Seven Domains of Attractive Opportunities by John Mullins

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John Mullins, Associate Professor of Management Practice in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, presents a toolkit for assessing and shaping market opportunities and a better way for entrepreneurs to …

John Mullins, Associate Professor of Management Practice in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, presents a toolkit for assessing and shaping market opportunities and a better way for entrepreneurs to assess the adequacy of what they bring to the table as
individuals and as a team. These seven domains address the central elements in the assessment of any market opportunity.

This was first published in Business Strategy Review, Volume 25, Issue 2 - 2014. Subscribe today to receive your quarterly copy delivered to your home or work place. http://bit.ly/BSR-subscribe

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  • 1. © Copyright 2014 London Business School John Mullins’ seven domains of attractive opportunities
  • 2. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 2
  • 3. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 3 The seven domains are: 1. Market attractiveness 2. Target segment benefits and attractiveness 3. Industry attractiveness 4. Competitive and economic sustainability 5. Mission, aspirations, propensity for risk 6. Ability to execute on CSFs 7. Connectedness up and down the value chain
  • 4. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 4 This model offers a toolkit for assessing and shaping market opportunities and a better way for entrepreneurs to assess the adequacy of what they bring to the table as individuals and as a team. These seven domains address the central elements in the assessment of any market opportunity.
  • 5. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 5 The model doesn’t just summarise what everyone already knows – or claims to know – about assessing opportunities. The model goes further to highlight three crucial distinctive and observations that most entrepreneurs – not to mention many investors – overlook: • Markets and industries are not the same. • Markets and industries must be examined at both macro-and micro- levels • The keys to assessing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams aren’t found on their resumes, in character surveys or psychological tests.
  • 6. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 6 The model’s seven domains are not equally important. Nor are they additive. A simple checklist won’t do. In fact, the wrong combinations of them can kill your venture. On the other hand, sufficient strengths on some factors can mitigate weaknesses on others. And attractive opportunities can be found in less attractive industries.
  • 7. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 7 The model is comprised of four market and industry domains, including both macro and micro levels and three additional domains related to the entrepreneurial team. These seven domains address the central elements in the assessment of any market opportunity: • Are the market and industry attractive? • Does the opportunity offer compelling customer benefits as well as sustainable advantage over other solutions to the customer’s needs? • Can the team deliver the results they seek and promise to others?
  • 8. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 8 In examining your opportunity through the seven domains lens, concerns will inevitably crop up: the potentially fatal flaws that can render your opportunity a nonstarter. The key task in answering the question,“Why won’t my idea work?” is to find any fatal flaw that cannot be resolved, the opportunity’s Achille’s heel. Thus, the crucial things to look for on the downside are elements of the market, industry, or team that simply cannot be fixed by shaping the opportunity in a different way.
  • 9. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 9 But the good news is that opportunities are not static. They can be shaped in many ways. Potentially fatal flaws are sometimes fixable. You can choose a different target market that is more receptive to your proposed offering. The offering can be adapted to better fit market needs. The opportunity can be pursued at a different level in the value chain – as a distributor, rather than retailer or manufacturer, for example – if a different industry setting would be more hospitable. Adding individuals to help the team deliver on the critical success factors or who bring connections up, down, or across the value chain can strengthen the entrepreneurial team.
  • 10. BUSINESS STRATEGY REVIEW 10 Road test your entrepreneurial dream before you even think about launching a lean startup. If the seven domains road test looks positive, you will have jump- started your journey, and you will have gathered a body of evidence with which to guide your launch. And what if you’ve found fatal flaws? You can redirect your entrepreneurial time and talents to another opportunity with greater potential.
  • 11. This is edited from an article in Business Strategy Review Volume 25 Issue 2 2014 Visit our website www.london.edu/bsr