COEUR - BCM Business Creativity Module Opportunity Recognition and the Screening Process Carolyn McNicholas Aberdeen Business School, RGU - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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COEUR - BCM Business Creativity Module Opportunity Recognition and the Screening Process Carolyn McNicholas Aberdeen Business School, RGU


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Title: COEUR - BCM Business Creativity Module Opportunity Recognition and the Screening Process Carolyn McNicholas Aberdeen Business School, RGU

COEUR - BCMBusiness Creativity
ModuleOpportunity Recognition and the Screening
ProcessCarolyn McNicholasAberdeen Business
School, RGU
Todays Objectives
  • Understand where business ideas come from
  • Understand how to perform an initial high level
    screening / evaluation of business opportunities
  • Understand the influence of the external
  • Take away action screening checklist

Business Creation Start-up Process
Adapted from Deakins (2006)
where can you find BIG IDEAs?
Sources of Ideas
  • Every day problems / needs / complaints
  • E.g. Sports Division / Cisco / Netflix
  • Personal experience
  • Work, home, education, skills and talents
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Lifestyle entrepreneurs
  • Newspapers, magazines, media
  • Other countries
  • Deliberate Search
  • Business Opportunity Profiles
  • On-line databases
  • Patents and licensing
  • Factors of Change

Pizza Express Case Study
  • Founded Peter Boizot 1965
  • Influenced by Italian and German experiences -
  • Formed an exclusive alliance with Londons only
    mozzarella maker
  • By 2003 over 300 outlets in UK, Ireland, Spain
    and France

Druckers 7 Sources of Innovative Opportunities
  • Organisational / Sectoral
  • The unexpected (event or success or failure)
  • The incongruity between what actually happens
    and plan
  • The inadequacy in underlying processes
  • The changes in industry or market structure
  • External
  • Demographic changes
  • Changes in perception, mood and meaning
  • New knowledge (both scientific and non

Last is most difficult, least reliable and least
Opportunity Recognition
  • Converting an idea into a business opportunity is
    the key element of the process of business
  • Entrepreneurs are attuned to opportunity
  • Opportunity must take priority over innovation
  • Opportunities are generated by change

Opportunity has Four Essential Qualities -
Barringer and Ireland, 2006
  • Attractive
  • Durable
  • Timely http//
  • Anchored in product/service which adds value to
    buyer/end user
  • I never perfected an invention that I did not
    think about in terms of the service it might give
    others... I find out what the world needs, then I
    proceed to invent Thomas Edison
  • Wow products /services such as the Dyson vacuum
    cleaner and the bar and massage service in Virgin
    Upper Class, Amazon

One Product is Not Enough!
  • Dyson vacuum cleaner took 5 years and 5,127
  • First product, G-Force, sold for 2000 each in
  • Vacuums, washing machines, Airblade hand dryer
    (sales 6 billion worldwide), Air Multiplier

Window of Opportunity Varies
  • Internet Search Engines
  • 1995 Yahoo
  • Quickly followed by Lycos, Excite, AltaVista, etc
  • 1998 Google (advanced technology)

Ideas not Innovative Opportunities
  • Sinclair C5
  • E-stamps and
  • Tartan tanks

Evaluating Idea / Opportunity
  • Must be a clearly defined market need
  • Customer analysis, segments, motivations, unmet
    needs, gaps in market
  • Idea needs to be economically viable
  • Market attractiveness e.g. size? growth? trends?
    entry barriers?
  • Profit potential?
  • Resources needed / available?
  • Technical feasibility
  • Competitive advantage / USP
  • Competitor analysis
  • Fit with your personal / company objectives /
    experiences / core competencies
  • Timing must be right window of opportunity
  • Risks / threats Environmental analysis

What to look for
  • Limitations of whats currently available
  • Trends and changes (beware fads)
  • Something new and different
  • Unfilled niche
  • Technological advances
  • Speed to market

  • Generating ideas and new products is easy - but
    you need customers and markets
  • The real challenge is converting ideas into a
    business opportunity
  • The better you understand your consumer the
    better your chances of winning in the market
  • Evaluation and assessment of markets is key to
    developing business ideas and new products and

  • Trott, P 2008 Innovation management and New
    Product Development 4th ed. HarlowPrentice Hall
  • Deakins, D and Freel, M. 2009. Entrepreneurship
    and Small Firms. 5th Edition, McGraw Hill.
  • Drucker, Peter F. Innovative and
    Entrepreneurship, Practice and Principles. Harper
    Row, Publishers, Inc. 1985
  • Burns, P 2007 Entrepreneurship and Small Business
    2nd ed. Palgrave
  • Barringer, B Ireland, D 2006 Entrepreneurship
    Successfully Launching New Ventures 2nd ed.
    Prentice Hall
  • Kotter, J.P 1997 The New Rules. Simon Schuster
  • Franke, N, von Hippel, E Schreier, M 2006
    Finding commercially attractive user innovations
    A test of lead user theory. Journal of Product
    Innovation Management. V.23 pp301-315
  • Venkataraman, S., and Shane, S., (2000) The
    Promise of Entrepreneurship as A Field of
    Research, Academy of Management Review, V. 25 (1)
  • Cooper, R (1985) Selecting Winning new product
    projects using the NewProd system. Journal of
    Product Innovation Managment v2 0034-44
  • http//
  • http//

COEUR - BCMBusiness Creativity ModuleScreening
ChecklistCarolyn McNicholasAberdeen Business
School, RGU
Screening Check List Market Factors
Is the market large? Yes No
Is the market highly competitive? (Direct/indirect)
Is this an emerging / growth market?
Is there any pending legislation which might impact market demand?
Are there any obvious barriers to entry?
Are there reachable / receptive customers close by? (Think about distribution channels, etc)
Screening Check List Competitive Advantage?
Is there a well identified market need for the product/service? Yes No
Can we establish a USP for our product / service? Price? Quality? Speed of response? Unique features?
Is our product / service a significant improvement on our competitors?
Can we protect our product?
Can we establish first mover advantage?
Screening Check List Management Capability
Do we have personal knowledge / experience / the right skills / experience? Yes No
Do we have an interest in the service?
Do we know other people who have the rights skills / experience?
Have we the right contacts and networks?
Is there specific training we can receive to improve our chances of success?
Screening Check List Resources / Economics
Is this a low cost start up business model? Yes No
Do we have access to the money necessary to start this business?
Is this a sizeable / scaleable business opportunity?
Is it worth doing?

Screening Check List Other
Yes No
European dimension?
Personal / corporate values? e.g. Environmental considerations
Cultural barriers and attitudes?

  • Need to tailor checklist to individual idea
  • Seeking
  • Large and growing market
  • Reachable customers
  • An innovative product which adds value
  • Right window of opportunity
  • Assess whether to abandon, reform or enhance the
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