There are a number of different strategies that can be used to grow your business. Which strategy or strategies you choose depend on the type of business you operate, the location of your business, available resources and access to capital. All of these strategies require research and analysis to determine the most effective approach for your business.
- Increase sales to your existing customers: Your current customers are your best bet for increasing your sales volume – it is often easier and more cost effective to sell to your existing customers than find new ones. Providing superior customer service, excellent quality and loyalty programs can not only help you maintain your existing customers but also help you obtain repeat business and increase sales volume. In addition, satisfied customers can also help sell your business by telling others about your products and services.
- Reach other markets: There are several options for growing your business by making your product or services available in different markets. These include: opening another location, expand your target market, exporting your products.
- Diversify your products and services: Explore ways of promoting new uses for your products or services where possible. This is a great way to get your existing customers to buy more as well as reach new customers. You can also consider selling complementary products or services that can add revenue streams and fill any seasonal voids.
- Franchise: Offering your business as a franchise or business opportunity can be a way to expand to other geographical areas by selling the rights to your businesses’ logo and model, while still maintaining your business method, values and core decisional power
- Form an Alliance: Forming an alliance with a similar type of business can be an effective way to increase sales and grow your business without incurring significant costs. The alliance needs to be mutually beneficial for both businesses and any commission and payment structures need to be clearly understood upfront.
- Increase profits by containing costs: Evaluate your existing product mix and production methods to determine if there are ways to cut costs or eliminate products and services that are performing poorly. Another way to increase profits is to look for ways to improve productivity – the more efficient the production methods, the lower the cost per unit. In addition, you can explore ways to reduce the costs of your supplies without sacrificing the quality of your product.
- Utilize the Internet: The internet can provide you with another method of reaching existing or new customers, or selling your products and services online.
- Licensing your product: Licensing your product (through patents, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property protection methods) to others can be an effective way to grow your business. Licensing enables you receive upfront fees and ongoing royalties while taking advantage of the production and distribution methods already established by another company.
- Acquiring another company: Acquiring another company can be a way to achieve instant growth. This approach enables you to gain access to an existing customer base, new technologies or products, new distribution channels and company assets.
Regardless of the growth strategy you implement, it is important to stay focused on your core business. Don’t choose to implement a growth strategy just because it seems like a good opportunity at the time. It is important to conduct all of the required research and analysis while sticking to the business your company knows best. Otherwise you risk confusing both your customers and employees with negative impacts to your bottom line.