If there’s no blue ocean to play in, then find your gap in an existing market

For many aspirant entrepreneurs here in Africa, in fact anywhere in the world, often the hardest challenge in getting started is finding a gap in the market that is waiting to be filled by the next innovative product, service, or new way of doing something. There is often the temptation to put off starting a business because there doesn’t seem to be a blue ocean to play in, that uncontested market space where there is room to thrive because the competition is irrelevant (take a look at the fabulous book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne to gain some fascinating insights on this subject). But the fact is that often it’s not a case of finding that rare marketplace where no-one is playing yet (these can be elusive and often tough to find), but rather more about creating a business, product or service that can stand out in the crowd in an existing one - a business that is unique with a very different customer proposition. So, don’t be tempted to procrastinate about setting up a business because there isn’t an obvious brand new marketplace to make your mark in, instead think about how you can bring something fresh and new to an existing one and stake your entrepreneurial claim there.