly impossible.
    Therefore, making money right now on a startup requires one to see what people are still demanding, where the supply of the good is nowhere near enough. Once this is found, one just simply has to figure out how to produce said goods or services, and the money would be theirs for the taking if there is plenty of demand that isn’t met. The second of the three ideas presented is remember how/who your targeting as simply put by the article “If you go after everyone, you may not get to anyone”. Therefore, showing the need to be selective in one’s audience because often people try to overreach by appealing to everyone, and by doing this, they ultimately appeal to few people as each person has a different taste, so it’s impossible to appeal to everyone. Thus, if you keep your target audience small, you create a niche of trustworthy customers who will continue to come back, giving you a solid stream of revenue in these hard times. The third and final strategy presented by the article, is do things that don’t scale, simply because if you don’t, “Either the problem is not big enough anymore, or the introduced solution doesn’t solve customers’ problems, at least as expected by the customer”. In turn, the three strategies presented aren’t everything you need to be successful in this day and age. Still, if followed correctly, they are an appropriate stepping stone which can help towards making money even when it may seem impossible, because simply put people are always buying something so, therefore, someone always has to sell something.

  4. In these disastrous times, many businesses are suffering due to a lack of demand. Some industries such as cruise and airline find themselves in a precarious situation. Other’s such as live-streaming services and voice messaging services are doing well. The difference between these industries, is that the ones who are financially secure, can provide their services to people from the comfort their homes and the others rely on people willing and able to travel around the world. It is clear given the pandemic which of these industries would find themselves in financial trouble and which would not. Thus, it is imperative that if you try to develop a new start-up during troubling times, that you are able to offer services that people either need, such as a food delivery service, or a service they want, such as at home entertainment. Certain demands are only existing during times of economic success, such as services that help with such luxuries as vacation. Thus it is better for you to create a business that isn’t reliant on a strong economy, if the economy takes a hit or the world is struck with a pandemic, your start-up will be less likely to face layoffs and other economic troubles.

    The industries that are in the best place to succeed during a pandemic are entertainment that provide their services from the comfort of one’s home, think live-streaming services, and video games. Industries that provide food and other such necessary goods are also doing well, think food delivery services, such as Grubhub. Finally, companies that act as distributors of products, such as Amazon, will be faced with high demand for their services, as certain brick and mortar providers will be closed due to the danger’s transmission of disease.

    Many of the changes brought about by the pandemic will remain in some capacity after the pandemic has been solved. Thus, it is important to take note of which industries are facing high demand right now, in order to better develop a business that can survive any future pandemic or economic downturn. Any start-up should seek to provide a service via the internet rather than in person because this will leave it in a secure position to still operate during troubling times, and it should provide a service that addresses basic human needs, rather than luxuries. This will allow a start-up to be able to succeed during this pandemic and another such events that might occur in the future.

  5. Following the spread of COVID-19, self isolation has been the response to it as a measure to reduce the rate of expansion. This, has led to changes of demand for certain services and products. Because people are spending more time at home, products that meet basic needs have been selling out throughout the country due to people stacking large amounts fearing an eventual scarcity. However, it has been this fear the one that has led to a partial scarcity of such products in certain localities. We have heard about toilet paper and hand sanitizer flying off the shelves. Although a crisis hasn’t been reached for the most part, there is an evident shortage of specific products and services. Online platforms are highly demanded services during this self isolation period. The stocks of platforms that provide video meeting tools and a collaborative interface have been rising. Since many companies have switch their operations to be performed remotely, it was expected. Shipping services are also operating due to the increased use of online stores. An interesting thing is that, besides buying essential goods, people are have also been buying products and services for entertainment purposes. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu are in high demand. I read somewhere that gym equipment is also in high demand since people want to work out from home. Nintendo’s Switch consoles are also sold out almost everywhere due to high demand. Obviously the most affected industries have been the ones requiring people to leave their homes and interact with other people. Besides the industries that have been in the mainstream during the past months, such as the cruise ship and air transportation industries, restaurants, cinemas, social and private events have been affected dramatically. Overall, I believe that the consequences of the pandemic were too unpredictable to make intelligent investments. Right now it is maybe the best time to invest in hopes of recovery. If businesses are reliant, people investing now will benefit later. Even the Treasury takes ownership of business stocks after providing aid to profit if the business recovers afterwards.

