What is an Opportunity Assessment?

An opportunity assessment plan is NOT a business plan. Compared to a business plan, it should:

    1. Be shorter
    2. Focus on the opportunity, not the venture
    3. Have no computer-based spreadsheet
    4. Be the basis to make the decision on whether to act on an opportunity or wait until another, better opportunity comes along

It should include:

    1. A description of the product or service

      • What is the market need for the product or service?
      • What are the specific aspects of the product or service (include any copyright, patent or trademark information)?
      • What competitive products are available filling this need?
      • What are the competitive companies in this product market space? Describe their competitive behavior.
      • What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of your competitors?
      • What are the unique selling propositions of this product or  service?
      • What are the NAIC and SIC codes for this product or service?
      • What is the mission of the new venture?
      • What development work has been completed to date?
      • What patents might be available to fulfill this need?
    2. An assessment of the opportunity:

      • What market need does it fill?
      • What is the size and past trends of this market?
      • what is the future growth and characteristics of this market?
      • what social condition underlines this market need?
      • What market research data can be marshaled to describe this market need?
      • What does the international market look like?
      • What does international competition look like?
      • What are total industry sales over the past five years?
      • What is anticipated growth in this industry?
      • How many new firms have entered this industry in the past three years?
      • What new products have been recently introduced in this industry?
      • What is the profile of your customers?
      • Where is the money to be made in this activity? (The activity that interests you most may be just off center from where the money to be made from this opportunity will be located.)
    3. Entrepreneurial self-assessment and the entrepreneurial team:

      • Why does this opportunity excite you?
      • What are your reasons for going into business?
      • Why will this opportunity sustain you once the initial excitement subsides?
      • How does it fit into your background and experience?
      • What experience do you have and/or will you need to successfully implement the business plan?
      • Why will you be successful in this venture?
    4. What needs to be done to translate this opportunity into a viable venture?

      • Examine each critical step.
      • Then think about the sequence of activity and put these critical steps into some expected sequential order.
      • How much time and how much money will each step require?
      • If you cannot self-finance, where would you get the needed capital?

 

With thanks to Thunderbird : School of Global Management