It’s been said that companies have a choice - innovate or die. That’s true whether or not there we’ve been working our way through a global pandemic filled with uncertainty. It’s time to take action as we head into the second half of 2021.
Planning for strategic growth is challenging at any stage of business and any economic climate. After the uncertainty of recent months, growth may look like a mountain instead of a hill. But there are opportunities lurking within your existing business whether it's retail, eCommerce, or a combination. You can build on the very things you already do well. We’re sharing some tips you can use to mine your existing core competencies for new ideas. So, put on your growth mindset and get ready to dig deep.
One of the first ways to identify growth opportunities is by listening to your customers. Have you updated your ideal customer persona lately? If it’s been a few months, or even just a few weeks, now is a good time to take another look. Consumers are changing how they search, research, and buy, and you want to keep up.
Pay attention to the problem they’re facing now. As people get out more and return to their regular activities, some new challenges may have come up that you can address. What products or services do they need? What do they want more of? How can you adapt what you offer to fit?
Review your marketing messaging, as well. How well does it fit with that revised buyer persona? Is it time for some updates?
You may not need to add any new products or services, but rather offer them in a new way. Consider whether they could be sold as bundles. This is a great way to encourage customers to try more of what you have to offer. It allows you to offer value to the customer while improving the sales of certain products. You will also have more flexibility in pricing.
Test out some different options to see if you have greater returns. You could set up the bundles based on your inventory or allow customers to mix and match or offering everything a la carte.
Customer journeys have changed more rapidly than usual as COVID-19 disrupted our routines. While it’s always important to periodically update your customer journey map, it’s even more crucial now.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of what your customers go through with your brand or product. It helps to gain insights into how they see your brand, how they interact with your products, and any pain points that might keep them from purchasing. Things to look at include how their patterns changed and what they’re doing differently. You may find that various customer segments that were similar have diverged and are off on different routes now. Understanding that can help you address the needs of each segment.
As you map out these buyer behaviors, you will find opportunities to serve customers in new ways that benefit them and your bottom line. Consider how are they interacting with you and what motivates them to buy. What nudge from you might help them make the final purchase?
Look across your business holistically and take a dive deep into how every aspect impacts your ability to fulfill customer needs and boost profitability. Find out where the gaps and blocks exist so that you can improve them. As you do so, look for untapped resources and potential revenue opportunities.
To do this exercise well, you’ll need to remove bias in your evaluation. Be honest about what’s working and what’s not in terms of expansion and growth. For example, is your supply chain a blocker? Supply chains had a tumultuous 2020, so it may be time to revisit yours and diversify it. When you do so, you can introduce new products that your customers will want.
Now that you have a long list of great opportunities, it’s time to plug them into your growth strategy. But not all at once. Trying to take on too much will quickly derail your efforts. Instead, rank them based on criteria such as profit potential, risk, length of time to market, and how easy or hard it will be to deploy.
With that ranking in mind, you can start implementation. Move ahead with those that offer the best returns and are closest to your core business. Keep the others on a list for the future.
Sustainable and incremental growth is imperative to every organization. By taking steps to find areas you can easily grow based on what you doing now, you can set yourself up to gain market share this year.