Scaling your business, building your team and expanding your customer base is essential if you want to grow your business. If you’re not sure where to begin, it can be a challenge for you to determine which direction to go when it’s time for growth. This guide reviews some effective ways to develop a business.
How to grow a small business
- Many small business owners aren’t sure when they need to scale their operations, so they wait to expand into a new location or pursue new talent that can help them gain market share. The best way to tell that you’re ready to scale is when you’re hitting your goals regularly and have plenty of spare income to invest on expansion. When you hit that point, you can use the following strategies to take your business to the next level.
Allow your existing customers to help you grow your business
- One of the best ways to make an impression on new customers is to show them how much your existing customers love your products and services. If you’re not asking for referrals, reviews and testimonials, you could be losing out. Make sure you’re requesting Google reviews and customer feedback whenever possible so your customers become advocates for your brand.
Growing your business with a sales funnel
- A sales funnel is an automation tactic that can help you scale quickly. Companies can use a free product or service that attracts customers. The funnel guides customers through four stages: awareness, interest, decision and action. You show people that whatever problem or concern they have can be resolved with your product or service. This builds their trust in your brand and makes them likely to buy or subscribe.
Take customer service to the next level
- Some ways that you can provide excellent customer service include:
- Providing transparency over what data you collect and how it’s used, what changes you’re making to your service policies, when you expect to update your pricing and service charges and how customers can return products or get assistance
- Giving customers easy methods for changing their subscription statuses, paying for your products and choosing how products are shipped to their location
- Reducing wait times when customers need to speak with a person about an issue
Use a customer management system to grow your business
- Streamlining and automation save time and improve customer relationships. With the right customer management system in place, you can inform your customer base about deals and target your communications for better message optimization. As your business grows, finding ways to automatically track campaigns, leverage customer data and better manage your sales can pay off with increased referrals and more profits.
Offer a customer loyalty program
- One of the best ways to get customers to come back is to offer them savings if they enroll in your loyalty program. They often give you their email or other contact information so you can keep them informed whenever you want to run a promotion. Some people simply like getting a deal, so they may catch wind about your loyalty program and begin shopping at your business just to save.
Use your data to uncover new opportunities
- Data can tell you just about everything you need to know when you want to scale your business. It reveals what demographics are most interested in your products, how customers interact with your website, conversion rates and campaign efficiency. Data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies are behind many large companies’ success, and you can leverage your own data to see where to invest your time and money.
Run an analysis on your competitors
- If your competitor has a successful social media strategy that’s drawing customers in droves, learn from it. You shouldn’t strive to copy your competitors, but you can certainly deploy the same marketing strategies that are driving their success.
Form strategic partnerships
- Working with other businesses to achieve common goals helps everyone involved. Partnerships can range from agreeing to market another company’s products to using their services exclusively to scale your company. Be sure when you’re ironing out an agreement with another business that each business benefits from the relationship equally.
License your product
- Licensing products allows other retailers and businesses to market them or alter them in a way to increase their own sales. One of the most lucrative licensing deals was when McDonald’s licensed Monopoly and borrowed elements of the game to create an instant-win promotion. If you want to build name recognition or expand your market share, there are fewer better branding options than allowing other businesses to get your products in front of people for you.
Make wise hiring decisions
- Hiring the best employees possible is a major catalyst to fueling business growth and innovation. Employees working for small businesses have a greater opportunity to make a direct impact on the business than someone at a larger organization would. Take time to carefully review resumes and properly vet candidates to ensure you’re only hiring professionals who you believe can provide lasting value to your company.
Turn your employees into brand ambassadors
- Sales representatives that own and use the products they sell often have a much easier time closing deals than those who don’t believe in what they’re selling. Get your employees excited about their roles within your company and turn them into believers. When they explain what they do to other people, potential customers could be impressed by their devotion to your brand and stop by to learn more. This is referred to as employer branding.
Use social media to grow your online footprint
- Everyone who interacts with your business likely takes the time to review your online presence. Social listening on your website and social media gives your business insight into your customers’ behaviors and what they’re saying about your business. Maintaining social media accounts helps you communicate with your followers, announce promotions and sales, learn what’s popular and cultivate brand loyalty.
Create a webinar
- Webinars are more than a way to communicate news and updates to your existing customers. They give you a powerful video message you can display on social media and leverage with your sales funnel strategy. They often reach large audiences quickly and let people know more about your work culture and values. If you make an evergreen webinar, it can pay dividends for a long time.
Build passive income streams
- If you make sure your revenue isn’t limited to a single source, you won’t be impacted as dramatically whenever supply chain issues, inflation, global events and political unrest tip the scales unfavorably. Investigate ways you can invest your resources or money in alternative revenue streams to help support your business through slow seasons, uncertain economic times and other unforeseen events so your business growth isn’t slowed by these influences.
Measure what works and refine as you grow your business
- The only way for you to understand what works for your business and what doesn’t is by measuring your organic and paid marketing. If you’re thrilled by increased sales, learn what’s driving your current success so you can replicate it. You also want to see whether your customers are sharing information about your company so you have more opportunities to expand or if they’re mostly silent about your business.
Challenges you may face when growing your business
There are a few stumbling blocks that businesses run into when they’re trying to scale. Avoid these mistakes when it comes time to grow your small business.
Mismanaging cash flows
- It costs money to expand, and many small business owners underestimate the cost of expanding to a new location, recruiting new staff and ramping up their manufacturing. Make sure you’re fully aware of your new operational costs before you make the decision to move forward.
Poor hiring choices
- It’s important that the people you recruit while scaling your business align with your core mission and company culture. If you don’t hire the right people, it could bring your expansion to a standstill.
- You may be tempted to undercut your competitors to lure more customers, but this only reduces your profit margins. Some people are willing to pay more if they know the extra cost is justified by quality and innovation.
Frequently asked questions about how to grow your business
What are the stages of small business growth?
- There are five stages of small business growth:
- Existence: a business becomes viable
- Survival: the business turns a profit
- Success: profits are sustainable and turn into income for the owner
- Take-off: the scaling of the business into a competitor for market share
- Resource maturity: long-term sustainability
What are the four major business growth strategies?
- The four major growth strategies are:
- Market penetration is when businesses gain market share.
- Market development is when businesses focus on sales growth.
- Product development is the launch of new products and innovation.
- Diversification involves expanding into new markets.
When should you scale up a business?
- You know you’re ready to scale up when:
- You’re consistently surpassing goals for a prolonged period
- Cash flow is solid and repeatable
- Your infrastructure is strong and you’ve got solid proof of concept
[Thank you, Indeed.com]