6 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
It's one thing to start and start a business. However, identifying and optimizing a company's growth potential is an entirely different matter. And it's one that many entrepreneurs struggle with as their business evolves and the business environment and consumer preferences evolve.
Since I've built my own business and watched that of my co-workers, there are many ways to find out the best ways to expand and grow your business. Here are my seven top tips to help you identify and leverage your growth potential:
1. Identify unmet customer needs
One of the best ways to find out where your business has room for growth is to consider unmet customer needs. This is how I started my business, so it makes sense to keep using the same strategy to find new growth opportunities. There are many customer problems that have yet to be resolved.
Related Topics: 3 Ways To Put Your Customers' Needs First – While Increasing Your Profits
Start with your existing audience and ask them directly about their other problems or issues they want to solve. Listening is a critical step in gaining access to these insights. You can earn points with your customers because they value your interest and concern as individuals. I used surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with clients to unlock this primary research resource.
2. Imagine your product for new demographics
The first tip led me to the second. As I learned more about my audience's struggle, I opened my eyes to a new segment of the population that could benefit from my solution as well. Just because I have a product that is intended for children doesn't mean I can't help other age groups with their technological problems either.
While this would mean some changes to the product and feature list, it is always worth seeing how your innovative solution to a problem can be shaped and modified to help other age groups. Companies like Stitch Fix and Allbirds have not only served adults with their products, but have also expanded their reach to include children. This can be done with an unconventional way of thinking.
3. Consider strategic partnerships
Many entrepreneurs are drawn to the idea of a strategic partnership that can provide resources, infrastructure and brand awareness to take their product or service to the next level of growth. This strategy can be a lucrative way to accelerate your business growth, especially when many larger companies have reached maturity and are looking for their growth paths.
Related Topics: Using Strategic Partnerships for More Explosive Growth
Regardless of how exciting a strategic partnership offer may be, it's good not just to accept the first offer that comes your way. Know your worth and stay true to your own growth goals. Be ready to negotiate or keep looking for the best strategic partnership. Do not rush as it will take care and research until it works for both parties.
4. Pay attention to complaints and reviews
None of us want to admit that we are doing anything wrong in our business. However, the reality is that if we do not pay attention, we may not satisfy all of our customers and lose significant growth potential.
Because of this, reviews, records of customer calls, and written complaints can all increase the potential for growth. They offer specific areas for improvement. And when these customers find that we've responded to their problems and made the necessary changes, there's a good chance they'll come back. According to a Salesforce report, seventy-two percent of customers will even share the experience with their social circle, helping to attract more customers. As a result, some tweaks will generate sustained growth potential.
5. Don't focus on traditional growth channels
There are many business growth guides out there that cover diversifying products and services and other traditional strategies. Sure, it's scary to uncover a unique or unproven path to growth. But just imagine what will happen. People laughed at Elon Musk when he announced the idea of commercial space travel and reusable rockets. Nobody laughs now.
Even the pandemic has shown us new growth paths. The crisis created opportunities to develop and bring new products, services, business efficiencies and revenue streams to market.
6. Make it a mental game, not a physical one
Every entrepreneur drives and works hard. However, working around the clock will not help you uncover growth potential or necessarily implement it. I don't know about you, but this kind of non-stop schedule wears out my body and brain. There are certainly no new ways of looking at things, which tells me that this is not the most efficient way to achieve growth potential.
Related: The Secret Of Your Next Breakthrough? Taking a break
Instead, I go for walks, play games with my kids, read books, listen to podcasts, and spend time outdoors. In these moments my brain charges up and ignites a creative flame. I could see how to improve my business, connect with customers, and respond to what they told my team. A rested entrepreneur sees the opportunity so much as one who burns itself out.
7. Switch from planning to action
Lists, research, and planning are important methods of examining your business for signs of growth potential. But at some point this picture was painted for you. However, some entrepreneurs stop there, fixated on what it might look like, but don't take it to the next level.
It could be due to fear and concern. Or it could be a lack of understanding of how to do the next step. This is where you may need to contact a mentor or business advisor. They can kick you into the action phase.
Entrepreneurs start businesses because they have big ideas and are excited to implement them. But don't let the excitement subside after just an idea. Stay innovative and creative and watch your business grow.
Related: 3 Things LeBron James Can Teach You About Business Growth