Having a new business opportunity can be exciting and daunting at the same time. Once you commit, you are bound to invest much time, effort and money, so making the right decision is of vital importance. Here are some simple strategies for weighing up the pros and cons of a business opportunity:

–Ask: Does it Scratch an Itch?

It’s a no-brainer that market research is fundamentally important when setting up a business and the same can be said for jumping into a new business venture or opportunity.

The most successful businesses out there researched their marketplace and identified where the supply just wasn’t meeting the demand. Sometimes this requires thinking outside the box and sometimes it can just involve common sense.

Ron Bakir, a self-made Australian businessman started his mobile phone business on the Gold Coast after reading that the area had the highest business mobile usage in the country.

–Do the Numbers

This is another very simple strategy but it’s unfortunately one that many people get wrong. First, do a thorough audit of the opportunity, looking at any existing financial figures, profiles and the projected performance.

Then clearly define what investment is required. Lastly, turn the magnifying glass on your personal financial status and that of your business; can you afford to jump in?

–Advice, Advice, Advice

From your business partner to your mother, always ask for advice from a range of sources. There really is no harm in asking for advice, as long as you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or confused.

Understand that everyone has a different perspective, but one may just ring true for you. Mark Pincus, CEO of gaming giant Zynga, was quoted as saying Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea. You may just be surprised by the quality of advice and insight that you receive from certain parties.

–Have an Alignment List

What is an ‘alignment list’? Very simply, it’s a list of points that reflect the suitability of the opportunity for you and your business. Think about questions such as: Does it align or further your goals? Will it suit your passions and personal beliefs? Do you have the right skills, knowledge and experience?

Believing in the opportunity is just as important as being the right person to take the opportunity, so take the time to really think about this and reflect on your list once it is complete. If the list is looking a little sad and short, you may want to reconsider.

Ultimately you will have to decide whether the expected benefits outweigh the risks associated with the opportunity. Avoid rushing into making a big decision and use the strategies above to successfully assess the opportunity before you.

Like Ron Bakir or Mark Pincus, you could be a successful businessperson in no time. Do you have a strategy that was value-adding in the decision-making process? Share your secrets and learn a few new ones in the comment box below.

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