Business growth is always a good thing. Almost. If you grow your business too quickly without any concrete plans, then you can end up collapsing under your own weight and losing it all. The tips below will enable you to grow your business in a way that is effective and sustainable.
Get To Know Your Current And Target Audiences
In order to formulate a reliable growth strategy, you need to have a good understanding of who your current audience isand what audience you are hoping to capture with your expansion. For many businesses, these audiences will be one and the same, but there will also be cases where a business wants to diversify and is looking to appeal to an entirely new market, or subset thereof.
Having a clear and detailed picture of who your audience is will be useful to you throughout the lifespan of your business, and this is always going to be good information to have. It is also much easier to build up such a clear picture than many people realize. The easiest way of gathering the information is usually to simply ask.
Whenever your customers are signing up for a newsletter or providing delivery addresses, or just interacting with your website in general, invite them to complete a questionnaire. If you can offer them some kind of incentive for doing so, you should be able to get enough respondents to make it worth your while. You can use online tools like Forms on Fire to easily create professional-looking forms for requesting all the most important information that you need.
Play To Your Strengths
As a small business, the biggest thing separating you from your largest competitors is your available resources. Small businesses simply aren’t going to have access to the same money and people as better-established and well-equipped players in their field. However, if you play your cards right then your small business can use its relatively small size to its advantage.
For example, the bigger your business is, the less attention you are able togive to individual customers and clients. As a small business, you can offer a much more personalized service. You should also find it easier to offer a smaller pool of customers a more comprehensive customer service experience, providing your most important audience members with a level of care and attention that bigger businesses can’t manage.
You should always be thinking two steps ahead in business, you don’t want to be playing catch up and trying to improvise strategies on-the-go. Instead, even small businesses, those that have ambition anyway, should have a clear course plotted for the future and know exactly where they currently are on that journey.
Businesses that start growing without a clear plan for the future are much more susceptible to the kind of unpredictable market forces that can throw even a well-prepared business off-balance. You should know what you intend to spend the extra revenue that you bring in on before it is on your plate.
If hearing an actual human being saying the word ‘networking’ aloud in the context of meeting new people makes you feel physically ill, don’t worry - this is a perfectly normal reaction. Never has a perfectly good English word been so humiliated by its adoption amongst the business community (‘blue sky’ comes very close). But while the term networking is, undoubtedly and without hyperbole, one of the worst things in the world, we have to begrudgingly admit that it is important.
You need to network in order to stay ahead of the game. If you don’t network and your business begins to grow in isolation, you will often find yourself having to play catch up and hitting a brick wall before you have achieved any significant momentum. As loathsome as it can be, rubbing shoulders with the key players in your market and getting to know who’s who and what’s what will pay off in the longrun.
Every entrepreneur hopes for their business to be successful and to grow throughout its lifetime. But wanting this and achieving this are two very different things. In order to grow a small business successfully, you need a solid growth strategy before you begin. Use the advice above as a starting point.