The Opportunity Gap

In every type of business, there is a gap in what the product or service provides the customer and what the customer really wants. We call this the Opportunity Gap.

Your job as the owner of a business – or even as an employee – is to find the opportunity gap and structure the exploitation of it to increase profits for the company.

It is easier to spot the opportunity gap by looking at some examples. After you learn to spot the gap, then focus your attention to your own business, and you may see an opportunity quickly.

Federal Express was built on the opportunity gap created by the post office snail mail delivery.

Dominos Pizza exploited the gap based on slow delivery and changed their policy to deliver in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.

Re/Max Realty found an opportunity gap by paying real estate salesmen 100% of the commission.

By Owner Realty saw that percentage commissions were too high and filled the opportunity to help people sell their properties themselves.

Southwest Airlines exploited high fares and the uniformity in airlines.

Wal-Mart slashed prices and became the de facto choice of bargain hunters.

EBay brought auctions online, creating a unique marketplace.

There are hundreds of other businesses both large and small who found opportunity in a niche gap created in the marketplace. Sometimes, the gap is huge and allows great potential opportunity for the first mover who spots it. Sometimes, the gaps are small, but applied on a local level they can make a substantial return on investments. This occurs with lightening speed on the internet as entrepreneurs quickly move to take advantage of gaps.

Look at your business.

What are both you and your competitors not doing right now that could be exploited for additional gain?

What else do people who use your product or service need that they are not getting from you and have to go elsewhere to get?

These are questions to ask yourself on a regular basis until something changes and you see the opportunity gap. When you see it, act fast and try to protect your position by copyright, trademark, patent, or some other form of legal structure if you can. If you cannot do that, then move quickly and announce to the world that you are filling the gap. Fortunes have been made on less.