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Does business growth seem elusive for your company? Is your market not moving? Are sales screeching to a halt?
Even if your industry is stagnant, you can harness the success of growing sectors. Here’s how:
Don’t have a smartphone app? Get one. Is your website not optimized for the iPhone, Droid or Blackberry? Make sure it is. Here’s why: From 2010 to January 2011, the number of American consumers with smartphones exploded from 45.5 million to 65.8 million. And roughly half of these consumers used their phones to shop, according to a ComScore survey. Making sure customers can access your product anytime and anyplace—not just when your bricks-and-mortar operation is open or when they’re at their desktop—can go along way toward boosting your business.
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One of the best ways to come up with new, growth-fueling product ideas is to find the intersection of your goods or services with the needs of fast-growing sectors. In 2011, IBISworld, a Santa Monica, Calif., market research company, identified the five hottest industries: testing and educational support, Internet and technology, green industry, residential and commercial construction and health.
Brainstorm ways your small business can develop a product or service that meets the needs of one of these industries. For example, NFIB member company Accumold, an Ankeny, Iowa, micro molding company, saw a growing demand in the surgical manufacturing industry for medical devices and seized on it. Today, it is positioned as the “industry leader in Micro-Mold parts” for the surgical industry.
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The market segments you’re hoping to tap won’t know about your product or service unless you target them. Accumold, for example, has been able to ramp up its exports in the last decade by attending surgical parts trade shows in Europe, where the demand for micro-molded parts is skyrocketing. Whether it’s using SEO terms that are popular or advertising in trade magazine of the market you’re trying to reach, letting potential customers know that you have goods that can help them out is essential to harnessing their industry’s growth.
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