Building a small business by filling a gap in the market

As a small-business owner, you need to view everything as an opportunity for innovation. Spurred by unsolved problems, it is these innovations that will ultimately position your company as a unique player in an established market. Identifying and capitalising on a gap in the market is the key to any start-up’s success – trust me, I know from experience.

I became Managing Director and Co-Owner of Brewtopia – producer of personalised beverages – five years ago. Since relaunching the business, we have increased revenue dramatically with almost no marketing spend. We still have goals to achieve but our success came simply from filling a gap in the market. Our service goes well beyond the beverage sector and taps into a strong appetite amongst Australian businesses.

In searching for a gap in the market, my biggest advice would be to assess your strengths, know the industry intimately and gain insight into up-and-coming trends.

Assess your strengths

When I joined the team five years ago, we were situated in a tiny construction office working out of a small shed in Western Sydney. The then-CEO set me the challenge to transform the business. I knew growing a boutique business and effectively creating a new category would need me to be a flexible but firm leader with a broad skillset across all aspects of the business. Fortunately, my previous experience equipped me with a very strong business acumen and a rich understanding of business operations from the ground up. l had a very clear strategy and vision for Brewtopia and it all began with recruiting a talented and trustworthy team.

Know the industry

There was a desire for a service that would help Australian businesses with the graphic design, digital printing, label application and packaging, as well as warehousing, logistics, and compliance and licensing requirements. However, the actual execution of a service like this was extremely difficult and clunky with a number of businesses across the process needing to be involved. Seeing this as an opportunity, I set out to create a fully integrated business model which would see Brewtopia extend and transform into an end-to-end solution for clients. My vision was clear from the outset and that ultimately resulted in achieving the desired outcome.


I knew that personalisation was becoming an increasingly popular trend from my discussions with brand owners in the beverage industry. Dictated by consumer demand, Australian businesses are being forced to invest in services that offer personalised products that encourage social media sharing to continue to raise brand awareness, increase customer conversions and command premium prices. Whether it be bespoke labels or branded packaging, we allow our clients to capitalise on customer-led personalised products through our services.

Instead of trying to be like your competitors, the biggest opportunity you will have as a small-business owner is to fill the gap. If you’re unsure about where to start, the best contacts you have are your clients. So, have an open mind and seize the opportunity.

Jessica Simes, Managing Director and Co-Owner, Brewtopia

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