3. IDENTIFYIING AND RECOGNISING AN OPPORTUNITY
“An opportunity is a favourable set of circumstances that creates a need for a new product, service, or business…(it) has four essential qualities: … (1) attractive, (2) durable, (3) timely, and (4) anchored in a produce, service or business that creates or adds value for its buyer or end user.” (Barringer & Ireland, 2012).
3.1. IDEA GENERATION
I have incorporated factors from Burns’’ (2014) Student Entrepreneurship Exercise, and Mery and Crane’s (2013) New Venture Creation Model to provide a structured framework for idea generation for the venture.
The ideal customer would be SME’s based in the Thames Valley, England, with 1 to 250 employees. ...view middle of the document...
This is supported by Barringer & Ireland (2012) who explain that most entrepreneurial ventures are either externally or internally stimulated.
For the purpose of this venture idea, I have used Bolton and Thomspon’s (2000) second approach – have a solution, seek a problem. I believe that my extensive work experience in recruitment, marketing and business, along with my extrovert nature and networking skills (as identified in my Belbin assessment) could be used to build a business based on providing business to business introductions for small and medium businesses (SME’s).
From my own experience of working with SME’s, I am aware that many do not require the service of a permanent employee with specific business area expertise (see appendix 3 case study). A business that provided access to all business services under one network would be able to establish relationships with a variety of SME’s with high potential of ‘cross selling’ the services and give credibility to the consultants working with them via association.
In the Thames Valley area there is not currently an established presence of a ‘one-stop shop’ which provides all of these business to business consultancy services for SMEs to access on a part/full time, short/long term contract basis. I have established this through asking business contacts, business networking and online search engine checks.
To cultivate this idea further I have used Value Proposition and Business Model Canvasses (Osterwalder et al, 2010) to identify key elements, including; customer relationships and segments, key partners, cost structure and revenue streams (see appendices 4 and 5). A skeleton of the business plan with details of the venture can be found in appendix 6.
3.3. PRACTICAL ASPECTS TO CONSIDER
During the course of this report, I have contacted various self-employed consultants within my acquaintance who have expressed interest in the idea and potentially becoming part of a consultancy network should I decide to develop this venture.
Start-up costs would be minimal due to existing networks and the use of word of mouth recommendations. The venture would require a certain level of marketing expenditure on a website, design and print material; however these costs could be kept low due to my own abilities and established relationships with suppliers. As consultants would work from their own or clients’ offices , the business could be run from my home office initially, fitting in with my personal responsibilities, however, with growth, premises may be needed for a head office. These would be located within Oxford to allow easy access for clients and consultants within Thames Valley, and to accommodate my personal commitments.
I see the venture being one of low risk...