12 Ways to Unlock New Opportunities for Your Business
It’s so easy to find new opportunities to innovate, connect with buyers, and increase revenue.
Easier than you probably realize.Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is working against you. But here’s the truth:
You are constantly drowning in opportunities.
And you might hate what I’m about to say, but I strongly encourage you to just entertain this idea, at least for the length of this article.
If you want to find new opportunities to grow your business, you have to change the way you look at your circumstances.
Yes, I’m talking about practicing appreciation. Nurturing an abundance mindset. Seeing failures, setbacks, and obstacles as essential guides for improving your system, your services, and even yourself.
The more you shift your focus to what could be instead of zeroing in on everything that stands in your way, the easier it becomes to see that you’re surrounded by opportunities to build a better, stronger business.
In short, the secret to finding opportunities is to simply choose to see them.
Need actual concrete advice on how to do that? I’ve got you covered.
Here are the best places to start looking for new opportunities.
Find Opportunities Within Your Business
When you’re attuned to the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of your existing team and services, it becomes easier to see opportunities for growth.
If you’re looking for ways to widen profit margins, innovate, or increase your value to clients, these areas of your business can provide powerful clues.
Your Own Strengths
We grow up with this idea that we’re supposed to be “good enough” at everything. Remember your childhood report cards? If you got B’s and C’s, that was fine. But if you got mostly A’s and only one F, the focus was definitely not on the A’s.
Business does not work this way. You don’t excel by being passably competent at everything. You excel by being incredible at one thing and building your business around that area of excellence.
If you haven’t taken a step back to consider your greatest strength, start there. Are you great at educating and empowering your customers? Do you have an exceptional talent for strategy and efficiency? Can you boast decades of experience that give you unique insight?
Don’t worry about keeping up with the competitor who’s known for being fast or clever or cheap. Look at what you do best, then ask yourself, “How can I put this skill to use to improve my services, connect with buyers, or clarify my marketing?”
The Strengths of Your Team
Once you know what you bring to the table, look at your team.
As business owners, we can easily fall into the trap of seeing our team as an extension of ourselves. This especially happens with technology. The business owner sees himself as not being a tech person, therefore his company is not that kind of company.
But if you have a young person on your team who loves technology, use them! Let them research and introduce new software that can streamline your processes. Ask if they have any ideas for tech innovations that could improve the customer service experience.
Take the time to pinpoint each team member’s single greatest strength, and ask yourself (or them!) if there’s a way to turn that skill into business growth.
Don’t dismiss the power of your shortcomings. Your weaknesses can actually force you to explore new opportunities.
For example, my greatest weakness was always public speaking. I had a stutter all through my childhood and young adulthood, so I avoided any scenario that required direct communication between me and my team. I worked on big picture ideas behind the scenes and left it to my CEO to communicate my vision to everybody else.
This did not work. When it became clear that I was going to have to be the voice of myself, I committed to overcoming that weakness, starting with the thing I knew I could do: one-on-one conversations.
I met with each team member individually, and that gave me loads of insight I didn’t realize I was missing. They helped me see flaws in our system, shared their visions for their own careers, and helped me find the intersection between their passions and our mission.
Your Own Desire to Grow
On that note, there are endless new opportunities hiding in your own potential for growth as a leader.
I meant what I said before: your strengths should get the bulk of your attention and effort.
But you also need to be in a constant state of learning and growth. This could mean improving your leadership skills, exploring new technology, or picking up skill sets that help you improve your sales or services.
Sit down and think about the skills or knowledge that you always wish you had. Which one can you realistically pursue right now? Which one has the greatest potential to launch your business forward?
Make a plan to start learning and watch a whole new world of opportunity open up.
Are you maxing out the resources at your disposal? Could you afford to pay yourself less and invest more into the business? Are you using the full extent of your team members’ talents? What are you doing with the time available to you on days when you don’t have any jobs booked?
In the very early days of 911 Restoration, I was a fanatic about putting all my resources to work for me at every opportunity. Even my truck! When we didn’t have a job to do, I’d go to gas stations on busy corners and pay the owners to let me park my truck outside. Cheap advertising!
