01 May Finding New Profit Opportunities: A Treasure Hunt
With the start of 2018, U.S. companies are seeing a the best growth increase in quarterly earnings in six years. Businesses are looking to see if this will correlate to further stock gains. However, with the current rate of inflation and higher costs for labor, transportation, and raw materials, companies need to discover hidden profit opportunities.
Companies are continually facing obstacles to maintain a strong growth and profit balance. Without looking at internal and external forces, your company may be missing opportunities that can turn to hidden gems. According to L.E.K’s research, fewer than 10 percent of companies make a disciplined effort to probe at the edges or their core for growth opportunities. Look deep at your current business to explore the possibilities.
Looking for that gold nugget?
You need three key elements as you search for profit opportunity.
- Maps to lead you and your team in the right direction.
- Resources and support that allow you to take calculated risks and launch new ideas.
- Critical timing that can lead you to the finish line.
Before you start any journey, you need to map a sound and safe course. In business, we use maps to connect and guide us. We connect to our customers and employees by ensuring we are reading from the same map. This guide is one of the cornerstones of our business.
A message map can help you visualize and verbalize your company’s potential, as well as give you guidance to ensure that your clients know what you are all about. It also allows you a chance to look at your company and compare yourself to competition. Finally, a message map gives you a way to develop new strategies and define your business model.
Once you have a map that you and your colleagues can utilize, you can look at your customers’ journeys to see if it follows the message you want them to know about you. Try to survey your customers and make sure they are understanding your message.
Maps will help build brand loyalty. Strong brand loyalty gives you a chance develop alternative products along your message. If your customers know that you are working along a safe and sound course of action, they will continue to select your brand before trying a new upstart.
The second element to successfully hunting down profit opportunity for your business is utilizing the resources you already have. You should have staffing potential, supply chain structure, and efficient enterprise resource planning tools already established.
Your message map has defined you and your team as the expert in your field. You have a reputation for getting the job done and people ask you to complete the task. Look at the moving company that started with just a guy and a truck. Happy to help his friends out, he started to see that there was a need (his truck), and he had the ability to structure his expertise in moving into a business opportunity.
Lastly, according to a survey by Deloitte in 2014, 79% of companies with high performing supply chains can achieve revenue growth greater than the average in their industries. This means that if you can deliver your goods, you can utilize the sound course of the supply chain map and strength in resources to allow the new profit opportunity grow.
Timing is critical to you business success. Whether you are searching for hidden treasure or identifying new profit opportunities in your business, even the best laid product launch can fail due to poor timing.
Critical timing is based several factors. First, look at the current economy. Analysis needs to be done locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally. Watch for pitfalls with legislation being passed or even trends affecting a region. You already know not to launch your winter boot sale during the summer, but the idea is the same for your new profit opportunity. Look around you to see what potential roadblocks you might encounter. It is just as important to keep your eye out during a strong economy as during a bumpy one.
The current competition can give you clues to new business opportunities. The best place to observe this would be in the ever changing world of retail. Look at Target and their need to compete with major online shopping companies like Amazon.com. They had to look at growing with new competition by investing in the company’s supply chain, lower prices, exclusive brands, store renovations, and new urban area stores. Target is looking forward; even though they have strong brand loyalty, they know that if they don’t adapt to needs and adjust to competition, they will fall away like other major retail brick-and-mortar stores.
Favorable trends are timed just right. We all can recall the hottest newest gadget we just had to have only to see it not survive the test of time. Favorable trends can be simple ideas that just propel themselves at the right time to spark imagination and amass a huge profit. The Rainbow loom craze that had millions of kids playing with rubber bands and making ‘cool’ bracelets launched a business and found that special timing.
Do proper customer outreach and time it right so that you can get quick feedback from your customers and adjust your customer journey map for your new business opportunity to succeed. Here, the use of social media is a key element for your success. Customers expect quick responses and solutions to their messages. Ensure that your message maps have created a way for your employees and staff to respond to customers to encourage brand loyalty. Business success will only help you to launch new opportunities.
To become a true treasure hunter, you need to have the key elements but also you must make sure the timing is right for you. If you seek new profit opportunities but are not ready to devote your time to the mission, you will find more fool’s gold than true treasure.
To learn more about exploring new profit opportunities, contact Karen Curione.