What is the Difference Between Business Ideas and Business Opportunities?

business ideas and business opportunities

As one of the many reasons why startup businesses fail is often the confusion of an entrepreneur about two terms that are very important to them: business ideas and business opportunities. What is the difference between these two terms?

Both terms are highly used in the business startup process by an entrepreneur. However, it is notable that businesses are often started only with the idea that they do not convert or transform into a real business opportunity. Because of that, business startups immediately begin to suffer after the startup stage.

This suffering is manifested through a lack of customers and, therefore, a lack of money for financing the normal business operation.

An entrepreneur is a person who can see opportunities where all other people see problems. That is the most significant advantage of an entrepreneur.

How Does This Work in the Practice When It Comes to Business Ideas and Business Opportunities?

Many companies (I think about successful businesses) are simply the results of the problem or need that exists on the market and is identified by an entrepreneur. However, on the other hand, many companies result from the personal problem of an entrepreneur who, in such a frustrating situation, comes up with one or more business ideas. But, this frustrating situation at that moment is known only to him. Only he feels the frustration from his problem.

Are there some other people besides entrepreneurs who find themselves in the same frustrating situation?

If the answer is no, although these business ideas are brilliant ideas, they aren’t business opportunities ready for successful businesses. So, according to this, business ideas and business opportunities are two different things.

On the other side, if the answer is yes, then it is necessary to check if these business ideas are excellent business opportunities.

You need to validate each of your business ideas before they can become business opportunities. Here is how you can validate your business ideas.

What is the Difference Between Business Ideas and Business Opportunities?

difference between business ideas and business opportunities

As you can see from what I said earlier, business ideas are:

  • known personally only to the entrepreneur,
  • based on their own entrepreneur’s frustrations,
  • an innovation by the entrepreneur.

However, is an idea great only because it is excellent for you? Probably, not.

In the business world exist one fundamental principle, which says:

If an entrepreneur personally knows at least 10 other people who are enough eager to buy a product or service as a result of a business idea, with proper price and other conditions, there are probably at the market additional hundreds, thousands or millions potential customers who would buy the same products and services if they know about it.

So, if you want to transform your business ideas into business opportunities, you need to bring another person into the process. That person is the customer. It is not enough to have business ideas. You need to do many things additionally. Look at what you need to do related to your ideas.


Business opportunity = Validated business idea = business idea + customers

What Criteria Need to Meet Specific Business Ideas to Become Business Opportunities

An idea can become a business opportunity only if it meets all the following criteria:

  • The business idea is attractive to customers.
  • Customers can afford products and services that result from the specific business idea.
  • An entrepreneur can turn a specific business idea into a business reality.

If the idea is not attractive to potential customers, it is not a good business idea. Because of that, you need to check does on the market exist a real need for the products or services which result in your initial idea.

Related: 10 Reasons Being An Entrepreneur Is Better Than Employment

On the other side, if the business idea creates an expensive product or service, the potential customers cannot afford them. This is also a bad idea, at least now. And lastly, you, as an entrepreneur, will need to implement the business idea, and you must have specific knowledge and skills to realize it in practice.