An idea is someone’s thoughts as to what might be successful if converted into a business. So a business idea might be to sell coffee makers for your car to save time from having to stop in all the lines at the coffee shop. It’s an idea only.
A business opportunity is a system that someone should have developed from testing and experience and proven can work. (There are plenty of scam ‘biz ops out there, so your research is important). It should have products or services that you sell. While there is no guarantee it will work for you, it has been proven to work. Because you may not put in the work, do the research, or do the training, any bizop is a risk. None of them are ‘sit at home and the money comes rolling in every day without you doing a thing!’
MultiLevel Marketing, or MLMs are an example of a business opportunity. Unfortunately, many times they are sold as if no work is required and everyone wants the products. Ugh, no. It takes work- hard work. And selling. And treating it like a business. You can make money, but it takes work, experience, marketing, and sales ability.
Franchises are another form of business opportunity. These are much more formal, meaning there is a lot more support. There should be training, marketing support, possibly a loan to get started, and other features that work toward success. You pay a fee for the support, usually a percentage of sales, but it’s better than being out on your own with little or no guidance.
Very Simple differentiation:
Business Opportunity: Any idea which is proven and already exists. YES, there is the further scope of enhancing the opportunity. Working out with the PEST analysis and find the room for growth, maybe in a different geography, may be locally or globally. Maybe with different pricepoint.
Business Idea: Product or services which are not existing, do a “ PURE GAP ANALYSIS” or “ PAIN POINT ANALYSIS” work with your skills, identify your core competence to fulfil the gaps or pain points, and develop a new service or a new product. Market it globally or locally. Take feedback, and tune your product or services accordingly. OR come up with product or services which will make life easier where a bit of Creativity and Innovation is required.