Transforming a small business into a bustling corporation with evergreen profits is the dream of many entrepreneurs and investors. However, the chances of striking it big as an entrepreneur are, unfortunately, quite slim. Reaching the $250 million mark in annual revenues is a milestone reserved for less than 0.1 percent of American businesses.
Although the odds of attaining mega-success as an entrepreneur may not be in anyone’s favor, achieving lasting success certainly is. Transitioning from a small-scale startup to a thriving, self-sustaining enterprise is not only possible but probable if you’re able to follow tried and true business growth strategies.
If you’ve decided that you want your business to grow, you need an actionable roadmap. Without it, your business is all but guaranteed to get lost along the way. To take your budding business to new heights, we put together a quick guide on tried-and-true business growth strategies.
Devising A Strategy
Regardless of your industry, every business owner needs a detailed strategy to grow and scale their business. A good place to start when learning how to grow your business is to evaluate market conditions with your team. Depending on the outlook of the market, you may be better served by taking some courses of action over others.
To help you get started, we put together a high-level overview of the main business growth strategies below:
Locating new markets for your existing services and products (i.e., a new city, state, country).
Producing new products or services to sell to existing customers within your defined market.
Seeking to capture a larger portion of the existing market with your established products or services.
Purchasing another business can help you capture higher market share or diversify your portfolio while taking on an established clientele.
You can franchise your business to scale an existing growth model to be emulated by other franchisees.
Entering into formal agreements or joint ventures can afford two entities the chance to pool their resources in pursuit of a common objective.
Depending on market conditions, any of the above growth strategies can be incorporated as the lynchpin of a business growth strategy. Knowing how to grow a business beyond its early stages, however, largely depends on your ability to accurately read and forecast market conditions.
Strategies to Position Your Business for Success
Whether your objective is to scale your business, grow revenues, or increase your margins, you need to be prepared to make moves to reposition your business when needed. Below, we break down the various strategies that successful business owners use to aid in growing a business.
Analyze Your Competition
When it comes to growing your business, one of the best things you can do is to take a critical look in the mirror, so to speak. By examining your competition, you can gain a sense of what works and what doesn’t in your market.
For instance, advertising and digital market present excellent low-cost avenues for increasing sales and sparking growth. However, running ineffective ad campaigns is not a recipe for success. A strategic small business owner, then, would assess the effectiveness of competitor’s ad engagement to do what style of copy and visuals work best for attracting interest.
Create A Sales Funnel
Building an effective sales funnel online is not only simple to do but also highly rewarding when it comes to learning how to grow a business. Visualized like an upside-down pyramid when charted as a diagram, a basic sales funnel usually incorporates the following components:
- Informational landing page (top funnel layer; biggest)
- A front-end, pre-sale offer (narrow layer)
- A back-end upsell offer (narrower layer)
- A downsize option (narrowest layer)
The sales funnel is all about building momentum and giving your customers and prospects the option of moving forward with their purchase to find a solution that best suits their needs.
Build a Loyalty Rewards Program
As a small business owner, it can be a challenge to find new ways to keep your clientele walking through your door. Thankfully, customer loyalty programs can spark interest in your business and keep customers coming back for more despite the presence of stiff competition.
The truth is that customer loyalty programs are one of the best methods for retaining your customers and attracting new ones. Although offering discounts or incentives to loyal customers might marginally affect your bottom line, your business will more than make up for the loss in the long run due to increased sales.
Knowing how to grow a small business is about more than making sales. Growing a small business is also a matter of finding the right partners and forging lasting, strategic partnerships with them. By pooling your resources with another company, you can reach more customers across a variety of markets with a greater degree of efficiency than you would have alone.
Finding the right business partners, either in the form of an informal agreement or a joint venture, is crucially important for solidifying your company’s lasting success. Be sure to reach out to other businesses that have something to offer your own, and ones that can benefit from exposure to your market as well.
License Your Product
One of the best ways to grow your business is to find a product that is central to your brand that performs well in comparison to others in your lineup. Once you’ve identified the winning product, have a qualified attorney draft a licensing agreement that other retailers can use to sell the product. For every sale made, your business should receive a predetermined share of the revenues.
Diversify Your Lineup
If you want to grow your business, you can’t be afraid to dip your toes in cold water. In other words, don’t limit yourself to what is safe and comfortable—branch out and experiment with new products or services that differ from your existing ones. This way, you might strike it big by finding a product that appeals to an untapped segment of the market
It’s not always so easy to find a product to add to your lineup. After all, there’s risk involved any time you decide to manufacture and distribute something new. This is why it’s important that you do your homework by finding where pain points exist within your market’s niche and finding a marketable and cost-effective solution.
Acquire a Competitor
Sometimes knowing how to make your business grow requires you to go the extra mile by spending money acquiring other businesses. If you have identified a competitor within your industry whose assets would help you attain a larger percentage of market share, it may be in your best interests to inquire about buying the company outright.
Ramp Up Your Socials
One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is your social media portfolio. By taking advantage of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Quora, you can create a public image for your business that attracts the right kind of attention. The key, however, is to post and share content that adds value to your audience.
Another great reason to maintain a social media presence is that it provides an opportunity to receive feedback and listen to the demands of the market. In person, your customers are less likely to air their grievances. However, on the internet, they’re more likely to bring up what needs improvement. Any savvy business owner should use these learning opportunities to refine their company’s practices.
Network, Network, Network
You need to know how to grow business contacts if you want your business to scale. Attending networking events and conferences can introduce you to powerful players in your industry and niche. In times of need, you can lean on their expertise to guide you, or you could consult with them to help overcome hurdles in your business’s development.
Strategic Planning: Putting It All Together
Now that you know how to grow a company, you have all the resources you need to put together a realistic and actionable growth strategy. Although countless strategies exist that can help build your company’s public profile and allow it to scale at a faster rate, focusing on a select few can help take your small business to the next level.
Finding the right business growth strategies for your company is a process of both expert analysis and a bit of trial and error. If your business is short on capital and needs to keep its expenses down, focusing on low-cost growth strategies such as social media marketing and customer retention might be your best option. For others, acquiring new assets or diversifying a product line may be in their best interest.
The key, however, is to remain dedicated to a long-term objective through small, actionable steps. By following a well put-together business growth roadmap, you can position your fledgling business for success today.