Nearly every business is striving for growth and looking for the secret formula to help them achieve their objectives. However, the growth journey is often not a smooth one.
In today’s economy relying solely on organic growth is dangerous. You have to plan sufficiently and devise clever strategies to help them attract more clients, compete with the market, deal with a tightened credit market and still keep moving forward.
There are many ways to approach business growth but here are some tried and tested growth strategies to consider:
1. Diversifying and finding new revenue streams
Diversifying is an excellent growth strategy, as it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and increase sales and profit margins.
One way to expand your services is to offer tailored packages to different market segments. For example, Pulse Marketing has targeted services for SMEs which are different from those offered to larger enterprises. Everything from the way the services are described to what is included in service packages is tailored to SME needs, resources and budgets.
You can also develop new service offerings or products to offer to your target market. Pay close attention to the trends in your industry and to the purchasing behaviour of your customers. You may find customers are particularly interested in one aspect of a service which means there might be an opportunity to grow this into a stand-alone offering.
2. Reviewing your pricing options
Experimenting with different pricing options can help you identify the most profitable of your service/product offerings and to see where you’re providing the most value for customers and clients.
If your strategy is based on maximising profit through volume, you may consider reducing your prices to make the product accessible to a larger part of your target market.
However if you offer a service or product that requires a lot of time and attention from your team, it makes sense to increase your prices so the price matches not only the costs involved in production or delivery but also a price that is bearable to the market. .
Finally, look carefully at all your revenue streams and see whether you can do anything with your weakest link to increase return on costs. Just because something is not working well at the moment, it doesn’t mean nothing can be done to fix it.
3. Build referral networks
Focus on your sales pipeline by building a strong referral network; after all you never know where your next client will come from.
One way to begin networking more actively is to join business and trade organisations. They are rich sources of contacts – from potential investors, customers, partners or mentors.
Networking events and business association memberships can help you stay on top of industry trends, connect with other business owners facing similar challenges and have access to training events that may be useful in the future.
These networks can also act as a great referral system to help you get the word out about your business and to potential customers.
In addition, these networks usually have a wealth of mentors and people who you can use as your sounding board – someone to give constructive feedback about the way you’re running your business and what you may be doing wrong.
Getting objective advice from experienced business people and entrepreneurs can go a long way in helping you with expanding your business.
4. Get the right team
Talent is one of your most important assets and you should invest enough time and energy into your hiring process to ensure that you find the right people to propel your business forward.
A crucial part of successful growth is attracting and retaining great talent. Recruitment should be based on talent and passion while skills should come second because skills can be taught, while a mindset is harder to instil.
Consider doing group interviews with several candidates and including questions about their preferences, interests and ways they deal with stressful situations.
The behaviour and answers of the candidates should give you a better idea of how well an individual will fit into the culture of your business. After you’ve narrowed down your choice to the top two or three people you can begin focusing on assessing technical skills and make the final selection based on the combination of the two.
You should also develop a comprehensive induction plan to help your new staff to integrate into their new role. You can ease the new staff member into their role gradually by exposing them to more and more work as they become adjusted to your business processes.
If you need the new staff member to dive straight in, it will be important to communicate the vital information about the business in a clear and concise way. A good idea is to assign your new staff member a mentor from your existing staff.
Business growth is a multifaceted process and there are more than one ways to approach it. The strategy you decide should be closely linked to where your business is currently at, its expected long term performance and your own capacity to invest in expansion.
Above all set goals and KPIs to achieve and make yourself as well as your team accountable for reaching them. This way you can track the progress of your expansion and be aware of how you’re tracking at every step of the way.