Four ways to identify business growth opportunities

Man walking up stairs in futuristic cityscape.

Even the most seasoned business owner will fail if they don’t pursue their growth ambitions at the right time. With competition fierce across all industries, it’s up to leadership to seek out new opportunities and deploy robust strategies to take their organisation to the next level.

To help you seize every chance that comes your way, here are four tips for identifying business growth opportunities.

  1. Explore new markets and income streams

While tapping into your local community helped your business thrive in its early years, that may no longer be the case. Remember; if your local customers have a problem you can solve, why can’t it be the same for potential customers further afield? It’s always wise to cast a wide net in order to reap the benefits of new markets. 

For small-scale local businesses, that may mean looking beyond your state border. More ambitious businesses can seek to tap into lucrative international markets. China, for example, has a powerful economy and its community has an appetite for western brands. Just make sure you do your research about these prospective markets before making a serious investment.

  1. Keep an eye on your competitors

Yes, it takes time and energy to conduct a thorough analysis of your competition, but the rewards can far outweigh the negatives. After all, if you recognise that your closest competition are leaving gaps that your products could fill, you can attract their customer base to you instead.

It’s also important to look inwards. By analysing your own operations, you can spot any weaknesses – and take steps to eliminate them – while building on your unique strengths.

  1. Get to know your customers (like, really get to know them)

It’s all good and well to spend money on penetrating new markets, but if you are struggling to keep your business cash-flow positive then there may be now more room to extend your margins.

In that case, why not look closer to home for new opportunities? Your existing customer base is a treasure trove of potential. If you run a store that sells bikes, for example, what happens when your customers need repairs or a replacement part? Could you bring on a new team member to open up an on-site repair station, therefore turning one-off customers into regulars?

“Your existing customers are full of free and valuable insights if you’re willing to listen,” says Sarah Cook, Managing Director of Elev8 Business Services. “I’ve seen businesses spend thousands of dollars on market research to find out what customers want – but by simply asking your customer a few questions, like why they bought or didn’t buy your product, you can quickly uncover the things you should be focusing on”. 

  1. Take unsolicited feedback on board

While in-person conversations and asking for feedback in your e-newsletters can provide some helpful insights, the majority of customers won’t bother giving you clear, honest information about what they want unless there’s an incentive for them.

Social media, on the other hand, is a melting pot of opinions and ideas – and it could be the easiest way for you to spot growth opportunities. Unsolicited feedback – especially the negative stuff said about your business (or that of your competitors) – can be extremely valuable for learning about what people like and dislike, and what they want to see from companies like yours.

If you need support in finding – and grasping – the right business opportunities as they arise, we have the expertise to point you in the right direction. 

Contact Elev8 Business Services or call 1300 588 527 to find out how professional bookkeeping can help you prepare your business financially, to embrace growth opportunities when they arise.