Bill Gibson – Opportunities Are All Around Us

Opportunities Are All Around Us...If We Know Where To Look

(Succeed Magazine Interview with Bill Gibson)

Everybody is always looking for the next big thing. Business opportunities are advertised everywhere with promises to make millionaires of us all within 365 days or less.

Sure, if you are robbing banks – that is. It is true that there are some who have rags to riches stories about a simple, yet brilliant, idea which made them incredibly rich. It has happened, it still does and will still. But, the fact of the matter is that we do not need to sit hand in head, staring at a bowl of stale popcorn for dinner, for circumstance to force us into a moment of business brilliance. It can, and should, happen almost every day.

Opportunities are all around us if we only know where to look. “There are business opportunities around every corner, in every paper, in every circumstance,” says Bill Gibson, South Africa’s favourite business guru. He tells us how to maximise these opportunities:

Identify your full business opportunities: “Ask yourself what business you are really in and then act on it,” says Gibson. “If you are a neighbourhood convenience store you can really take the term, convenience, to a new level by offering more than just the basics, but expanding into total convenience for your clientele. Video hire, instant meals, a delivery service or a wider variety of goods. The opportunity is ripe for the taking.”

Identify opportunities arising from your current business: Business owners need to ask themselves if their companies’ resources are being fully utilised? Is it possible to diversify or enhance the product or service currently offered? Strengths can be expanded and weaknesses corrected to provide new opportunities. An aircraft manufacturing company had a fibreglass division which was underused and costing the company money.

The choice was to either close the division (costing jobs) or find an alternative use for it. The company decided to start designing bathtubs and, so successful were their designs, that a new company was formed just to design and produce the tubs.

Take advantage of current situations: Some people may see it as opportunism, but fact of the matter is that we do not live sheltered lives. There are many good, and sometimes bad, events that demand attention and offer potential profits. South Africa’s high crime rate, for example, has lent itself to a huge boom in the personal security market. Armed response, pepper spray, even security complexes are now the order of the day. After a volcanic eruption on Mount St. Helens, entrepreneurs developed souvenirs and novelties for the tourism industry. It is not a matter of exploitation, but rather clever and rapid reaction to needs created by sudden changes in the environment.

Magnifying (amplifying) people and events: “Magnifying or amplifying the popularity of a special person, group, enterprise or event can ensure greater demand for a product or service,” says Gibson. “Use an image-making strategy to create market demand.” This method of increasing interest is especially effective in the tourism industry. Without Nelson Mandela, Robben Island would just be another prison, would it not? Sandton Square renamed itself Mandela Square at Sandton. While it is a great tribute to the world’s greatest statesman, it is also an excellent move to magnify or amplify the status of the square. Some South Africans will argue that the large bronze statue probably does not do the man justice, but most international visitors will not see it that way. Amplify the importance of your offer, if marketed the right way, the masses will follow.

Capitalising on a growth trend: Try to get involved in areas where more and more people are getting involved in. Consumer spending behaviour is a fickle thing and can move in any direction at a rapid rate. New innovations, tastes, lifestyle choices and fashionable trends offer many profitable opportunities for the entrepreneur with his or her ear to the ground. “To capitalise on the growing trend towards natural healthcare, many pharmacies now offer wide ranges of these products,” says Gibson. “The explosion of the call centre industry is another example of taking advantage of growth trends.”

Most American companies use South African or Indian-based call centres. It is cheaper for them and, especially in South Africa’s case, the quality versus cost ratio is especially favourable. Many local companies have caught on to this and are making vast sums of money. Taking advantage of a fashion opportunity also falls into this category. Skateboarding, for example, has become very fashionable again. The same can be said for the clothes, music, and equipment that go hand-in-hand with the skateboarding culture. It needs to be taken advantage of.

Find use for waste materials: South African billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, started his empire by coming to an agreement with a gold mining company to utilise the dust left from its mining activities. With a special process for extracting gold from the dust he built his business. Today, Motsepe is involved in all manner of industries including mining, finance and soccer. One company’s waste can be another’s bread and butter if utilised the right way.

“A market switch happens when consumers move from one type of product to another on a long-term basis,” says Gibson. “Just think of society moving from VHS to DVD players, from tapes to CDs to MP3s and such.” When a market switch occurs a whole host of other industries benefit from it. Packaging is needed for the new ranges of products. Other support equipment is needed to enhance products’ fashionability for the consumer. Cell phones are a classic example of secondary offers enhancing the image of a base product.

There are many other areas which we can explore to find that business idea that will make our dreams a reality. Newspapers are full of potential ideas, if we only open our minds to the possibilities hiding amongst the pages. Gibson says that we have trained ourselves to miss the obvious, to look in the wrong places and to over complicate the matter.

Business genius is not born from a bowl of stale dinner popcorn, it is all around us. In everything we do, in everything we read, in every travesty and adversity we may face. We just have to be positive enough to see beyond a few strands of hay.

For information on Bill’s “Turning Entrepreneurial Spirit Into Business Opportunities” audio CD and manual program, call +27-11-784-1720 or e-mail

“If you have found this blog article to be valuable for you, I would be grateful if you “shared” it with your Social Media Networks. Also feel free to circulate it by e-mail or other means internally within your organization or externally to your clients, suppliers and personal and business network. Thank-you!”    – Bill Gibson

Bill Gibson is a Canadian who is living in South Africa. He is an international speaker and author and a developer of sales, service, marketing, collecting, employee morale building, personal development and entrepreneurial training programs and systems. His blog is and his website is He can be reached at or phone +27-11-784-1720 in South Africa. You can follow Bill Gibson on Twitter: @billgibson1, connect on LinkedIn: or Knowledge Brokers International SA Pty Ltd Facebook Page:

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