Part of being a business owner is being able to distinguish between an idea and an opportunity. The world is full of ideas, simplifications, innovations, and even products and services that no one might have thought about before. However, having an idea doesn’t mean you have an opportunity, and this is where many entrepreneurs go wrong.

While an idea might solve a problem and be “nice to have”, it might not always be economically feasible or even profitable. It is crucial to understand these differences and what makes an opportunity desirable before committing to it or becoming married to an idea.

As one of the many reasons why startup businesses fail is often the confusion of an entrepreneur in relation to two terms that are very important to them, business ideas and business opportunities.

Both terms are highly used in the business startup process by an entrepreneur. However, what is notable is that, often, businesses are started only with the idea, which is not converted or transformed into a real business opportunity. Because of that, business startups immediately start to suffer after the startup stage. This suffering is manifested through lack of customers, and therefore a lack of money for financing the normal business operation.

Many companies (I think about successful businesses) simply result in a problem or need that exists on the market and discovered by an entrepreneur. However, on the other hand, many companies are a result of the personal problem of an entrepreneur who in such a frustrating situation comes up with one or more business ideas. But, this frustrating situation in that moment is known only to him. Only he/she feel the frustration of his own problem.

Are there some other people besides entrepreneur who find himself in the same frustrating situation?

If the answer is no, although these business ideas are brilliant ideas they aren’t business opportunities ready for the successful businesses.

On the other side, if the answer is yes, then it is necessary to check if these business ideas are good business opportunities.

As you can see from what I said earlier, business ideas are:

  1. known personally only to the entrepreneur
  2. based on their own entrepreneur’s frustrations
  3. innovation by the entrepreneur.

However, is an idea great only because it is great for you? Probably, not.

In other words, you might have a great idea, but without a market, margin, or personal desire/skills, your idea does not constitute an opportunity.

Entrepreneurs and business owners must be clear about their own goals and capabilities before taking on a new business opportunity in order to be successful. Being able to distinguish good, even great ideas from an actual opportunity worth following is the key for anyone who is a decision maker in the business world today.