1.3.3 Exploring the situation: Opportunity discovery strategies

Opportunity discovery strategy enables firms to find the best opportunities in the market by noticing future development tendencies. It enhances growth and increase in newness value that ventures show. It involves 5 aspects: proactive searching, competitive scanning, knowledge acquisition, collective action and innovative behaviour.1

Opportunity discovery strategies all together support innovation in normal conditions as well, but the importance of exploiting them grows during the time of recession. They require extra resources and motivation, but the slower pace of the market also enables greater opportunities to focus on them the following way:

  • Knowledge acquisition involves the perception and interpretation of business information.  We need to collect information about the already existing technologies and methods, the products of the market, the current financial circumstances and the situation of the potential customers. After that, we are able to interpret the gathered information and organise it into business knowledge. We might realise the holes evolved in the market due to our competitors that went bankrupt. This brings us closer to the second strategy:
  • Competitive scanning enables us to detect the missing links in our competitive area by measuring the number and size of our competitors, their key points of success, empty territories on the market and the needs of the potential clients. Some of our closest competitors might have had advantages in one or two aspects but had to close their doors since. If we are able to detect the reason why their clients went back to them frequently, we can add value to our services as well2
  • Proactive searching is responsible for trying to understand the tendencies of changes and developments in the near or later future to prepare for them. If we recognise these probable ways of changes, we can exploit the potential business opportunity that we discover before others would also realise the trend. Entrepreneurs can act according to what is going to happen in the future rather than what has already happened. They are mentally on the alert about the future development tendencies instead of calculating the different factors of the past.
  • Collective action is based on the discretion that we are wiser together than alone. It suggests that the learning process happens in a social context and there is an active dialogue between the people within the network3.


1 Roubini-10 Risks to Global Growth. Forbes
2 for more details see 5.3 benchmarking module of this Guide
3 for more details see 5.3 benchmarking module of this Guide