Ready for the Next Step? Here’s How to Identify Opportunities to Grow Your Business for the Long Term


Almost every entrepreneur is seeking ways to grow their business. Successfully scaling a business requires attention to fundamentals, patience and stamina to stick with it. Growth can come through several approaches; an excellent place to start is to determine the best strategy for your business. Here are some ways to identify opportunities for sustainable, long-term growth:

A sales funnel represents the customer journey from discovery to final purchase. The customer journey varies, but a traditional sales funnel moves through these phases:

  • Awareness

  • Interest

  • Desire

  • Action

To develop your own funnels, track the ways customers move through the journey. Identify potential opportunities to automate the process. For example, if customers put items in their digital carts but don’t purchase them, consider if free shipping or a discount might help.

Related: 3 Tweaks That Dramatically Improve Your Sales Funnel

Use technology

Manually tracking customer information and generating leads is difficult and takes time away from other tasks. Yet, these tasks are critical to identifying growth opportunities. Look for ways to automate these tasks. For example, CRM software tracks data that you can use for upwelling or determining interest in a new product. Software can also scrape the internet to find potential leads or conduct social or mobile research, which also helps with product development. Software can also automate emails and other customer contact tools.

Focus on gaining long-term value customers

As you grow, you want to acquire high lifetime-value customers to boost your profits and sales. Predictive modeling is a statistical technique that helps predict future behavior and enables you to market effectively to customers who will be loyal for years.

Several companies offer predictive modeling software. You can also encourage loyalty among all customers through loyalty programs.

Related: What is Your Value Proposition?


Once you’ve invested in software that provides customer analytics, you’ll also want to research what your competitors are doing. Check out both their marketing strategies and product development strategies through internet research. Software such as Adbeat and Similar Web can help with identifying marketing strategies.

Consider qualitative customer research, such as focus groups, to fully understand your target demographics, their needs and their customer journeys.


Once you’ve done customer and competitive research, you may discover specific ways in which innovation will drive growth.

Companies that let the marketing department drive innovations rather than the technology department are more likely to create new products, product features or experiences that customers want. An excellent way to spark creativity is to use an ideas springboard matrix.

First, the marketing and research team discovers the latest thinking and recent innovations that might spark ideas. For example, what has recently happened in the visual arts, the Internet of Things, or apps development that might impact your products, customer experience, distribution or other aspects of your brand?

Another way to innovate is to consider how you could make your product or service stand out more clearly in the marketplace. What will make it unique? Toilet Duck, a brand of toilet cleaner, differentiated itself by having a bottle with a handle shaped like a duck that made squirting it under the toilet lid easier. The feature helped the brand gain market share quickly, even though the product was essentially the same as any other toilet cleaner.

Related: How to Innovate Your Brand Through Visual Thinking

Licensing, partnering, franchising

Growth can come through working with others. One way is by licensing the product to a larger company. In a licensing agreement, you give another company the right to manufacture your product in exchange for a fee or share of the revenues.

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