What is the key to success in business?
Many would answer it is ambition or persistence, aiming high and keeping up the fight even when things do not go the way you want them to. Others would say it is knowing the right people and being able to get them on board of your business venture. And while these qualities are necessary to sustain your business (and career), the companies like D-Fetch show that the key to long-lasting success as an entrepreneur is rather the ability to find hidden opportunities and turn them into a business model.
When Per Gunnar Nordahl was working on IoT and sensor technology solutions for the gym and fitness club industry, he and his team became aware of an extreme lack of efficiency in an industry that (ironically) encourages its target audience to self-improve constantly. Given there was no actual data on gym member behavior and activity or the gym environment like temperature and humidity, it was not surprising that gym club operations were not living up to their full potential. After all – you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
The solution that D-Fetch provides is filling a gap in the fitness industry in a way that is both innovative and necessary.
Nordahl and his team understood this and wanted to create a singular solution that would change the fitness and gym industry from the gym floor up. The solution that D-Fetch provides is filling a gap in the fitness industry in a way that is both innovative and necessary. Using sensor technology, D-Fetch gathers all the relevant data around operations going on in a gym and then translates those into information that helps the gym club operator implement the right improvements.
Success stories like the one of D-Fetch teach us that to make a business remarkable and successful, you need to master the art of finding hidden opportunities. You need to find the gap that is in need of improvement in an established market. This all sounds very simple, but it obviously is not. Having the right entrepreneurial idea that can turn into a successful business is most often a process where preparation meets opportunity.
Below we have gathered 4 ways that can help you figure out gaps in established markets and prepare yourself for when opportunity crosses your way.
1. Find your problem by drawing from your own knowledge and experience.
As Emily Brooke, the young entrepreneur whose company Blaze specializes in developing products for the urban cyclist, describes it: “(…) solve a problem that you know better than anyone else.” Find a problem that you are obsessed with, that you have experienced yourself or an issue that you feel you have a lot of knowledge of and the right answer will come automatically. The team around D-Fetch was already working with IoT and sensor technology solutions, when they discovered their gap in the gym industry and they have been thriving ever since.
2. Research the market and find fault.
Research the market that you are interested in. A market that is worth your focus will have a high demand for solutions of its problems as well as many customers that will profit from it. Don’t be intimidated by potential competitors – if your solution is innovative and an improvement to already existing solutions, you will be able to beat them. As an example, there are existing IoT solutions when it comes to the fitness industry, but D-Fetch offers a bundled and multiplexed solution that is more efficient than its predecessors. This means…
3. … copying is okay (as long as you improve).
Another way to figure out gaps in established markets is to copy someone else. Ideas have seldom not been thought before, but if your approach will offer an improvement to already existing solutions and is of value to potential clients, it will make you stand out and succeed.
4. Don’t be an expert – be a learner.
As stated before, one way to find a gap in a market is to focus on your expertise and experience. However, this can also make you miss opportunities in markets that you are not necessarily familiar with. Sometimes an outsider’s perspective will reveal issues that are not visible from the inside – learn about other industries and research trends to find gaps. The team of D-Fetch had a lot of experience in IoT and sensor solutions, but didn’t have in-depth knowledge of the gym industry before their business venture. Being open to markets that are maybe outside of your field of expertise will open you up to existing gaps that you can fill.
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