Not everyone is cut out for owning a small business. In truth, nearly 50 percent of all small businesses fail for one reason or another in the first five years. Whether it’s due to a lack of conviction, improper funding, poor management, or a dying industry, half of all small business owners end up packing it up before they have a chance to make it big.
However, as one of the few successful small business owners out there, it may be time to start looking at growth strategies. If you’re in that position, this is a very important time in the life of your business. The decisions you make now can either propel you forward or send you careening down the same path of other failed businesses.
Keep reading on our top tips for growing your business to ensure maximum success.
Define Your Goals
As with any conquest, you need to establish where you want to go before figuring out how to get there. Where are you going? What are your goals?
We recommend sitting down with a board of directors and a financial manager or accountant while coming up with our goals. Think objectively about where you’d like your business to be in the three to five years. While it doesn’t hurt to think long-term (10 years or longer), a lot can happen in the first couple of years of growth.
Your goals should be challenging, yet attainable. A three to five year goal period helps keep everything in perspective.
Create a Plan
Simply outlining your goals and talking about them amongst your team isn’t enough to create change. You need to come up with a step-by-step plan that implements your growth strategies. Even the simplest goal without a plan is nothing more than a fantasy.
Do you want to double your revenue this year? Great. How are you going to do it?
Do you want to expand and add another branch? Fantastic. How will you fund a second location?
Continually Conduct Market Research
Knowledge is a vital component when it comes to running a successful business. A business owner needs to stay apprised of consumer habits, market trends, and emerging marketing research.
At all times, you need to know exactly what’s happening in your industry. This means keeping an eye on your competitors as well. What are your fiercest competitors doing better than you?
Finally, this means taking an in-depth look at the wants and needs of your target audience. What problem of theirs can you solve? How can you be different and/or better than your competitors?
Experiment With Marketing
Growth strategies are never complete without marketing. Whether you’re expanding your product line, offering new services, or acquiring another business, you need to know the most effective ways to get the word out to consumers. At the end of the day, marketing is all about the ROI or return on investment.
Finding the best advertising methods for a company often takes time and experimentation. You need to figure out what marketing tactics your audience responds to best. This can be done by running A and B campaigns simultaneously so you can determine which is more appealing.
However, you should also experiment with the various forms of both local and digital advertising. Here are some suggestions:
- SEO and local SEO marketing
- Content marketing
- PPC marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Landing page marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Radio and TV commercials
- Hosting/sponsoring local charity events
- Direct mailing
Get More Out of Your Current Customers
One of the most popular growth strategies is commonly known as market penetration. Simply put, market penetration refers to finding ways to get your current customers to invest more in your products or services.
In this method, you need to invest in product development to improve your current product line. By offering greater value for something your customers already use, you can understandably charge more.
However, this may also mean encouraging customers to buy more products from you by offering competitive pricing, lower pricing for bulk purchases, etc.
Find a New Target Audience
In some cases, if the current customer base is tapped out, it may be time to expand your horizons. While it may sound complex, the key is figuring out how you can market your product or services to other audiences.
For example, if you’ve traditionally done business locally from a brick and mortar storefront, perhaps it’s time to put your product or services online. Did you know that 88 percent of consumers research products online before they buy? If they can research and shop in one convenient location, why wouldn’t they?
Additionally, finding a new target audience may mean learning how to market the same products to other entities. For example, if your business sold candles currently marketed toward homeowners, why not also market to funeral service providers, wedding venues, churches, and more to expand your potential client base?
Invest in Valuable Talent
One of the most admirable human virtues is self-awareness. Knowing our strengths, and more importantly, our weaknesses can be key to our success. In terms of your business, knowing where you need help may make the difference between a successful year and a wildly successful year.
Don’t become so consumed with saving money that you end up costing yourself money in the long run. For example, paying the extra few hundred dollars for an accountant to file your business taxes could end up saving you thousands.
Alternatively, this may mean hiring an advertising agency, a financial advisor, or an IT company. Business growth strategies can be flat-lined by owners who are unwilling to adapt and consult with those more knowledgeable than themselves.
Looking for More Growth Strategies You Can Implement in Your Business?
Running a startup business may have been easy compared to learning how to expand it. However, you don’t have to do this alone. Check out some of the professional tools we offer to help you implement your unique growth strategies.
We can help with everything from managing your SEO to creating blog content to help you stay relevant to your audience. Contact us today to learn more!