Finding the optimum market begins by looking for where the best opportunities lie—where future demand will be the strongest. To that end, I have developed a simple but extremely effective tool called the Opportunity Matrix (see Figure 5-1). It takes the form of a two-by-two grid: The vertical axis is for products and services, while the horizontal axis is for markets and customers. The grid enables you to assess both existing and future demand, a critical distinction as we are especially concerned about future growth.
To make use of the Opportunity Matrix, you focus on your chosen reason for making an acquisition—that all-important single goal. You ask yourself: “Where does our objective belong in this matrix?”