businessman

One of the key personality traits of a successful businessperson is determination. In the business world, you simply won’t get anywhere unless you have the drive and desire to see things through – to seek out new opportunities, to pursue them aggressively, and to outperform your competition by working harder than they do. Whilst this fixation on beating the market contributes greatly to the financial well being of a business in the medium-term, it can become a double-edged sword. There comes a point where determination turns to tunnel vision, and even the most intelligent and focused entrepreneur will miss the big picture.

Never-Ending Change

There are a few key market sectors which are relatively constant. The classic example is real estate – nobody’s making any new land, so it’s almost always a good idea to invest in it when you can afford to do so. Similarly, barring some disaster, there are a few human needs for which the market will always have to cater; the provision of food and water, sanitation, and medicines. Unfortunately for the average businessperson, these fields are saturated, and so there’s little chance that an outsider can carve a corner of the market to call his own.

On the other hand, there are many areas which undergo either periodic or constant change. Sometimes, these industries are young, and getting in on the ground floor requires a great deal of expertise and willingness to assume risk – or a lot of dumb luck. A particularly apt example is the internet. How many times have you heard someone say that they wish they’d created the first auction/music download/video tube site? Or that they should have bought Google stock at its IPO, when shares were under a hundred bucks a pop? The reason that people didn’t do these things is because they lacked the knowledge of what the internet was and how viable it would be in the future. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s OK to be a somewhat risk-averse. Now the internet is out of its infancy, and the big players have established themselves. But it’s still changing; just less often. As technology becomes more sophisticated, we will begin to utilise the internet for different purposes and in different ways. Online business models will need to adapt to keep pace, but at a manageable rate, leaving opportunities for insightful entrepreneurs to get in ahead of the curve.

Most businesses lie somewhere in the middle – they provide a service which is steady, but not ‘essential’. They succeed not because they are the first to do what they do, but because they are able to operate more cheaply or efficiently than competitors. It is these types of businesses that are most prone to losing sight of the bigger picture, because unlike startups and those operating in turbulent markets, they have been allowed to fall out of the habit of adaptation.

Established Industries Can Change Too

It turns out that those supposedly saturated industries mentioned earlier might not be as static as we thought. The internet is not the only aspect of the modern global economy which is subject to scientific and technological advances. One example is the care sector – both healthcare in general and, more specifically, care for the elderly. We know that the demographics of our populations are altering, slowly yet dramatically, and that the increasing number of older people will put a strain on current provision. Barring huge societal changes, there will be a need for new care homes, hospitals, and hospices. This opens up massive opportunities, for those who possess the necessary drive, to invest into a new home care business which has a great chance of being profitable. It’s a simple question of supply and demand. Demand is rising; will you be able to adapt and help to meet it?