A successful entrepreneur is continually looking for ways to innovate and grow his or her business. Having said that, ‘innovating’ can be easier and said than done without some inspiration and guidance. Business Review Australia considers how entrepreneurs can uncover new business opportunities and identify new markets and areas of growth >>>
#1. Learn From Your Clients - Past, Present & Potential
When it comes to targeting potential customers, listen to what they have to say. What do they need from you? What product or service are they desperate for? What challenges do they face in their industry and how can you help them overcome those challenges? Take time to do your market research - what products or services have been successful in the past? Why are their existing solutions no longer fulfilling their needs?
If you are targeting existing customers, find out what it was that made them choose you in the first place – client surveys can help you obtain this information. If you are loosing these valuable clients, discover why they are no longer satisfied with you product or service and look to rectify that immediately.
This level of client research will help you tailor your product or service offering to your target audience.
#2. Listen to Your Clients
You shouldn’t only speak to your clients about the products and services you offer, you should also listen to them and develop a keen understanding of the industry they work in. What are the key trends? What are their frequently asked questions? Talk to them about their experience of the industry and their frustrations.
This level of understanding from an industry perspective will help you identify key business opportunities to expand and develop your current products and services.
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#3. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Any successful entrepreneur has a good knowledge of their competitors. Take the time to carry out competitive analysis and discover what they are and importantly are not doing. What do they do well? What do they fail at? Is there a gap in their service offering that you can fill?
Having said this, don’t allow yourself to become obsessive over your competition – keeping your own business priorities in focus is very important. Analysing your competition will simply allow you to identify some key business opportunities and point you in the right direction for product and service development.
#4. Become an Expert
Become an expert in your field; know everything there is to know about your industry and make yourself a go-to source for information and advice. Subscribe to industry publications, join relevant associations, set Google Alerts for key industry terms, read around your subject, follow other industry experts on social networks and join the discussion online. Become completely absorbed in your industry and take the time to continually educate yourself on the latest techniques and trends.
Being in the know will help you identify other industry trends and therefore requirements that could spark development. By building your own brand online you can also help boost the profile of your business, which in turn could lead to an increase in custom.