Whatever you want to achieve in life, the road to reaching your goal probably has a number of different paths. For most businesses, if not all, the overall goal is profitable growth. Failure to grow often means failure to survive in business and your marketing strategy plays a big part in determining the speed and manner of your business growth.
As a SME it’s easy to feel like you have to rush out and do everything at once, but that’s not necessarily the case. Growth and profitability can be achieved by focusing on one or two areas at a time and working up from there. Making an all out dash to do everything at once can actually be detrimental in the long term as it leads to burnout and inconsistent results.
It’s commonly accepted that there are seven different paths to profitable growth. These are:
Keep your existing customers and grow your sales from them. When you have a base of loyal customers you don’t have to spend as much time and money looking for new ones. As long as they are happy with you they will probably recommend you to others and bring you new business through word of mouth.
Optimise your pricing so you are making more from your existing sales. Pricing is always a challenge. By charging more for your products or services you can make more money but you need to be sure you aren’t going to risk alienating your customers or overpricing yourself out of the market.
Grow your customer base by attracting new customers. Most businesses implement some form of marketing strategy to help them attract new customers and as their customer base grows, so will the business.
Bring out new products and services to increase sales and attract new customers. Customer needs and expectations are constantly changing. Keeping up with new developments and market trends by bringing out new products and services on a regular basis can help your business stay current and lets you make the most of new opportunities.
Improve the efficiency of your processes so you can do more, at lower cost, in less time. Once you can process a higher volume of customers you can increase your profits and grow your business with the same resources and time.
Acquire the competition by buying out other businesses and merging them with yours. Buying out other businesses is an age-old way to grow yours and can allow you to break into new markets and gain access to another customer base.
Target new markets and enter new geographic areas. Expansion into new areas, or even new countries is getting easier and easier with technology and can open up opportunities you may not otherwise have access to.
About the Author:
Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here.