Entrepreneurs are those that find and recognize good business opportunities. The question is, how do you train yourself to identify opportunities that will earn you money?

The reality of the matter is that this is tricky even for the most experienced entrepreneurs. Even if you do your due diligence, there is still the chance that things won’t work out for you and you’ll have to move onto new ventures.

We’ll be getting into a process that you can use to find potential opportunities in a moment, but let’s start with a few general considerations you should be thinking about before we get into the meat of the matter.

How To Recognize Good Business Opportunities

When it comes to online business, there are really only a few things you need to be thinking about. With a physical brick-and-mortar store, you have to be thinking about location. With online business, location is online.

With a retail location, you have to be thinking about pricing and competitiveness. With online business, Ramit Sethi says price is a mere triviality if you do your research and offer a product that people are gung-ho for.

But there are still some things you should be taking a look at. A good online business opportunity is one where:

  • The product or the service solves a problem. It’s important to build a business around real pain points that people are experiencing. This goes back to Sethi’s point.
  • You have the resources you need to get started. With online business, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get up and running, but it’s still a good idea to take a look at the assets available to you, including finances, resources, and connections. Obviously, the more you have to leverage, the faster and easier it will be to legitimize your business.
  • There is an opportunity to work with others. Finding a partner isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile. If you have the opportunity to work with someone that complements your skills and experience, it is far more likely to be a worthwhile pursuit.
  • The timing is right. When it comes right down to it, this is an ineffable quality of a good business opportunity. For things to work out, a lot of things have to line up, including how much time you can dedicate to your business, what the market is asking for, and so on.

4 Steps You Can Follow To Find New Opportunities

I know that most of you are here because you want to figure out how to build your affiliate businesses. From here on out, we’ll be taking a look at a few steps you can take to find viable niches, but you certainly can apply these steps to find other prospects as well.

Also keep in mind that there are other ways of finding niches that make sense for you. Keyword research is a prime example. However, the process I’m about to outline – as suggested by Brian Dean – works pretty well too.

Step #1 – Go To Quantcast Top Sites & Generate A List Of Ideas

On Quantcast Top Sites, you can see what some of the most popular niches on the internet are.

You can more or less skip over the big brands that are dominating the top of the list, but as you go further and further down the rankings, you’ll see more niche results.

As you continue to explore the top sites, you’ll begin to figure out what people are passionate about, and come up with potential business ideas.

Go through the results, make a list of your best ideas and keywords, and move on to the next step.

Step #2 – Go To Quora & Enter Your Keywords

Quora is a Q&A site where a variety of niche related questions are right at your fingertips.

When you plug your ideas and keywords into Quora, you’ll see the kinds of questions that are being asked on the term you entered. It might even give you some ideas on how to niche down even further.

For example, if you enter the keyword “knitting” into the results, you’ll see that one of the questions is: “Are there any knitting boards”. Knitting boards would obviously be a very specific niche.

That example might be too broad, or it might even be too specific. It really depends on the niche. However, I think you can see how this would allow you to find the kinds of things people are already talking about.

Step #3 – Go To The ClickBank Marketplace & Determine Whether Or Not You’ve Found A Viable Niche

The ClickBank marketplace allows you to find affiliate products in a variety of different niches. Whether or not you choose to promote one of the products listed here is up to you, but for now we’re still in the research phase.

Either browse through the existing categories, or run a search to find offers related to your chosen topic(s).

Look for popular products in your chosen niche. This is a good way to find out whether or not you’ve come across a worthwhile affiliate niche.

Also keep in mind that competition is generally a good thing when it comes to online business, as it validates that there is a real market out there.

Step #4 – Repeat Steps 1 Through 3

Did you identify a great business opportunity? Don’t rush this process, because you might not find a profitable niche the first time through.

There’s something to be said for taking fast action – and I would encourage you to do that – but you don’t want to rush into things without some idea of what to expect.

Of course, if you do your due diligence and still don’t hit it out of the park, don’t get too discouraged. The key is learn from your mistakes and keep trying.

Conclusion

Do you have a better idea of how to identify good business opportunities now?

Although the process outlined above is pretty scientific, this really isn’t a science. You could do everything in your power to research an opportunity, and still come up with nothing. Conversely, you could start something on a whim that catches on.

The good news is that you get better every time. By the time you’ve started and scrapped multiple projects, you’ll be able to get up and running so fast that you won’t even be concerned with past failures.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

14 thoughts on “How To Train Yourself To Identify Business Opportunities”
  1. Hey Jeremy,

    Awesome tips – I shared this on Twitter.

    I’ve never used quant cast for market research before! I’ll have to give that a shot!

    A lot of these tips are totally applicable to finding opportunities for startups as well!

    Thanks for the read
    Travis

  2. I tap the anointing on you Jeremy. This guide have just given me an idea to pursue. Keep on helping us boss with more info. I’m on Quora but never thought of it.

  3. This is truly an awesome way to train oneself to see opportunities. I love Quora for research. I guess one thing that could happen is that people become “wantrepreneurs” and seeing all the opportunities becomes easy but executing on those ideas is what truly makes the difference.

  4. Awesome point to make sure it’s viable. I also feel that in most cases it is important that you are familiar with and enjoy your chosen niche. It might seem easy to just start “winging it”, but what I have found out is that you miss a lot of opportunities and can even cause inconsistency if it’s not something you are truly versed in.

  5. Great post Jeremy,
    The truth is that entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult but yet, very rewarding profession in the world if you know what you’re doing.

    However, one problem we often encounter is loss of ideas. Sometimes, it will just seem as if our brain has stopped working and we can’t even think straight again and in such a situation, the best thing to do is look at some of the places you mentioned here.

    Quora is good and i will also recommend you check out places like Amazon, Reddit, Stumbleupon. You can also find lots of ideas from these places.

  6. Hey Jeremy, hugs from Brazil!

    Google Trends and Adwords Keyword Planner are pretty valuable tools for identifying high traffic keywords and opportunities on business that aim specific niches. 🙂

  7. Hi Jeremy,

    Since one year I am blogging to earn money, till now I didn’t make any money from my blog, I always looking for business opportunities online but god didn’t show any mercy on me, I will try to implement all the above 4 tips to test my luck in future.

    Thank you very much for showing some practical ways to find out the business opportunities.

  8. It is vital for all entrepreneurs to have the knack of identifying business opportunities. You won’t imagine how many chances I’ve wasted just because I didn’t know where and how to look for potential, career-changing opportunities. Not only in internet marketing but in all kinds of businesses it is essential that we know how to determine which are worth trying for. Thank you for sharing this information. It would help a lot of entrepreneurs. I would just like to add, aside from looking for viable niches you should also consider the audience size and their interests.

  9. Identifying business opportunities is essential to stay one step ahead in the game; often diversifying or augmenting your product/service turns out to be a great way to expand business too.

  10. Awesome tips. I’m a web publisher from last 3-4 years but not earning as much I was expecting. May be these tips will be useful for me.

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