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Business Insight Sage Africa SME Softcodes
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If you want your business to last for a long period, business growth is very important.

To achieve this, you need to always be a step ahead of your competitors. Spot opportunities they have missed, and take advantage of those opportunities to further optimize your business.

Getting feedback from your customers could trigger ideas that could put you ahead of the competition, you should also know that some ideas can get extreme, such as altering your business model or as small as changing your advertising strategy.

You should also know that, in considering new ideas, a small idea can snowball into a gigantic growth opportunity with a little tweak.

So, what should you do to turn your ideas into growth opportunities? Here are some ideas.


Going to the field and conducting market research is the fastest way to get into the minds of your competitors and customers. Find answers to questions like, what is your competition doing that is working? What are customers searching for from organizations like yours? What is your business doing right and what would you be able to improve? With a market research, all these questions could be answered.

Here are a few thoughts on where to begin:

  • Read the news and stay up to date with the latest industry trends.
  • Study your competition.
  • Conduct your own research or use consultants.

Once you’ve done your research and have taken the time to dig into your findings and understand the results, you can start applying the insights. Here are four ways to do that:


Increasing your market penetration doesn’t carry much risk because, you’re familiar with the market though you need to thread with caution. The risk is lower because, you already know your target market and what products they use.

Technology is constantly changing and you run the risk of falling behind and losing out on new customers, if competitors arrive on the scene with attractive alternatives.


You look to sell your existing products to new markets. This approach carries more risk than market infiltration because, you’ll have to invest time and possibly money in understanding the new market without the guarantee of seeing a profit. While you won’t need to develop new products, which will save on product development costs, you might have to look at new marketing techniques that resonate with your new target audience.


Coming up with a new product or service will require more than just a monetary investment, you’ll also have to invest a lot of time in product development and staff training. Product and service innovation might work well with your existing customers because you can research additional needs and pain points, develop a new product that might prove to be a better offering.


Diversification carries the highest amount of risk because, it requires you to develop a new product or service to sell to a new market. The risk comes in the lack of experience you’ll likely have in dealing with a new customer base, and the uncertainty of whether they will purchase your products. However, you might also find yourself ahead of your competitors who have been slow to identify the gap.


Once you’ve decided on the right growth approach for your business, base all decisions on this strategy. Make sure to train your staff on the new direction, markets, and products. Don’t be afraid to hire new staff or to enlist the help of consultants to keep things on track.

A change in strategy might also require more capital investment. Manage your cash-flow effectively and ensure that your finances are solid.

Growing your business isn’t easy and carries a number of risks, but doing your research and having a strong understanding of what your competitors are doing, and what your customers need will make it easier to come up with fresh ideas that facilitate growth and put you ahead of the competition.

Regardless of whether you want to grow your business quickly or prefer to adopt a slower approach, the same strategies mentioned here still apply.

SOURCE: Sage South-Africa

INSPIRED BY: Gerhard Hartman

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