As a business, you're always looking out for new opportunities to grow. Most of these come from identifying gaps in the market and the one that executes their plan.
With these tips, you can identify potential revenue avenues hidden in the form of gaps in society.
- Are You up to the Task?
Yes, you may identify a gap in the market but are you up to the task? Do you have what it takes in terms of knowledge to take advantage of the gap? Therefore, before you can go in for the kill, take the time to analyze yourself and explore your strengths and weaknesses.
What activity makes you happy? Take a look at your past experiences including performance reviews to guide you through the process. You can also take a professional aptitude test to get an honest opinion about your strengths.
In addition, ask your colleagues about your strengths and weaknesses which may be a crucial pointer when taking on the new challenge.
Focus on Your Market
One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is to look at broad markets during the initial stages of the business or when experiencing growth. With divided attention, it's easy to lose direction and this can lead to a collapse of the business.
However, when doing so, you also want to choose a niche market which can sustain growth. How does the customer base look like? Is there enough demand for the product you intend on introducing?
As such, it's important to focus on a specific niche and perfect it. This allows you to target a specific market with ease. The best way to go about this is by outsourcing some services through a PEO. If you are looking for the best North Carolina PEO options checkout digitalexits.com
Solve a Problem in the Society
Many large companies have grown to such heights by solving various problems in society. This way, you don't even have to market your products as much because the product or service will sell itself.
One of the easiest ways to identify problems in society is by asking your customers about what they want. What is missing in the market? This you can do by carrying out a survey.
In other cases, there might be a company trying to solve the problem but they aren't doing it in the right way. This gives you a chance at doing it better.
In addition, by focusing on a market gap, you avoid ending up in inflated markets which may spell doom for your business since it'll require twice or thrice the effort to breakthrough.
Over to You
After going through these informative tips on how to identify gaps in the market to elevate your business, you now have a blueprint to guide you through the process. However, the bottom line remains to stick to your niche market and become an authority before exploring other sectors.
It seemed like everything happened overnight because, well… it did.
One moment, my team and I were business as usual, running a multi-million-dollar edible cookie dough company I built from scratch in my at-home kitchen five years ago and the next we were sitting in an emergency management team meeting asking ourselves, "What do we do now?" Things had escalated in New York, and we were all called to do our part in "flattening the curve" and "slowing the spread."
The governor had declared that all restaurants immediately close to the public. All non-essential businesses were also closed, and 8.7 million New Yorkers were quarantined to their tiny apartments for the foreseeable future. Things like "social distancing" and "quarantine" were our new 2020 vernacular — and reality.
What did that mean for us? Our main revenue source was the retail part of the business. Sure, we offered delivery and take-out, but that was such a small portion of our sales. I had built a retail experience where people from near and far came to eat edible cookie dough exactly how they craved it. We had two stores, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, which employed over 55 people. We have two production facilities; an online business shipping cookie dough nationwide; a wholesale arm that supplies stores, restaurants, and other retail establishments with treats; and a catering vertical for customizable treats for celebrations of all sizes. And while business and sales were nearly at a complete halt, we still had bills. We had payroll to pay, vendors we owed, services we were contractually obligated to continue, rent, utilities, insurance, and none of that was stopping.
How were we going to do this? And for how long will this go on? No one knew.
As an entrepreneur, this certainly wasn't my first-time facing challenges. But this was unprecedented. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Certainly unplanned. This control-freak type-A gal was unraveling. I had to make decisions quickly. What was best for my team? For my business? For the safety of my staff? For the city? For my family and unborn baby (oh, yeah, throw being 28 weeks pregnant and all those fun hormones in there, it's real interesting!). Everything was spiraling out of control.
I decided to take the advice I had given to many people over the years — focus on the things you can control. There's no point worrying about all the things you have no control over. If you focus there, you'll just continue spiraling into a deeper, darker hole. Let it go. Once you shift your perspective, you can move forward. It's not going to be easy; the challenges still exist. But you can control certain things, so focus your energy and attention on those.
So that's what I did. I chose, for the safety of staff and customers, to close the retail portion completely — it wasn't worth the take-out and delivery volume to staff the store, open ourselves up to more germs and human contact than absolutely necessary.
I went back to our mission and the reason I started the business in the first place — to spread joy. How could we continue to bring happiness to people during this uncertain time? That's our purpose. With millions of people across the globe stuck inside, working from home, quarantined with their families, how can we reach them since they can't come to us? So I thought back to how and why we got started.
Baking, for me, has always been a type of therapy. I could get lost in the mixing bowl and forget about everything else for a moment in time. Sure, I have a huge sweet tooth, but it's about the process. It's about taking all of these different ingredients and mixing them together to create something magically sweet and special. It's about creating and being creative with the simple things. It's about allowing people to indulge in something that brings them joy — a lick from the spatula or a big batch of cookies.
It's about joy in the moment and sharing that joy with others. So my focus is back on that, and it feels good.
We could still ship nationwide, straight to people's doorstep. So we are making it easier and less expensive to send the ultimate comfort food (edible cookie dough) by introducing a reduced shipping rate, and deals on some of our best-selling packages.
In a way for us, it feels like we are going back in time… back to our roots. When I first started the business, we were only shipping nationwide. There were no stores, no big team, no wholesale. It was just me, a small crew juggling it all, and we made it work then. And we'll make it work again. We have to leverage our online business and hope it floats us through this time.
We are focusing our digital content strategy on sharing recipes, activities, and at-home treats with our engaged, amazing social following so they bake with their families and stay busy at-home. We started live baking tutorials where our fans can bake-along with me and I can share all the tips and tricks I've learned over the years with them.
I've leveraged the cookbook I published last year, Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share, to come up with fun content and additional things to do at home. We started shipping it and our at-home baking mixes for free to encourage people to get busy in their kitchens!
And as a business, we will continue to connect with our community to bring them joy and focus on what we can control, including our attitude and outlook first.
During times of uncertainty, which this certainly is, you should do the same. Identify the things you can control and focus your time and energy on those things. Distract yourself with the positive. Force yourself to stop asking and worrying about all the what-ifs. Do what you can for the moment and then the next moment. Make a list, and take it day-by-day.
It's going to be okay. You will be okay. We will all be okay.