How To Identify Growth Opportunities For Your Business
“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.” — James Cash Penney
You’ll know you need to shake things up if you hear yourself or anyone on your team utters the words, “This is how we’ve always done it”. No business can afford to stand still - the competition may be in your rearview mirror but if they are more focused on growth, it won’t be long before you are in theirs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years.
To ensure that there’s a future for your brand, it’s essential to constantly be looking for ways to expand your market, improve your product or service, develop new lines, reduce costs and increase profits.
Know your competition - and identify the gaps they haven’t yet taken advantage of. Being familiar with what they offer and how they offer it will help you gain insights into how you can do better than them. It will also let you see markets they’ve identified that you may have missed.
You have a customer base so you know there must be more clients or consumers within the same market - you just need to drill down further. One strategy is to ask existing customers for referrals - some reliance on word-of-mouth promotion also provides a strong motivation to ensure your customers remain fans of your product and service.
If you’re comfortably meeting demand in your core environment, it’s time to up the ante and explores new markets. This will come with a whole new set of challenges - perhaps getting to grips with myriad export prerequisites for example - but the rewards will ultimately outweigh the stress of stepping out of your comfort zone.
You’ve established your market, now you need to probe other ways of serving the needs of your customers and widening the net to find even more. Keep evaluating your offerings and seeing how they can be improved or added to. Ask customers for feedback to learn what else could be done in terms of enhancing your product or service.
As Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and fellow at the Yale School of Management's International Center for Finance Robert J. Shiller asserts, “The future is always coming up with surprises for us, and the best way to insulate yourself from these surprises is to diversify.” Your existing product or service may be working for you right now, but diversifying into a new market with a new product or service will help provide added security. You may well discover that your new enterprise is more profitable and deserves all your attention, providing an opportunity to move on to bigger and better successes.
"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." — John D. Rockefeller