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Business Opportunities Business Guide: Consulting Services That Foster Innovation

In an increasingly globalized economy, new business opportunities continue to emerge for new entrepreneurs and established corporations. Opportunities abound not only in terms of new markets but also in terms of technological advancements, and constant product innovation creates new demand. Business organizations that can adapt themselves to this dynamic environment can expect to exploit these opportunities to boost their business. The improvement in global intellectual property protection laws and regulations has also encouraged companies to expand their horizons globally.  


Companies with patented technologies can make full use of their innovations by entering into technology transfer and licensing arrangements in different markets. The licensees are also in an advantageous position because they can introduce new product and service innovations in their local markets. Similarly, many global manufacturers are making supply, marketing, and distribution arrangements with local entrepreneurs in various markets. This creates a win-win situation for both parties entering into a licensing, technology transfer, distributorship, and marketing or franchise agreement.




Market Expansion


International business consulting firms can assist an organization to enter new markets to cash upon the booming demand in such markets. Vast business opportunities exist in the new and emerging markets where the purchasing power of consumers is improving, but they do not have access to high-quality products and services in their domestic economy. This is where multinational companies are in a position to exploit the market opportunity by filling the gap between demand and supply.


Trade and Distribution Opportunities


As per the WTO statistics, nearly 70 percent of global trade is controlled by the world’s top 500 global corporations. Huge trading opportunities are emerging with a trend of economic liberalization and relaxation of trade barriers in most countries. The amount of global trade and investment has grown steadily over the past two decades. Businesses with a global vision can make use of the opportunities that exist in the trade and distribution segment. No manufacturer can distribute its products and services in multiple markets without a network of traders and distributors. This creates an opportunity for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs to grow along with the large companies.


Technology Transfer and Licensing


In a rapidly changing technological environment, it makes sound business sense for any company with a new technology to exploit the available business opportunities to the fullest. The life span of most technologies has become very limited. A company cannot possibly enter every market directly to establish its own business. Therefore, the next best option may be to make technology transfer and licensing arrangements to earn revenues from the patented technology. Similarly, licensing arrangements can be made for trademarks in selective markets.


Financial and Investment Opportunities


Many large companies have substantial cash surpluses and access to public funds, which can be considered as a business opportunity. If the interest rates are unattractive in the local market, companies may consider investing the funds in the emerging markets where the returns may be much higher. The era of economic liberalization has opened the doors for foreign direct and indirect investments in most developing economies. Western companies are investing hundreds of billions of dollars to be a part of the growing economic opportunities in countries such as China, India, Russia, and South Africa.




Increased Market Risk


Going after new business opportunities brings its own rewards. However, such an effort involves inherent risks for the business because the company may try to move into unrelated product segments or unknown markets where the opportunity exists. Business consultants may increase the risk exposure of the company in an effort to exploit highly profitable but risky opportunities.


Intellectual Property Infringement


A business may have invested millions of dollars in developing a new technology or an innovative product, service, or brand. However, lending or licensing such innovations to various markets may increase the risk of IPR infringement. Local laws and regulations with regard to intellectual property rights may not be very stringent in several countries. This can create problems for an innovative company and put it at the risk of having its products and technology used, copied, or duplicated illegally.


Changing Consumer Demand


It is not an easy proposition to exploit the business opportunities in multiple markets or product segments. Consumer tastes, preferences, and aspirations undergo a rapid transformation. If the business loses the pulse of the market, it can end up with investments that do not yield reasonable returns, because the market may have already moved over to a new trend or technology.


Management Challenges


Managing new opportunities can be a challenging task for a business organization. The best option may be to hire the services of professional business development consultants with expertise in the concerned area. However, sometimes there may be serious differences of opinion or interpersonal conflicts between consultants and business managers. These issues can place the pursuit of group goals at risk, and the business may not be able to cash the opportunity successfully.




Business consulting firms specializing in the area of technology transfer, patents and trademarks, and global marketing and distribution can charge a substantial amount of fee for their services. Some consultants may also work on a percentage basis. The company must draw an objective cost-benefit analysis to decide on hiring a professional consulting firm. It may also invite bids from multiple firms and choose the one that suits its needs most closely.


The growth of a company is possible only when it goes after new business opportunities with a positive approach. Market leadership can be established only when the company seizes the opportunities before its competitors do. It requires vision and sharp decision-making on the part of the management. At the same time, professional assistance from business consultants can be obtained to foster the process of product and market innovation and business development.

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