No matter the size of the business, growing your company and its success is a top priority. Merely writing a list of goals and dreams won’t make the cut. As a company, you need a growth strategy in place to secure constant innovation, practical steps, and requirements to meet in order to take your business to the next level.
Whether you are planning to scale your business, open another office or expand your reach – growth can only happen when considering the following:
1. Consider Your Market
If you are planning to market your products or service within the same market, you will have to rely on Market Penetration. In order to implement this, you will have to increase your market share (how many sales or units obtained on the market compared to that of your competitors).
From a practical stance, this might mean lowering your prices and rates in order to increase market share. If your competitors are selling or marketing a similar product, lowering your price might give you the edge you need.
When assessing your current market you will be able to determine the possibility for growth within that sector. If you feel it your product or service might be redundant you could use Market Expansion or Market Development as a tactic for growth.
In this case, you would introduce your current products or services to a new market. For instance, if you’ve been selling your products from a retail space, you might consider making your products available on an industry related e-Commerce platform.
2. Become an Outsource Partner
A brilliant, and unique way to inspire growth as a company is by becoming an outsource partner for a larger business. Competing with the big guns as a small business might leave you discouraged, but have you considered teaming up with them? Offer your service packages or products as an add onto their brand.
It’s a win-win situation for both parties. Outsourcing is cost-effective for larger companies and will allow them to tap into an area and utilize the skills and expertise as needed. As a UK-based IT service provider, Capita noted making use of a remote task force can save up to 30% of cost to company. Make use of these stats and position and market yourself in such a way that your small business is that untapped resource.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Key Indicators
A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use FPIs to evaluate their success at researching targets. – Klipfolio
Methods or strategies that worked in the past, might not be as relevant today. It’s important to establish what your goals and objectives are, and if you are in fact researching your targets. The types of KPIs you have in place will depend on your business structure and its departments.
There are many KPI software solutions available to assist you in this process. The software will help you to centralize your business data and give you real-time reports on your performance.
A few key performance trackers to consider are:
- Sales Metrics
- DevOps Metrics
- Supply Chain Metrics
- Marketing Metrics
- Finance Metrics
- Social Media Metrics
- Help Desk and Call Centre Metrics
Keep in mind that while these indicators are in place you still need to assess and adapt accordingly. As your company grows and evolves, so will the need to adjust your KPIs to ensure that they are accurate, aligned with your goals, actionable and attainable.
4. Explore Additional Marketing Channels
These days the marketing opportunities are endless. Social marketing is only building up steam, and can have a tremendous influence on your business success. We are entering an era of conversational commerce, and if you aren’t part of the ‘conversation’ you will easily be forgotten.
Social Media Marketing on the right platforms is just one side of the coin. As a small business, you might not have the resources to host a trade show, seminar or event – but you can invest in Webinar Marketing. This marketing channel will allow you to connect with your audience and prospective clients or buyers without breaking the bank.
When embarking on Webinar Marketing it’s important to research the best practices for this channel. Offering your audience giveaways and discounts for attendance might urge them to join. It’s crucial to offer valuable, well-researched information that will provide solutions for problems your audience might be facing.
5. Practice Diversification
Regardless of size, even modestly diversified businesses outperform their less-diversified counterparts. Small and mid-sized firms that are diversified in at least two ways are more likely to achieve strong financial performance. – Business Development Bank of Canada
Although one of the apparent riskier approaches to business growth, diversification can really pay off as noted in the above statement. The questions to ask yourself and your company is ‘How can we diversify?’ – Let’s consider a few options below:
- Find related products or service. Have a look at your service or product offerings and research items that relate. If you are selling smartphone accessories, have you considered tablet and laptop accessories as well? Or, if you are a social media manager, have you considered adding PCC services or copywriting services to your current packages?
- What’s next for your industry? Try to determine what will be trending within your niche. What are your competitors up to, are they seeing gaps that you aren’t aware of yet? Make use of your research to develop a new idea or product.
- Offer eCommerce Solutions. Diversifying can be as basic as taking your products or services online. We live in a fast-paced, instant gratification society – and you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for your clients to convert.
- Consider the risks. Before starting production on an idea that came to you in a dream, you have to consider how this change will influence your current performance. Do you have the finances and available resources, do you have the manpower and time commitment needed to diversify. Only invest in this option if the timing is right, there would be no use in using a business growth strategy that will take you further from your goals.
6. Embrace Automation and Limit Operation Costs
Another great way to adjust your current strategy in order to focus on business growth is by embracing the automation options available. As a company, you also want to limit your operational costs. For instance, make use of the Cloud-based WiFi solutions that are more cost-effective and well-suited for small businesses.
How you manage your business will directly influence the possibility for growth. Make use of project management tools and software to help streamline the process and simplify the tasks. These programs are designed for collaboration and will allow your employees to take a more agile approach to project management.
Alongside task management software you can use automation for:
- Marketing on more than one channel or platform
- Calculating your return on investment
- Tracking time and scheduling tasks
- Inspiring productivity and boost employee performance
As a small business owner, automation will open up time for you to focus on what you do best, instead of trying to micro-manage the everyday operations. You will be able to have a bird’s eye view of the overall production within a work day.
Having business strategies in place can be the difference between failure and success. No business plan or strategy is the same and it would be solely reliant on the type of business you run, the company culture, your target audience, resources, vision for the future and ultimate job satisfaction. Explore the above-mentioned strategies and consider how they can increase your business growth for the year to come. We’d love to hear how you’ve been implementing these strategies.
About the Author: Anneke Steenkamp is a freelance content, copy and social media management professional. She is passionate about helping businesses grow in the fields of content marketing, social engagement and branding. Find out more about Anneke here, here, and here.