Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where Are The Emerging Growth Opportunities?

This is the fourth article in the Riding the Recession series. It aims to provide you with some food for thought regarding potential emerging market segments and opportunities, as we approach the new year facing a market that is less robust than it was 12 months ago.

Before we get into that, I'd like to make a point about 'less robust' markets and opportunities that can come out of them, even back in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It was during the '30s that Australia's commercial airline industry really took off (pardon the pun) after the growth in the airline industry resulting from World War I. The commercial industry started with the transportation of mail and then developed into passenger flights. During this time the fledgling industry was dominated by a small number of determined entrepreneurs, who were able to raise the funding they needed to back their respective airlines. There was plenty of funding available during a time when the world was gripped by a fierce depression.

Point 2, on the other side of the world in New York. What happened in New York in the '30s? It was during this time that New York's architectural design and construction focused on display of great wealth and the goal of erecting the tallest building. These buildings were all built in the 1930s and reflect the commercial success of their namesakes and the industries they grew (prior to the '30s): Rockefeller Plaza, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, General Electric Tower, Lincoln Building, RCA Building, Time & Life Building, and Waldorf Astoria Hotel, amongst many others.

Here are a couple of quotes from a book by Samuel Fuller called 'New York in the 1930s', just to set the scene:

"Manhattan may have had bread lines during the Depression years, but it rivaled Paris when it came to restaurants, good times and entertainment in general. Above all, there were the nightclubs on Upper Broadway, where you could hear groups like the Chick Webb Band, Benny Goodman and his musicians, and a skinny newcomer named Frank Sinatra. There was The Big Apple, a Harlem nightclub on Seventh Avenue where Billie Holiday sang in 1936, and of course the famous Cotton Club,"

"Black Harlem created a whole new industry out of entertainment that catered mainly to the white population of Manhattan. The atmosphere of Harlem was like ancient Rome; it was a neighborhood that lived by night, and was reputed to have over one hundred nightclubs...."

My point is: there's always plenty of money and funding for all sorts of ventures, technology is a catalyst for development and growth of new segments, and new industries or market segments arise when market conditions change, such as the entertainment industry in NYC in the '30s.

What are the trends driving our economy today, where there cold be new opportunities for all sorts of businesses?
  • Global climate initiatives
    • Generate growth in the engineering sector & Government related infrastructure projects

    • Specialist consulting firms can grow in this space through advising on related issues (and that provides very broad scope)

    • Suppliers of water saving, electricity saving products

    • Suppliers of water-resistant landscaping and garden services

  • Organic products and produce
    • Food growers

    • Skin care; bath, body, beauty product producers

    • Baby products

    • Contract manufacturer opportunities

  • Pet industry - Still growing at a huge rate both here and overseas and covers a multitude grooming products, accessories, special foods and supplements, toys....

  • Consulting in specialist areas
    • Sales consulting and services related to more effective selling activities

    • Business advice and consulting that focuses on smarter & more efficient practices

  • Technology
    • Consulting to achieve efficiencies and replace headcount/manual operations

    • Products and services that do the same

  • Aged Care services
    • Accommodation

    • Home help

    • Medical/nursing support services

    • Specialist medical practitioners

This is just to start you thinking. Look at your existing market with new questions:

  • What has changed in my market?

  • Will my revenue and growth come from the same market or a new one?

  • Do I need to reposition my business (refer last newsletter for more...)

  • How do I match my skills and experience to new market niches?

Once you start brainstorming, especially if you do it with other people, you'll generate plenty of ideas to kick start your strategic planning for the next year!

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