We’ve compiled a list of nine ways that your business can grow using tried and tested tactics by business leaders across the world.
Explore New Channels:
Business growth comes in many different forms. This can be any channel you haven’t tried before – whether it’s Google Ads; Social Media; Paid Social; PR (public relations); influencers… the list goes in. A new channel is simply a new channel for you. It can even mean taking your product offline and starting a physical store, or vice versa – taking your physical product and selling it online. And it doesn’t just have to be a physical product either, you could be a hairdresser who begins selling hair products or demos online.
If you’re a small business operating in a market filled with bigger competitors and you want to grow, you may be able to benefit from this tactic.Essentially it divides a market into different segments, such as geography, demographics, market behaviour, or customer behaviour, allowing you to reach a broader scope of people in different ways.
This means diversifying your product offering to create more demand for your business’ growth. For example, a small coffee shop that only sells a few croissants might want to diversify and offer sandwiches or breakfast to attract more clientele. The best way of finding out what might work for you is to take a look at what similar competitors are offering and try your own spin on that. Alternatively, do some research overseas and look at other markets. You can also look at expanding a certain product line (vertical diversification) or adding new product lines (horizontal diversification).
This is the opposite of diversification – scaling back means looking critically at your business and seeing what is working and what isn’t working. Small business growth doesn’t have to be expensive. You can do this by looking at your sales data and unpacking where your most profitable offering is and seeing how you might scale back on the things that really don’t make you money. For example, if we are looking at that same coffee shop again. They might start offering sandwiches, and realise they need to hire new staff for this. After about a year, they notice that they sell only a few sandwiches a day, and the cost of the electricity for the sandwich press, as well as the staff member, is outweighing what they are earning from their hot food, and they might want to scale back to save on staff costs.
Partnership and Affiliate Models
Partnering with another small business gives you access to that brand’s audience. but the right business to partner with can be tricky. The business should complement yours, though, to ensure their customer base will have an interest in your product or service. The partner might be a digital services provider, or a partner with a large closed network (such as a small business community). You might even develop a new product with this partner or collaborate on existing product offerings.
Market penetration is when you are able to attract new customers in the same market. Essentially you sell more of your core products and services in your current market. You can use special offers and discounts to attract new customers, or lower prices. You can sell your products wholesale to other businesses or even encourage bulk or volume sales to your existing customers.
Market expansion is taking your existing product to a new market. You will need to do a lot of research before tackling this one, as it means understanding who your customer will be in this new market. And this does not simply mean opening a business in a new location – it can mean selling your products or services in the same geographical location but to a new type of customer.
This is something that all businesses should go through on a regular basis. It’s important to regularly see where your business is spending money and revise those costs. For example, you can negotiate on insurance rates; payment terms with suppliers; save on banking costs by consolidating suppliers and thereby reducing the number of suppliers you pay on a weekly basis; negotiate payment terms to monthly rather than COD. You should be looking at staff members to see if you have too many people working, or reduce staff hours if you fear there might be too much down time. .
One of the best ways of reducing spend is by retaining the customers you already have and finding ways to encourage them to spend more or stay with you for longer, because it’s easier to convince someone who is already a customer to take an action than it is to convince someone completely new into your business. This can be by offering bulk discounts; promotions; loyalty schemes for return customers or discounts for members. Your existing customers are your best source of word of mouth, so by keeping them you increase the likelihood that they will spread the word about you!
With patience and determination, you can grow your business successfully by making a series of changes and decisions and having a strategy in place that has a focus. And remember, small changes over time add up to big growth. So keep trying, interrogating what is and isn’t working and keep focusing on growth.