How to Identify Your Business's Next Growth Opportunities and Set Them in Motion

How to Identify Your Business’s Next Growth Opportunities and Set Them in Motion

In a competitive business environment, it’s challenging yet necessary to find new opportunities to expand your company and meet new goals. Regardless of the industry you serve, standing out from the crowd is what makes you thrive. 

If you lack the knowledge and business acumen to drive growth, your business will likely fail. However, finding new markets and areas for development is no walk in the park. It takes collaboration, thorough analysis, attention to detail and patience to achieve results. 

Taking the time to identify growth opportunities will set you up for success and keep your business afloat during the most challenging of times. How do you identify these opportunities, and how can you capitalize on them to achieve exponential growth in your industry? 

What Is Business Growth?

While there’s no standard system for measuring business growth, it’s used as an all-encompassing term to describe a time where a company expands in more ways than one. Here are some of the data points that can be used to tell if a business is growing:

  • Revenue
  • Sales
  • Company value
  • Profits
  • Size of company
  • Number of employees

Numbers that steadily increase over time are a clear indication that a business is growing. It’s a direct relationship — the more revenue, the more growth a company will experience, and so on. 

However, keep in mind that defining growth by only using these metrics can be unreliable. Businesses may grow in revenue but be limited in the number of employees they have. 

Determining growth can be difficult. However, suppose a business has clearly defined its goals and chooses which metrics it wants to improve upon. In that case, it’s likely better prepared to identify and expand on growth opportunities. 

For example, say one metric a business adopts for measurement purposes is the number of customers acquired. In this case, the more clients a company has, the more growth it experiences. 

The business in this example can then find straightforward ways to acquire new customers and improve upon that metric.

Identifying Areas for Growth for Your Business

Now that we know how to measure business growth, let’s explore how to identify the areas you can expand upon to fuel your company’s future development.

1. Look at Your Existing Customers

Looking at current customer demands and expectations can help you identify which growth areas are available to your business. Consider why customers feel inclined to buy your products or services. 

If you can identify purchasing patterns, you’ll then see what other markets you can penetrate. Say you sell kitchen cleaning products. Customers need your items to clean their kitchens, but what else influences their purchase decisions? Do they also require unique cleansers for different appliances? 

Being agile and launching new products can help drive your business forward and help you expand into new markets.

2. Analyze Global Markets and Map Your Business

Understanding your role from a global industry standpoint can position you to grow your business in the future. 

For example, if you only sell in the United States, there could be growth opportunities overseas. It’s vital to see what other international businesses are similar to yours, so you know how you can stand out from those competitors. 

One step in this analysis is to create a reliable business map to give you a clearly defined location in which you operate. Using a visual aid by importing crucial location data will assist you in making informed decisions that can positively impact your business. 

3. Perform Direct Competition Analysis

One of the most straightforward ways of identifying growth opportunities is to first analyze your competition’s performance and where they’re experiencing shortcomings in their own operations. 

Capitalizing on your competitors’ weaknesses is a core business strategy that can elevate your company and help you grow within the industry. 

Consider performing a direct competitor analysis to stay informed and up-to-date about your competition. You’ll inevitably find new ways to reach their customer base and improve your return on investment (ROI) as a result. 

4. Use Social Media

Because so much of our world is digital and more people spend time on social media platforms than ever before, they can serve as a valuable resource for your business. Customers tend to use social media to review the products or services you offer to them. 

Regularly checking your multiple social media accounts will become helpful when identifying growth opportunities. Sometimes, they’re right under your nose. 

Social media offers many benefits for your marketing efforts, and it’s likely you leverage it to improve your strategy. Be sure to check up on your competitor’s social media to better understand public perceptions regarding their brand and how it measures up to yours. 

Business owners have to use all the resources available to identify growth opportunities, and social media is no exception.

5. Stay Informed About Societal Evolution

In the past few years, there have been significant shifts in how people value products and services. Prices for various products ebb and flow, and as a business grows, offerings will change accordingly. Ensure you’re staying up to date with general trends in purchasing patterns and what a customer desires. 

For example, more people are shopping sustainably. There’s more of a focus on buying eco-friendly products and reducing our carbon footprint. With corporate responsibility top of mind, customers’ expectations will vary depending on the industry you serve. 

Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on consumer trends — this will help you identify which areas you can expand into. 

For example, let’s revert to the kitchen cleaning products company mentioned earlier. Based on the sustainability trend, it may pay off to transition to using only environmentally-friendly cleansers. 

While this is only one example, it shows the importance of understanding consumer behavior and meeting new customer demand. 

Other Considerations When Expanding Your Business

The ultimate goal is to adequately identify the areas in which your business can grow, whether in size or scale. Taking your company to the next level will be profitable for everyone involved. 

Here are some other factors that you should consider when you want to see your business grow and flourish in a competitive environment.

Optimize Internal Processes

We live in a digital world, and there’s no sign of reverting to old business practices. You want your company to run as efficiently as possible, and optimizing your processes with automation will be necessary during your growth period. 

With the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, many business processes can be optimized for better performance. 

Set Budgets Beforehand

The last thing you want to experience is financial duress while you’re supposed to be enjoying this growth period. Keep your budgets intact and avoid over- or underspending on crucial marketing efforts. If you know growth is on the horizon, make sure your finances are squared away before moving into the identification stage.

Open Lines of Communication

You want your employees to understand that the goal is to grow, and they should hear it directly from top management. There are no downsides to open lines of communication, and it’s even more crucial if your organization is going to experience some changes in the future. Keep your teams up to date on the latest changes and news regarding your business’s growth.

Hopefully, you feel more comfortable with the idea of business expansion and can identify the areas of growth you can benefit from. 

Be Patient During Periods of Business Growth

The goal of every business owner is to see their company grow right in front of them, which can be deeply satisfying. However, it may take trial and error to see which strategies work best for your operation. By planning and remaining patient during this period, you’ll be better prepared to handle whatever disruptions may occur in the future.

Eleanor is the editor-in-chief of Designerly. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on customer experience. She lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.