Finding opportunities when everything is in chaos and everything you hear is bad news can be difficult. There are still people finding opportunities, starting a new business or launching new products and services. The steps below will help in you in finding opportunities that are accessible to you.
- Calm down.
- Ok, now calm down for real, ignore that feeling of doom.
- Objectivity is key.
- Take stock of your resources
- Figure out your needs and wants
- Take stock of market needs
- Brainstorm ways to meet the market needs with your available resources. Do not filter them.
- Asses your ideas, discard the ones that are unlikely to work
- Implement your new market strategies, products, and services.
- Modify as needed.
Panic isn’t going to help; you need to be calm to be able to see the opportunities. Breathe, meditate, go for a walk, do whatever it takes to get to a place of calmness. It might take a while to achieve, and it might be something you need to keep reminding yourself off, that’s ok.
Ok now calm down for real, ignore that feeling of doom
That feeling of anxiety is probably still going to creep in during this process, set it aside. Don’t react to it; don’t let it dictate how you act. If you start to feel overwhelmed, go, and find that sense of calm again.
Objectivity is key
To be able to see clearly in the middle of chaos, objectivity is vital. Panic, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness are natural reactions to chaos, but they change the way you see things. Those emotions tend to draw your attention to very immediate and adverse events happening. Being calm and taking the time to get back to being calm helps to keep things objective.
Take stock of your resources
Now that you are in a calm state of mind and focusing on objectivity, it is easier to see the resources you have available. You can take stock in any way you want. I find that making lists with the following categories helps:
- Physical assets
- People you know
- Technology (Social media, software, etc.)
- Resources I don’t have but can acquire quickly
- Cash (physical cash, access to loans, investment, grants)
Figure out your needs and wants
What are your immediate needs and what do you want. Make a list if you need to, some people make dream boards or life ambitions. You can do it however you want, just figure out what you want and need. Your needs and wants are going to become your end goals.
Take stock of market needs
Just like you have needs and wants, so does your market. People need food, shelter, security, education, and entertainment. Figure out what new needs the market has that no one else is meeting. For example, right now, in the middle of the pandemic, people still need food, shelter, security, education, and entertainment. People are also finding themselves with needs that they didn’t have before the pandemic; they need masks, resources for homeschooling, ways to work remotely, to find work without leaving their house.
Brainstorm ways to meet the market needs with your available resources. Do not filter them.
This step is the fun part. Brainstorm ways to meet the needs in the market. Don’t filter them just yet, the critical thinking needed to evaluate an idea sometimes inhibits creativity. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can with the resources you have.
Asses your ideas, discard the ones that are unlikely to work
After you finish brainstorming, asses each of your ideas against reality.
- Do you really have the resources to do this?
- Does the market really want this?
- Does it fulfill our needs and wants?
The answers to these questions are “maybe”, “I’m not sure, but I think so”, “probably” and “no”. That’s ok; there’s never 100% certainty that something new will work. You are trying to eliminate ideas that are the least likely to work and find the ones that are the most likely to work.
Implement your new market strategies, products, and services.
Once you have your new market strategy, product, or service in your head, now it’s time to start the work of testing it and see if it works.
Modify as needed.
New strategies, products, and services might not work perfectly from the start. Listen to the market and figure out what you need to change. Try changing it around. If you need to, go back and try a different strategy, product, or service.
There might be opportunities to be found right now, but that doesn’t mean that things still aren’t tough and hard to manage. We’ve compiled a list of resources (updated as we get more information) for those business owners, freelancers, and consultants whose livelihood has been affected by COVID-19. You can find the guide at this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11htQh_5AUbkUdEOIDh8Y_rM5fKcgUykyBizyys7L1UU/edit?usp=sharing
By: Karla Garza