Want Your Business To Thrive? Find a Gap
Businesses die slow deaths all the time. At first, phones stop ringing, customers stop coming and then eventually, the doors close. I am pretty sure you know one business that failed before they even had a chance to take off. A premature death.
In fact, yours may even be one of those.
You see, according to research, only 30% of new businesses make it past two years. Sad but true.
And it gets worse.
Only 15% of new businesses are versatile enough to withstand the variable winds of trade and commerce past the 15th year.
On the flip side, are many businesses whose beginnings are small and slow. And yet, they accelerate and even dominate the market within a very short time.
Why is this?
The success mantra behind such businesses can be summed up to this:
It’s that simple.
However, this does not mean giving them a specific product or service but rather offering what it can do for them. That right there is the game-changer.
It’s about finding a gap and filling it.
Think about it, the reason you buy a phone is not simply because you want to own the device. It’s more than that. You purchase a phone because it fills a certain gap in your life. That of communication. Status. Convenience. Fashion. It the perceived value attached to that device that you pay for.
Giving people what they want isn’t about the product or service itself, but what it can do for them.
Gaps are almost always concealed. You always have to be on the lookout. They are distinct and as such, it makes them feasible enough to create a lucrative business opportunity.
What this essentially means is that for your business to be successful you have to be a gap hunter. Constantly.
It is important to note the two aspects of gaps in business; external and internal.
External gaps are those that exist in your market while internal gaps exist within your business. Both gaps are great as they present opportunities for growth and expansion.
For your business model to thrive beyond the statistics, you have to begin the search for external gaps. This is the foundation.
Once you have established your business, you are now well equipped to hunt for internal gaps. The outside-in approach is what works.
How can you identify external gaps?
- Social Media.
The power of social media continues to gain momentum now more than ever. What this means is that it still remains the most powerful tool for identifying opportunities.
When harnessed well, social media can kick start your business and propel it towards exponential growth.
2. Pay attention.
If you are keen enough you will be able to see the problems and frustrations that affect the people around you. You will either pick from daily conversations or from casual comments.
Sometimes it’s as simple as that. People have different needs and desires and that in itself presents many gaps that can be translated into opportunities.
4. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Imagine what’s life is like for someone else. For example a mother, teacher or student. Consider their challenges and brainstorm ways of bridging them. Looking at things from another person’s perspective will expand your world view and fertilize your imagination.
Once your business is up and running, the job of gap hunting internally begins.
When it comes to internal gaps, what you are looking for are ways and means of improving the systems and processes in place. You also need to take it further and work on personal development. It’s worth noting that this applies to both you and your employees.
Which brings me to the next point.
How can you identify internal gaps?
1. Allocate time.
Give yourself time to think. This unlocks your creativity and allows fresh ideas to seep through your mind. This way, you are able to improve existing systems as well as establish new ones.
2. Focus on specific areas.
Gaps are often blurry. You are likely to miss them when you get too strategic or goal-oriented. Sure, you should be zealous in taking your business from one level to the next, however, the way you approach this matters.
Focusing on a particular process or operation at a time can provide excellent outcomes.
3. Your employees.
As your second pair of eyes, your employees can detect gaps that may not be obvious to you. Ideas from people who are close to the action have great value. You stand to gain valuable insight if you engage them in the business operations and decisions.
The point is, if you have any intention of starting a business, you have to do your homework well beforehand. This is where the mentality of the gap-hunter comes in as it an extremely vital element of your success.
This proactive and continuous process will keep your eyes open to ideas and opportunities that could grow your business exponentially.
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