Look for ways to make the most of what you’ve got.
Find Opportunities Within Your Market
This is probably the information you really came here for. Everything I mentioned previously is long-game, operations stuff. But don’t underestimate the power of those opportunities. Growing your business from within is the best way to widen your profit margins and create a company clients love working with.
Now, let’s go external. Here are several ways you can find opportunities to form more and better relationships with customers.
If you don’t have referral partnerships, start making connections today.
This is one of the fastest, most effective, and least expensive ways to grow your client list. Get to know professionals in an adjacent industry, form trust, and make an agreement: they refer clients to you, you refer clients to them.
Can you create an incentive for customers to refer you to their friends and neighbors? Or can you at least make it as easy as possible for customers to pass your information along? Make sure you’re easy to find online and your website is simple to navigate.
Also remember that this is why you should keep marketing to customers who are not in immediate need of your services. Stay present and unforgettable.
Maintain consistent email marketing and keep up a social media presence. Provide information that is valuable to your client all the time; don’t just rattle on about your services.
As a restoration company, we try to stay top of mind by providing tips on maintaining a clean and safe home—things that our clients are likely to care about every day.
New Products and Services
How could you add value to your current offerings?
As long as there’s a genuine demand or need for your new product or service, you can increase your value to your customer and your revenue by giving them more buying options.
For restoration companies like mine, there is a lot of power in offering a wide range of services. The more we can do to give clients a Fresh Start after a disaster, the fewer companies they have to work with. So we make sure we do it all: cleanup, drying, repairs, mold inspection, odor removal, sanitization… all of it. We increase the size of each job and the buyer only has to make one phone call. Win-win.
Keep track of the trends. This is another area where technology is bigger than home services professionals want to pretend it is. We may ultimately be tradespeople who work with our hands, but make no mistake, modern customers expect:
- Easy communication
- Online project monitoring
- Digital forms and contracts
- Tech-advanced techniques for assessing damage and solutions
And that is by no means a comprehensive list.
You can find these changing expectations overwhelming, or you can consider it an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and give the people what they want. Just tap your most tech-savvy employee to lead the way or hire someone else to help you.
The needs of today’s home services clients are not the same as the needs of property owners ten years ago or even three years ago.
When you notice what’s different, you discover opportunities to fulfill the needs everyone else is neglecting.
Take a look at your market. Is it still primarily Baby Boomers who want to maintain a nice home for their children and grandchildren to visit? Or are there now Millennials who see their property as a starter home or investment property?
Are your target buyers more concerned about natural disasters than they might have been five years ago? How has the pandemic altered their focus? What services can you add or adjust to give the people what they really need?
Always be customer-obsessed, and you’ll never have trouble finding the next opportunity to grow.
Yes, I am beating this drum again. It’s that important.
Imagine how drones could change the way you assess damage after a dangerous warehouse fire.
Imagine the way artificial intelligence could make client management easier and more effective.
Think of what it would mean to your clients if they could check in on their property’s progress instantly at any time with the click of a button.
Technology exists to make our lives easier and our work more effective. That means increasing profit margins for your business and adding value for your customer.
Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.
See the Possibilities
The key to seeing opportunity is to resist romanticizing it.
It’s rare that a great opportunity presents itself in a heart-stopping flash of inspiration. Or that a door suddenly swings wide to reveal a pile of money that’s all yours if you just make this one call or get in on this one deal.
Those things might happen in singular moments over the course of your career, but for the rest of the time, finding opportunity is about looking around and asking:
- What could be better?
- What could be easier?
- What resources and skill sets are available to me as I attempt to make things better and easier?
- Which of my clients’ needs are not being fulfilled by anyone else?
It’s not glamorous, but it’s the best way to build a business.
So keep your eyes wide open.
Further Resources on This Topic
Blog Post: How to Train Your Mind to Think Bigger
Free Tool: SWOT Analysis
Free Video Course: Accelerating Business Growth