  6. “Without the work, the magic wont come. ” That is a quote by rapper Jay-Z that I think applies perfectly to this article. Today, everything has been alerted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone is in their homes for work and many plans have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. Even though we are inside, there is still work to be potential done. There is what Abdo Riani calls “Untapped Business Opportunities” out there for us to be explored and captured. In this article he provides tips on how to find and capture them. If you do find these opportunities, take advantage of them, and work hard, it can explode into something magical.
    It can become something like DoorDash or Groupon, which are two examples that Riani gives.

    The first tip is to “find an opportunity worth capturing”. I think that this is a good tip, but it is one that is easier said than done. It is very hard to find or know which opportunity worth capturing. This is also a tip that can cause many to second guess themselves. I think that you should capture the best opportunity that fits your skillset and person. By doing do you will be able to work with it well. The next tip is to remember targeting. I agree with this, it is important not to forget who exactly your buyers or who you are trying to reach. You must pay attention to the feedback and the profile of your customers. The last tip is to “do things that don’t scale.” This tip is a very difficult one, because it is difficult not to scale. Riani admits this ,”startups are built to scale.” The phrases you provides, “time is money”, is one that many people including myself use. However, applying this tip as you build in the beginning will be very helpful.

    There are many untapped business opportunities in the world today. However it is not easy to capture and make something of them, if it were easy everyone would do it. However, looking for the right opportunity and using tips like this article provides can help you find and make something magical.

  7. During times of crisis there are always ideas and business that shine through the darkness and start the movement towards good times again. Whether it is a natural disaster or something like coronavirus, we have seen companies take advantage of a down market. They have create a new niche for their business that allows people to do things that they might not necessarily have been able to do in hard times. In doing this they create a position for themselves to grow and thrive as a business, for now and as well as in the future. The article examples companies like DoorDash who especially in times that we are presented with now, where people are stuck in there houses, are able to thrive with their delivery services. They created a simple way to allow people to order food without calling or having to leave their homes. Also, by doing so they are able to connect more people to local businesses that are still open during these times, which allows those restaurants to be stable in a time where we see some restaurants shutting down and laying off their employees. Sometimes it is simple ideas such as a food delivery service that can create an increase in economic output for communities that have come under hard times and support more people than they realize. It is easy enough to come up with an idea such as this and the article gave some great tips on how to do so. These are to find an opportunity worth capturing, target a specific audience, and find something that might not necessarily scale up. With doing all of these things you can capitalize off a negative situation.

  8. When I think of business opportunities, as far as employment and business growth – I tend to compare our current situation to that of the Great Recession. We saw huge fall offs in profits/revenue and overall employment due to the former issue. The main comparison however, that I draw from is the restaurant industry.

    In a similar fashion, both the COVID 19 pandemic and the Great Recession have impacted this industry severely. In both instances, we have seen multiple restaurants close down and have had to readjust their methods. For example, in 2008, a lot of fine dining restaurants closed their doors – a common theme among them were the white linen that adorned these restaurants, as such, others that weren’t considered “fine dining” but did have a similar theme, immediately changed this. I used to work at Bonefish Grill a few years ago, and I remember hearing the stories about this from managers that have been with the company since its inception. They shifted over from white linen to a more “humble” tan/brown color, to give off a different appearance that they were more casual. The company has changed back to white linens over the years.

    That aside, with layoffs, people needed jobs; recent grads were entering a market that was smaller than what it was a couple of years ago. The restaurants that survived the initial downturn needed employees – and this was the “untapped” opportunity. While not a huge growth in the grand scheme of things, there are two million more restaurant workers as of 2017 than there were in 2008. With the increase in employment in this industry, people now had money again to spend, and restaurants slowly saw an increase in business.(https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/how-restaurant-industry-has-boomed-great-recession)

    However, this time is different. The economic downturn is not of purely financial reasons, but that of a virus which has forced us to close our doors. Most restaurants may not survive, and I don’t see the same “opportunity” arising in the future than that in the past. The entire scope of the market and the opportunities are going to be vastly different, time will tell to see what the landscape is like.

  9. During the Coronavirus, many people faced a challenging time with many small businesses deemed non-essential and had to shut down. Businesses and companies had to come up with creative ways to stay open and make money, but some opened online services where they still can make money and sell their products. Many people’s businesses are growing and changing in different ways. Since Coronavirus hit the United States in late February early March, many companies have taken advantage of the down market.

    We have seen many businesses and corporations take a huge hit, but the small ma and pa restaurants, hardware stores, or small businesses took most of the punch during this crisis. They needed to create a new business overlook. When doing this, they are creating a new image and putting themselves in a position where they can grow now and in the future.

