An opportunity can be defined as circumstances that create favorable gap in market for a new product or service that can be bridged at a profit. It can also be said to be a business proposal that an entrepreneur would like to further considering the risk and reward involved. An opportunity should be attractive, timely, long lasting and based on a product or service which adds value to the consumer. The process of identifying opportunities is not complex but should be handled with care because it is risky and can cause the fall of a venture. This process may be stimulated in three major ways which include observation of trends, problem solving or bridging gaps in the marketplace.
The best business opportunity involves providing products or services that consumers will need or desire more than other competing products. Business opportunities that are aimed at certain market niches are usually big moneymakers because they address the needs that are usually overlooked by others (Ramesh, 2006: para.1). The other important thing when implementing an opportunity is that the company should have comprehensive and well set systems for delivering the products to consumers since without a good logistical system of satisfying the customer orders efficiently one cannot be able to build a loyal customer base (Tatum, 2009: Para. 3).
Apple Company is a US multinational corporation that SPECIALISES in the manufacturing and designing of computer software products as well as consumer electronics e.g. the iPhone. The software includes the Mac OSX operating system and the iTunes media browser. This company was introduced in 1977 and concentrated in production of computers but in the year 2007 dropped computers to reflect in the growing market of consumer electronics (Apple stores, 2009: para.1). My study is based on the opportunity that Apple Inc discovered in the consumer electronics and how it was able to take this opportunity for the growth of the company products. I will look at how this company used the three entrepreneurial approaches to bring new products in the market.
Apple Inc has been dealing with the computing technologies since its inception and mostly concerned with the technological trends in the global market. There was an external stimulus of growing demand of consumer electronics in the global market that the company identified as an opportunity. The company observed that there was increasing demand in the developing countries for the consumer electronics in countries in Africa and India. This was a good business opportunity because there was ready market and insatiable demand for the consumer electronics (Howe, 2007: Para. 3).
Having discovered that the electronic age was at a growth phase in these countries it shifted from computer production to producing consumer electronics. This opportunity was supported by the evidence of increased electrification of many households and the raise in living standards of people in these consumers. The company then engaged in production of wide range of electronics that would suit different market niches in different countries. It also developed different products to satisfy different classes of people in these countries. This was made possible by engaging in intense market research and good investment in research and development department.
Looking at the case of the Apple Inc we realize that the changing demand trends for the consumer electronics created a good opportunity to the company. It provoked the company in changing from its core activity to take that opportunity which has contributed positively to the growth of this company.
Finding a gap in the marketplace
This was another major factor that contributed in Apple Inc to discovering an opportunity in the market for consumer electronics. This factor is also closely related to technological advancement in the marketplace. This is contributed by a gap that was in the marketplace as the consumers were motivated by the aspect of product convergence and product connectivity
There is a general trend in consumer electronics connectivity. This is the ability of consumer electronics to be connected with the computers, through the use of technologies such as Blue tooth, internet connectivity, WI-fi, and, Hi-Fi. This is the gap that the Apple Inc noticed and planned to fill (Apple stores, 2009: Para.3). Through the discovery of this gap in market the company decided to use its computing technologies to produce consumer electronics with high connectivity. This was a good opportunity because Apple Inc had a good tradition with computers so filling this gap was not as hard task and it needed less research in their development.
To fill this gap the company came up with consumer electronics like TV sets which could use Blue tooth technology and also the digital technology. There was also the development of consumer electronics that could be connected with the computing technology such as web cameras, scanners and phones. This market gap has made the firm concentrate its research on the consumer goods with greater features of connectivity. The latest model is the iPhone 3G phone which has very efficient internet connectivity. The company products with these features have opened new markets for the company products especially in the emerging economies. This has contributed to increased company profitability
There is also the aspect of convergence which is growing in consumer electronics such that many elements of consumer electronics are combined together. This is stimulated by the need to simplify the consumer buying decision. The company noticed that there was a market gap i.e. of what the consumer needed and what was available in the market. There was an opportunity to come up with products that were well converged and suitable for the modern consumer. This provoked the company to research on the production of highly converged items such as personal computers which has TV and radio facilities. These items were attractive to the consumers who felt that it was better to buy one electronic gadget with many services (Mullins & Komisar, 2009: Para. 2).
This opportunity has seen the company develop a wide range of products with different convergence features which suited different market niches. These consumer electronics have been able to fill the gap which existed in the market at a profit.
The two trends of convergence and connectivity had created a technological market gap which needed to be bridged in order to satisfy the consumers. Apple Inc was able to identify this gap and take it as an opportunity to develop products that the consumer needed. They first researched the market, identified the needs and developed the products.
Solving a problem
In the case of Apple Inc in the consumer electronic industry, the problem solving aspect in entrepreneurship is closely linked to the gap that existed in the marketplace. The Apple inc was mostly concerned with solving problems in the computing industry and in the process it discovered that there was a problem in the technology field for bridging the gap between the computing technology and the consumer electronics. The Apple Inc decided that this problem was a good business opportunity that needed to be utilized. The company decided to introduce products in market which were compatible to the two technologies. The company came up with cameras, speakers, TV sets which were of digital nature and were compatible with the computing technology.
The development of these items in market led to a revolution in the consumer electronic industry. This was able to solve many technological problems that existed with the consumer electronics which were not digital. For example digital TV sets have enabled the cheaper transmission of quality digital signals as compared to the analogue signals that were expensive and of low quality.
All the above entrepreneurial approaches have led to great changes in Apple Inc. They have seen the company focusing much of its efforts to the consumer electronics. All these development have been possible through a strong research and development department which is able to keep abreast with the technological advancement in the world and this has helped the company withstand competition from consumer electronics industries in Japan and South Korea.
From this case we understand that a company can utilize opportunities by diversifying the range of products which it deals in. This enables the company to venture in the markets which are growing and related to its already existing range.
Apple Store. “The company website”. 2009. Web.
Howe Carl “Apple reinvents consumer electronics”. Black friars. 2007. Web.
Mullins, John., & Komisar, Randy, “How Apple went from being a computer co to a music powerhouse”. The economic Times. 2009. Web.
Ramesh, N. “How to identify business opportunity”, Science Tech Entrepreneur. 2006. Web.
Tatum, Malcolm. “How Do I Identify Business Opportunities?” Wise week. 2009. Web.