We’re constantly on the search for growth as a business. From new innovative technology advancement to increasing revenue, we’re always on that path. To be successful entrepreneurs, we always have to be looking for opportunities to grow our startups.

The tough part of this equation is how do we do that. It isn’t very easy to find new opportunities to take your startup to new markets or raise your revenue tenfold. There’s also the question of whether revenue signifies growth or is it profitability?

From discussions with our startup community and a lot of experience, we’ve come up with four simple ways to identify business opportunities and therefore boost growth.

How to sell to startups and SMEs.

Listen to your target audience

Do research and gather feedback. When you’re targeting potential customers listen to their needs, wants, challenges and frustrations with your industry. Ask these questions if you need something more direct:

  1. Have they used similar products and services before?
  2. What did they like and dislike?
  3. Why did they reach out to you?
  4. What are their objections to your products or services?

woman reading book

This will help you identify what you need to do next in terms of product development, and tailoring your service as well as knowing who your actual customers will be.

Engage your current customers

Just because they’ve signed a contract doesn’t mean you can forget about them. They are often the most important people when it comes to understanding your product or service.

When you’re talking to your customers listen to what they saying about your industry, products and services. Here are some simple tips to make it easier to gather their feedback and action on it:

  1. Identify and track their frequently asked questions
  2. Schedule catchups to understand their experiences and frustrations
  3. Create an easy feedback channel for complaints – these are often the easiest way to find out how you can improve

This valuable customer information will help you identify key business opportunities to expand and develop your current products and services.

Competitors matter

My favourite statement from startup founders is that they don’t have competitors because they are far ahead of them… I will refrain from carrying on about that.

Always do a little competitive analysis to see what other startups are doing, and to find out what they are not doing. Look for these key issues:

  1. Where are they failing their customers?
  2. What are they doing right for marketing, customer service and product?
  3. How did they grow their customer base?

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Study the industry

person reading book

This is a no-brainer, folks. Make sure you’re an expert on your own industry.

Read relevant industry journals and join the right associations. Somethings that we do at Tech Collective are:

  1. Create Google alerts for key industry terms
  2. Follow and engage other industry experts on social media
  3. Attend industry events once in a while to keep abreast of anything new

Become the expert that you want to speak to right now.