A meticulous management of money gives birth to wealth, while a judicious management of wealth gives birth to affluence. It is generally believed in some quarters that everyone in possession of huge fund is a potential business man or woman, as this affords them the opportunity of venturing into any sort of business with guaranteed success. However, it has been proved that investable funds or capital is the secondary factor to be considered by potential business men and women, the prerequisite being a good business idea, a bankable and captivating business plan, as well as a diligent investment appraisal. The last two factors shall be discussed in subsequent write-ups.
The free market economy is very dynamic, giving rise to different economic states, inventions, and innovations. New entrepreneurs emerge in various activities with the intention of allocative and productive efficiency. They move with the modern times in order to maximize profits and increase their market value. The planning of entry into the market by new entrepreneurs, and of the diversification by the old, requires some sound ideas about the nitty- gritty of such business. Business ideas may be conceived through the following ways:
a) A careful observation of the trends of market prices andways the rate of turnover of some products:-
Any products with a very high turnover which price also trends upwards indicate the fact that there is excess demand over supply and existing producers must be making astronomical profits. If there is no barrier to entry, a business idea may be conceived from such a scenario. Information asymmetry regarding the true picture of market trends may be a problem. Thus, business inclined men and women must stay abreast of current happenings in the market in order to take full advantages of any disequilibrium in the price and quantity bought and sold.
b) Annual Bulletin of Import Statistics:-
In Nigeria, CBN statistical bulletin, CBN annual reports, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics as well as various economic and business journals do publish volumes and values of various products imported into the country for a given year. Where a study of these statistics reveals a large volume of imports of some products, ideas about import- substituting projects may spring up therefrom. For instance, Nigeria imports millions of tonnes of fish annually to supplement our local production of fish. To stem the tide of capital outflow, an idea on substituting locally produced goods for foreign can be muted. It should be noted that the smuggling of rice, turkey to mention a few, into Nigeria is evidence that domestic production and supply of such products is not adequate. A business inclined person can key into such an opportunity by bridging the gap between locally produced and imported goods.
c) A study of the Needs of Existing Enterprises:-
Technological dynamism and size of existing enterprises have necessitated the demand for certain services which are better contracted out. An investigation of similar needs of large enterprises may reveal opportunities. It’s even possible for one to elicit information on the kind, type of inputs needed from the manufacturing or the procurement manager. If these inputs can be supplied at relatively low cost business ideas can spring up from there.
d) Observation of Experience in other Countries:-
A thorough investigation of the development and practices in technologically advanced countries may generate a business idea.
e) An idea about Production Efficiency:-
An idea on resource allocation efficiency or cost reduction techniques on the company’s production mix can be sold to such company. One could even become a consultant in the field.
f) Ability to convert some people’s problems into business:-
While some see problems and challenges and waste hours discussing it, some perceive it as business opportunities and explore it with mouth watering returns.
g) Research Grants:-
Specialised institutes and government agencies such as Federal Institutes of Research and Think-thanks amongst others, often provide technical supports in the area of research and development. Potential business men and women can key into these opportunities.
All these and many more like: a study of available skills, investigation of local raw materials, an examination of inter-industry relationship, investigation of similarities in production techniques of apparently different products, a study of previous development plans etc, should be thoroughly considered for sound business idea generation.
Nurdeen Azeez Olanrewaju is the Managing Consultant at NAZELLINK CONSULT.