    Many people lost their jobs and got sent home to work until further notice. This article is beneficial in educating people on the new opportunities there are during this pandemic. They needed to make big decisions if online shopping or call in order would be worth it. Many ma and pa restaurants and stores are shutting down indefinitely because the Coronavirus killed their business, and it cost more to stay open then they are getting sales.

  10. I found it interesting that DoorDash was mentioned, because I worked as an independent contractor under their name for quite some time. Despite the requirement of being at least eighteen-years-old I applied and was accepted when I was only seventeen towards the end of the year. Growing up, I always idolized the pizza delivery guy. Every time they delivered to my house, I would excitedly wait at the front door until they arrived, the cash tip trembling in my tiny hand. The moment the person walked up those doorsteps, I would extend my arm, proudly announce my name, and insist on shaking their hand before dropping my jaw when they opened their insulated bags to reveal the delicious pepperoni pizza. Who knew that one day I would grow up to deliver food to customers and their children, who had similar reactions of overwhelming happiness when I showed up early or on-time. When this startup in San Francisco, it rapidly grew until it reached my area. It was coincidence, as this article states; it was a matter of knowing their destination. Apparently, that was the entire country.

    I remember my first few orders, too. A repetitive ring emitted from my phone, and I turn to view an amount of money proposed practically jumping out at me from my screen. “How do they make their money,” I asked myself, mentally. I clicked on the ‘ACCEPT ORDER’ button, activating the start of the interaction. “Probably fees and stealing percentages of my virtual tips,” I thought with a strong scent of skepticism. I was partially correct; all things new should be questioned at least once or twice. Their business model, or, an opportunity worth capturing, as the article describes it. An imperfect app with imperfect details at every level, but it functioned. Times when it would not, however, were the real focus. How else could a business reach all fifty states in America without establishing an actual building or brick-and-mortar location other than employing independent contractors. Use your own time, money for gas, vehicle, and effort to receive a commission, an unfixed percentage of the sale. It was ingenious.

    One of my earlier mistakes was falling for consumerism in my own market. Just as fast food workers are discouraged from indulging in their own brand too much before they begin to resent it, I ignorantly fell victim to the sweet luxury service of having my food hand-delivered to me on both unimportant and special occasions. The second point in the article is to remember targeting, and the company knew I was as big a customer as anyone I ever brought their food to. You might as well paint a big red-and-white target on my forehead because I ‘DoorDashed’ food while in high school so much, the principal threatened suspension due to a breach of district policy (my first warning). There are others, though, than myself who pose a great chance at becoming addicted to this luxury service: anyone who ate out at restaurants. For example, DoorDash extended their reach well beyond fast food and chain stores such as your Wendy’s or Olive Garden’s. They also touched base on any local business that wished to take part in the success. Smart move.

    Thirdly, they never did anything that scaled. Not once have I seen them build an entire headquarters full of DoorDash-branded vehicles. The article discusses the functionality and ease of consistently providing a service whose growth did not inhibit. They were right, though. A startup is different from a normal business venture in the sense that they are looking for a scale they expect to start out with, rather than looking at current, viable options. When Elon Musk started Tesla or SpaceX, I never saw him topping the charts of GoFundMe.com. Instead, he began PayPal, a service he provided utilizing skills he acquired over time. Overall, I agree with the article’s consensus that entrepreneurship is found with smart-thinking and action. Know how much effort to put in, and where to put it.

  11. To begin, being a son of a former small business owner, I know all the hard work that goes into running a small business. Now you add a pandemic on top of that, it has really caused a great deal of hardship for all types of small businesses. The Forbes article, “How To Quickly Capture Today’s Untapped Business Opportunities” by Abdo Riani captures the opportunities that entrepreneurs have to start new thriving businesses in the face of uncertainty. Despite hard times for everyone, some companies are thriving from most people being stuck at home. The author offers three important stages to solve quickly the biggest problems customers have. First, to find an opportunity worth captioning. I agree with the authors assessment about the bigger the problem, the more people have the need for it to be solved no matter the quality of the solution. Even though I would prefer a long-term solution to problem faced many people would prefer with a quick solution because of the dire need to fix the problem so soon. Secondly, remembering your target audience. Target marketing is key for any business to succeed at first because you are mainly catering your product to those people. Lastly, creating concepts that are not made to scale. Startups are envisioned as someday being able to scale up and mass produce. However, coming up with a successful first vision that customers are willing to pay for should be enough. All in all, I think that any small business owner or entrepreneur should always look for different ways to improve/adapt their company or new business venture. Fulfilling customer needs and solving issues around the world should be at the forefront.

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