Small Business Marketing – Opportunities

In the third of this four-part series, we will consider another of the most important considerations for analysis of the marketing efforts of a small business. A small business’ opportunities are the third part of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and reveal where the business has future growth and development chances. Opportunities can take many different forms, and should be examined and periodically reviewed to notice any changes, as they may happen suddenly, then disappear again just as quickly. Business opportunities can include some or all of the following:

  • Emerging trends which require your products and services
  • New technologies which increase demand for your product or service
  • Favorable changes to customer characteristics (demographics, psychographics, etc.)
  • Changes in customer tastes, preferences, or values
  • Poor competitor performance leading to dissatisfied customers ready for a change
  • Newly unsatisfied customer needs
  • Problems or gaps in existing offerings (creating opportunities for follow-up sales, cross sales, and up sales)
  • Completely new desires on the part of customers
  • Discovering new uses for old products and services which satisfy other market segments
  • New or expanded product and service offerings for your firm
  • New or expanded product and service offerings for other firms which complement your offerings
  • Changes which make substitute goods or services less desirable
  • Additional applications of recent research and development activities
  • Changes to current laws, regulations, or rules which allow opportunities which had been restricted
  • Beneficial changes to a supplier’s terms and conditions, or new suppliers becoming available
  • Beneficial tax changes or incentives for business development
  • Favorable side effects which are realized from using your product or service
  • Access to a greater supply of human capital with industry experience, fresh perspectives, or both
  • Less competition, as some competitors leave the market or go out of business
  • Decreased cost of raw materials used in making your product or providing your service

Put simply, the more of the above patterns that are present, the greater the amount of opportunity that exists in the market which can be utilized to start a new venture, or continue an existing operation. Even when there are fewer opportunities to make use of, highly successful businesses can still be established, but the amount of skill required to do so is significantly greater. Generally, the businesses which make the best use of their opportunities in a rapid, efficient, and effective manner are best positioned for success in the future.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays