Richard Branson compared business opportunities to buses, that “there is always another one coming.” The Virgin Group founder has one of the most diverse portfolios in the world. Among his 400 companies are an airline, wireless communications, record labels, hotels, and a long string of other businesses. Branson seizes opportunities where they are, and he manages to turn those into profitable ventures.
How do you achieve a similar outcome?
Determine consumer segmentation
All businesses need to learn about customers. Naturally, you need to know their needs to deliver the kind of products or services they’ll buy. But many consumers share common traits, which can be tough to meet market needs. When you explore deeper, like learning what drove the purchasing decisions of some consumers, you could discover opportunities.
For example, when a bottled water company in Argentina, Aguas Danone, did a market analysis, it determined a reason behind its weakening sales: flavor and health. Although water is healthy, it lacks the flavor consumers craved. So the brand identified an opportunity to develop a new product: flavored bottled water. Aguas Danone has since maintained its dominance as a leader in the reduced sugar-flavored water in its country.
Analyze your competition
Who are the existing suppliers in your market? What is their value proposition? And how come they have more customers than your business?
A thorough look into how your competition is doing and what its advantages are will tell you the changes necessary for your business. A change could be as simple as boosting your mowing equipment with components, like customized leaf vacuum, to improve efficiency for your lawn care business. But it could also be as substantial as introducing a low-cost option for your customers in a market saturated with steep prices.
Pay attention to bad reviews or negative feedback
No one likes to hear bad feedback from customers, but sometimes you can get some good out of it. Bill Gates certainly believes so in saying that the unhappiest customers can be an entrepreneur’s “greatest source of learning.”
Whether you find out about it through an online review or a personal meeting, bad feedback will help you identify flaws in your products or services. You’ll be able to correct them before they damage your business.
When done right, it may even bring you more customers. In the online world, consumers pay attention to bands that handle complaints well. It shows your business listens to customers and is big enough to admit when it makes mistakes.
Explore social media
Social media can help you introduce your business to the world. With the right platform, you could:
- Boost your online presence and promote your brand
- Generate leads and convert them into sales
- Gain insight into the pain points, preferences, and challenges of consumers
- Allow you to provide much-needed customer support
With more than 3 billion people using social media, your business will have plenty of opportunities. Many brands have benefitted significantly from being on different platforms. Renault Europe, for example, has generated leads from people wanting to learn about a new model to some booking a test drive directly from the brand’s Facebook page.
Business opportunities could be everywhere; you just have to pay attention and be patient to generate positive results.