Entrepreneurs who have been working in a specific market for many years may sometimes feel as if they have hit a glass ceiling. If you think you have targeted as many clients as possible in your niche, it may be time to reflect on other markets or ideal client profiles whose needs you have not yet addressed. Consider your current areas of expertise and how these could catapult you into other related areas.

With a new year on the horizon, there are new opportunities to identify. Assess what you need to do in order to meet them. For example, are there certifications you need to acquire to boost your credibility and prove your expertise to new prospects? Just as we need to invest in our businesses (by adding employees and technologies) to drive our companies to the next level, we also need to invest in ourselves to push ourselves into higher professional categories.

Reinvent your business with new markets

Be an industry trailblazer and find fresh new markets, rather than someone who follows the pack and thus gets a smaller portion of the revenue. To do so, it’s vital that you are constantly researching your current sector and also learning about emerging trends and analyzing them for potential business opportunities.

Let me give you an example. I recently came across a new report from research consulting company Northstar Research Partners and brand engagement firm Sullivan, the 2012 Rebuilding Investor Trust study. The researchers found that even amid the stagnant economy and continued decline in home incomes, investors are still engaged in their investments and are even taking a bigger role in overseeing their interests. Jim Neuwirth, the president and CEO of Northstar Research Partners, commented that despite investors choosing to delegate more regarding their portfolios, that does not mean advisors have to abdicate their positions.

What does this mean for professionals in the financial services industry? “To be successful moving forward, advisors must recognize this shift and increase their client engagement accordingly,” Neuwirth says. An advisor who wanted to capitalize on this trend could choose to rebrand his or her business as one that values collaboration with its clients. By focusing on client relationship management and making communication channels more efficient and accessible, a firm could build a reputation as one that is there to help its clients make smart decisions.

What systems have you established to make sure you are catching new business opportunities? How often do you review your current markets for insight into how you can expand your company’s areas of operation? Build a brand that is responsive to your clients’ demands and capable of adapting to shifts in its markets, and you are much more likely to create sustainable success.