Identifying Profitable Growth Opportunities

Here is a six areas that any business large or small can quickly apply in search of profitable growth opportunities. I am talking about raising performance levels to new heights not merely solving problems and returning to levels the business used to be at.

  1. Client growth. Can you anticipate a need your client has for forward-looking help and develop the competency to quickly address that need with modest investment? For example, “invisible” cyber attacks will grow exponentially and organisations will need both preventative (more robust risk management) and contingent (insurance) to protect their clients’ data and their brand’s reputation.  If you provide only the latter, you would be well advised to consider how you also provide the former.
  2. Market growth extension. Is there an existing market need for your firm’s products and services where you can build on the momentum of yours or your competitors success beyond original market expectations? For example, can you find new buyers within an existing client with highly similar needs residing in another region or function? Can you easily get a testimonial or glowing reference that would accelerate the speed of closing the sale with new buyers.
  3. Capitalising on others failure. Is there a market need you can create for your products and services, which is based on the unplanned failure of a competitor? For example, private sector insurance of coastal property in places like Florida became so hazardrous in the 1990s that many homeowners were forced to seek coverage from the State when the private markets dried up. With more robust data, pools of capital and technology today, private sector insurers are now willing and able to offer insurance coverage at competitive terms.
  4. Reconfigure technology. For example, most business telephone banking systems create huge work loss for the customer (speed and quality of resolving an issue). How long before a multi-function aid is created that enhances the quality of the communication and the relationship between your firm’s banker and you?
  5. Personalisation. Can you create a product, service or relationship that is more tightly customised to your clients needs and in so doing allows them to make more informed lifestyle and business choices? For example, Microsoft will launch a band later this month that will allow the user to record the quality of their sleep, their heart rate and routine calories burned. In turn allowing people most at risk of illness or injury to adapt their behaviour (no waits for GP pulse rates, real time access to lifestyle information, more intelligent expenditure on nutrition, fitness and well-being etc).
  6. Social & Demographic Changes. Can you anticipate the impact on your clients intellectual property from changes in education, income, age, health, residence and wealth? Can you anticipate the frequency of and ways in which your customers want to interact with you that previously were hard to organise (technology)?  For example, the essence of life insurance and pension underwriting is the ability to accurately predict how long we will live and when we will die, and to create products (annuities) that spread income over that period. When public perception moves towards greater personal responsibility for our future rather than reliance on the State, is it any wonder when for example governments as they have in the UK abandon the requirement for employers to provide an annuity as part of an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

© James Berkeley 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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