One of the best skills you need to develop as you start your journey as an entrepreneur is the ability to spot good, promising opportunities. You want to start on the right foot and avoid getting caught up with mentally, financially draining ventures. That said, part of your preparation for getting into business is learning these strategies for spotting good opportunities.

Observe what people need

A business will only thrive in the industry when it offers solutions to people’s problems. So, whenever you’re presented with a proposal, you have to look for its core: the need it addresses. In most instances, you can easily estimate the demand for a product or a service with just a glance. In other situations though, you may need to ask or survey supposedly target audiences or use a buyers’ profile.

Do remember that demand relies heavily on location. A pizza business or a print shop franchise business may be well received near the downtown area, but it may be a different story elsewhere. The bottom line is, what people need at where they are is a good business opportunity to explore.

Learn as much as you can about the industry

Business meeting

The more that you know about your industry, the better you become at predicting trends and stumbling on the next big thing. Make it a habit to read up at least once a week about industry news in different publications. Turn on your Google Alerts so you’ll be notified of reports about areas of your business interests. If possible, go to business school or at least enroll in short courses.

It’s also necessary to find a business coach. As you spend more time with experts and get used to how they think, you’ll be able to pick up learning along the way, including discerning business opportunities better.

Consider what existing businesses do

If a business is growing and thriving, there must be something they’re doing right that’s worth exploring. This is often the motivation of most aspiring entrepreneurs who choose to be franchisees. A proven business plan is a good opportunity to try.

On the flip side, if a business fails to deliver, that gap can well be solved with a business idea. So aside from observing would-be customers, keep close tabs on what businesses are doing and aren’t doing, as these are opportunities waiting to be tapped.

Pursue your hobbies

How can your favorite pastime lead you to money-making endeavors? For one, it could free up your tense mind, making you more pliable to thinking outside the box and being able to catch creative business ideas when you see one.

Hobbies also broaden your experiences, which translates to a wider range of interests. You might just find yourself looking at a lucrative print shop opportunity just after learning how to do calligraphies or doodles at a seminar you attended.

The business industry will never run out of opportunities, but not all can yield promising results. If you do train yourself in identifying good opportunities, then you’re off to a right start.