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Finding New Small Business Opportunities: Challenges and Solutions

This guide provides strategies for brainstorming, analyzing competitors, and staying ahead of industry trends for small business opportunities.

Business leaders and staffers looking for new small business opportunities

As business owners, we knew from the beginning that running our own company wouldn’t exactly be a walk in the park. However, we never could have expected that a pandemic would turn the world on its head. 

Every aspect of operations—supplies, personnel, strategy, marketing, and beyond—has been impacted by this global crisis. Where do we go from here?

Are you ready for the ultimate exercise in creativity and adaptability? Locating and shifting toward new small business opportunities is the key to navigating these choppy waters until things are smooth sailing again. Here’s how:


1. Brainstorming and Risk Analysis

Identifying the small business opportunities that will be best for you is a process of critical thinking and open-mindedness. Try these prompts to get your juices flowing:

  • What products or services can be created or invented to meet a unique need that has arisen during the pandemic? 

  • Are we capable of building new product innovations or adapted services within an effective timeline?

  • Do we have an existing product or service from one market that can be offered in another market where it is not yet available?

  • Can we make modifications or adaptations to our products or services that solve a new challenge?

  • Re-evaluate your buyer personas. Does your product or service now meet a need or add value to a new buyer persona you haven’t yet targeted?

  • Are we missing any marketing opportunities that could reach new audiences, such as video podcasts or online events?

  • Will this new business idea be sustainable long-term?


2. Listen to Potential Clients and Past Leads

Conduct a fact-finding mission with “the ones that got away.” This will help you develop improved offerings that are tailored to meet common objectives. Start with these basic questions:

  • What are their needs, wants, challenges, and frustrations with the industry? 

  • Have they used similar products or services in the past? What did they like and dislike? 

  • How did they find you, and what prevented them from choosing your solutions?


3. Gather Info from Current Customers

You can identify new small business opportunities more efficiently with a thorough understanding of what your customers think of your industry, products, and services. With detailed information, you’ll be able to expand and develop upon your existing offerings.

Take a look at customer contact sources like your customer service team, your social media channels, and your sales points. Compile feedback, such as:

  • FAQs

  • Complaints

  • Experiences 

  • Frustrations


4. Analyze Competitors

One surefire way to gain the upper hand in this time of upheaval is to focus on brand differentiation. Of course, you can’t find ways to set yourself apart from the crowd if you don’t understand what others in your industry are doing.

For each of your competitors, try to assess the following: 

  • What changes are they making?

  • What AREN’T they changing?

  • Where are they failing?

  • Where are they doing well?

  • What makes your targeted buyers choose them over you?


5. Observe Industry Trends and Insights

Along with micro-level competitor analysis, you’ll benefit from a zoomed-out look at your industry. Fellow business owners and industry experts are sharing their perspectives and analyses of what’s changing during the pandemic. It shouldn’t be difficult to find valuable insights if you know where to look:

  • Subscribe to industry publications and newsletters

  • Join associations and forums

  • Attend industry webinars and roundtable discussions (virtually, of course).

  • Set alerts for key industry terms and news.

  • Follow other industry experts on social media.


6. Maximize Your Team’s Skills

Utilizing your team to their fullest potential has never been more important than it is right now. Bring out the best in your employees by focusing on development and efficiency:

  • Recognize strengths and limitations. Put together teams that balance weaknesses with strengths to support and complement each other.

  • Give your employees access to training and development. Outsource highly technical skill sets.

  • Regularly access processes, progress, and results to fine-tune workflows and team structures. Be flexible enough to change and courageous enough to pull the plug when necessary.

  • Delegate and trust your team. Avoid micromanagement, maintain open communication, and encourage honesty. 

  • Set priorities and expectations. Your team should know exactly what the goals are and what they need to do to get there.


We hope these prompts will help you stay inventive and resourceful as we collectively adjust to accommodate an unprecedented business environment. 

Need marketing services from an agency that understands the value of innovation in changing times? Reach out to the experts at Tobe. We’re ready to roll!

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