How do you find the next great profit center for your organization? How do certain companies keep reinventing themselves while others fail the test of time? How do they find the right ideas to implement to keep their organization growing and prospering for many years? Here’s how to spot the best growth opportunities starting today.
The first idea to find your next great growth opportunity is to decide to look for it. Sounds simple, but when you talk to many entrepreneurs, you find they spend little time looking for the next great thing for their clients and markets. They are so busy looking at their business and competitors of today they miss opportunities to develop a solution with their clients and customers. It’s the way many unseasoned sales professionals keep talking and talk their way right out of their sale. Innovative organizations spend more time with clients and customers.
This leads to the second idea. How often do you look outside your industry for new ideas? When was the last time you went to a trade show outside your industry? If you’re looking for great ideas why not look for an idea that has changed another industry and consider adapting it to yours. Many of my successful clients spend time looking at other industries and markets for new ideas. Many times, they are able to go directly to these other organizations to get a better understanding of the new concept or idea. Since they are not competitors, you are able to tap into years of experience with little or no investment of your own.
For example, many of Apple’s greatest innovations were borrowed from other organizations and markets. They then applied these game changing technologies to Apple products. Steve Jobs wasn’t afraid to look for great ideas outside their industry and you shouldn’t be either.
The third idea is to invest more in relationships with other people who are exposed to new ideas and businesses. You would be surprised at how many great companies your bankers are exposed to every year. It’s critical that you spend time talking with people who are very happy to provide introductions to others that might help your and their business grow. If your banker is not helping you with growing your business you might want to consider another bank. This can be said about anyone who gains by helping your business succeed. I have found many of my best strategic alliances started with a discussion with another professional advisor who saw the partnership opportunities before we did.
The fourth idea is what are you reading? Do you spend time reading popular magazines to see what’s happening in our society overall? Take time to look at bigger trends and you may be surprised by how many different new opportunities you can cultivate from them.
As an added bonus, this keeps you current with pop culture. There is nothing worse than have a person presenting a new idea with old references. If you’re selling to consumers, you can learn how different products are being sold in new ways. Understanding how you would sell and distribute your product or service helps you evaluate the many different opportunities you are exposed to. I discovered that many organizations have increased their sales capabilities to markets by developing stronger inside sales teams. Not only do these sales processes reduce the cost of a sale, but they also provide real-time testing results for the different marketing campaigns.
Finally, spend time with different employees in your organization. They provide you with many great opportunities for growth and profits. Many of my clients have learned about new market opportunities from their multi-generational work force. One client once thought people would only buy their clothes in person. But with a little creativity and some great new technologies we have seen almost everything sold online. When you’re looking for new ideas don’t be bashful when talking with your team. I’m always amazed at the quality and quantity of the ideas that come from our teams.
I hope this gets you started on looking for new opportunities. Next week, we will be sharing a new book and process that can help your organization become more innovative. See you next week.