Business opportunities in uncertain times. Where to look for them?

Margareta Křížová, who leads the NEWTON Business Accelerator and is one of the lecturers in the MSc. Entrepreneurship, organised an interesting webinar on how to look for business opportunities in today's uncertain times. Is there still a gap in the market that is not being filled? And what can we do to make our business work, at a time when the world is struggling with the reverberations of a pandemic, war in Ukraine, energy crisis, high cost of money and shortages of some commodities? "I am convinced that those who follow the market can see opportunities. Knowing what's happening in the market is the alpha and omega of being successful in business," says Kriz.

What to watch in the market according to Margareta

  • What shape is the market in.
  • What shape is your industry in and what's happening in it.
  • Competition.
  • What your customers are doing. (What's a must have, what's nice to have).
  • Who is coming and going in your market. (How the big players are moving up to the smallest companies, like start-ups. Keep an eye on who is coming in, they may need local strategic partners.) 

Fields that have great potential today

Financially challenging

  • AI (has gotten tremendously closer to the end users)
  • Healthtech
  • Medtech
  • Edutech
  • Alternative energy sources

Less financially demanding

  • Digital marketing
  • Handcrafted business
  • Farming
  • Travel
  • Senior Care

*There are of course many more. They were all mentioned on the webinar. 

According to Margaret, today you can compete with a very narrow focus or excellent service. "Sometimes start-ups want to overwhelm the customer with their offering. Don't do that, there is beauty in simplicity. Tell the customer clearly and understandably what they are going to get. The customer buys what they want, not what you need,"she explains.

Some good business advice 

  • Always make sure you can explain to the customer what they will get from you. 
  • Don't just chase new customers, nurture existing ones too. 
  • Set your prices according to the current social situation.
  • Leave room for manoeuvre on price.
  • Know people's motivation to buy your product.
  • Think about how you will measure your own success - profit, awareness? 
  • Ask yourself two fundamental questions: what needs to happen for me to succeed? What must not happen for me to fail? 
  • Ask about what is not visible at first glance.
  • Watch out for missed opportunities. (There are some sad missed opportunities in the history of business. One of the most famous is the story of Yahoo, or My Space, the predecessor to Facebook, which relied on being first to market as its only competitive advantage.)
  • Stop making assumptions.

Margareta Křížová is a successful investor and founder of NEWTON Business Accelerator. She is currently a lecturer in the MSc. Entrepreneurship

"Very often in business we start from assumptions and then build the business model and structure of the opportunity on that. We need to verify those assumptions. Often we find that we have assumed something that is not true."

Example: when you sell T-shirts, you assume that everyone wants red long-sleeved T-shirts, but customers want yellow short-sleeved ones. 

Tips on interesting books, podcasts and media from Margareta Křížová on where to follow trends in business:

Do you want to deepen your knowledge in business? Check out the profile of our MSc. Entrepreneurship, which focuses on trends in the 5.0 era.

Business opportunities in uncertain times. Where to look for them?

According to Margareta Křížová, it is possible to run a successful business in every era. But you need to know the market and your customer thoroughly. The practical webinar provided some essential information and advice from the experienced investor and founder of NEWTON Business Accelerator to help you think about your own business.

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