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How to identify business growth opportunities

Even the most seasoned business veteran 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.

What better time to seize every chance that comes your way than the dawn of the new financial year? Here are our top tips for identifying (and making the most of) business growth opportunities.

1. Research new markets

While tapping into your local community helped your business thrive in its early years, that may no longer be the case. But 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.

2. Analyse your competition

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.

3. Learn more about your existing customers

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?

“Don’t underestimate the value of your existing customer base,” says David Crook, Managing Director at Nero Financial. “Even your most loyal customer is likely to have an idea about how you can improve. The trick is, you’ve got to ask! And you don’t need to spend thousands on market research. Just start an open conversation with them about what’s working, what’s not and where your product or service is lacking.”

4.Tap into feedback on social media

While in-person conversations and asking for feedback in your e-newsletters may 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 businesses in your industry – can be extremely valuable for learning about what people like and dislike, and what they want to see from companies just 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 Nero Financial today or call 1300 025 949 to find out how we can help you achieve your business goals.