Windows of Opportunity in Business: Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:04 Opening the Window of…
  • 0:51 Asking Questions
  • 1:35 Observing Trends
  • 2:33 Solving a Problem
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
This lesson defines a window of opportunity as the term is used in business. The lesson also provides information on identifying a business window of opportunity.

Opening the Window of Opportunity

Have you ever seen a commercial from a fast food chain featuring a new, limited-time only food item? This may sometimes be a product that is seasonal, such as a Christmas milkshake or a Valentine's Day cookie. There is a window of opportunity for people to purchase these items before they're gone. As a parallel, a window of opportunity in business is a narrowed period of time in which a brief or temporary opportunity must be taken advantage of before it expires, or the window closes.

One of the key issues when trying to identify a business window of opportunity is distinguishing between valid, golden opportunities and those that are only mirages or fool's gold. Let's take a look at some of the methods that can be used to help identify valid types of opportunities while also looking at some examples.

Asking Questions

We'll go back to the example of the fast food chain and assume there is a St. Patrick's Day salad on its menu for a limited time. How do you know when the window of opportunity is going to close for being able to purchase this particular salad? Although a long, thought-provoking answer would sound great, the answer is as simple as asking questions.

You can simply ask the fast food chain how long the promotion will last so that you can plan to make the purchase before it expires. The same goes for a business window of opportunity. The window of opportunity for businesses will often involve deals and proposals that must be met or agreed upon by a specific date. If these deals are not completed within the allotted time frame, then the business window of opportunity will most certainly close.

Observing Trends

Another way that can be used to identify a business window of opportunity is observation trends and fads within a particular arena. These trends can fall into several categories, including technological, political, and economic. The technological trends deal with ever-evolving technologies; the political trends involve regulatory and legal changes; and the economic trends involve changes in economic environments.

For example, technological trends could include any variations in technology, such as:

  • New features on smartphones
  • Innovative uses of social media forums
  • Different apps for phones, computers, and tablets

Political trends might involve:

  • The creation of new laws
  • The modification of existing laws

Economic trends would pertain to adjustments in economic situations, such as:

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