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Discover A Business Development Secret – How to Find New Markets the Easy Way

by The Business Alchemist

in Business Tips

Any marketing textbook will tell you that you can grow your profits by finding new customers for your existing products. There are good reasons why this represents an ideal balance of reward v risk.

Business Development(1) You can usually increase your prices – you’re solving new problems and your products will therefore have a new value.

(2) You don’t have to spend time developing new products – you may even be able to save costs by removing features that your new customers will not require.

(3) You don’t have to worry about your normal competitors – they’re too busy trying to maintain their existing business in the old market.

So how do you find these new customers ? Here’s the secret.

In most companies the signs pointing to new opportunities hiding in their own records. You just have to recognise them.

You’re looking for surprises. They’re very important because they tell you that an assumption you hold about your business is wrong. When you challenge your assumptions, you will find new opportunities and may even discover completely new business models.

The obvious example of a significant surprise is the unexpected customer. If he’s using the product for its normal purpose, you’ve discovered a new market that you can exploit immediately. Your sales department can easily identify similar customers.

The perfect customer will be using your product for an unexpected purpose. This is ideal because it probably means that your product has a unique combination of features that meet his requirement. It will be much more difficult for your competitors to follow you.

So how can you improve the chances that you will recognise these opportunities ? The first step is to start looking for them. Is there a pattern ? Contact the customers; ask why they chose your products. What features are most important to them ? How could you improve your products ? Make this a procedure for all unexpected customers.

Be curious. Don’t ignore surprises but see if they have anything to teach you.

  • Don’t be too focussed on your competitors. Concentrate instead on looking for opportunities.
  • You can perform a lot of research at low cost.
  • Read trade journals appropriate to your customers and industries that overlap your own.
  • You’re looking for news and developments. Order back copies.

In particular, encourage ideas from new employees. It will not only make them feel valued but they will have different experiences from your established team and can offer new insights.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact me via the link below and also receive my report “Ten practical tips to find original answers to any business problem”.


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