How can you actually grow a business?

When we are talking about business growth, typically we are referring to growth in sales or revenue. However, do you know that actually there are four different ways a business can grow to achieve this revenue growth?

Below, we will discuss these four different areas, and actionable tips of how your business can achieve growth in each of these areas and ultimately grow your revenue.

Without further ado, let us begin.

A. Growth in Customer Size

Your sales/revenue will grow when you get more customers to sell to, it’s that simple. The practice? We all know it’s easier said than done.

However, here are some actionable tips to achieve growth in customers size:

1. Understand your customers

You can learn a lot about how you can attract new customers by studying your existing ones. Identify what made your current customers choose your business and buy your product/service. This can give you really valuable insights into which marketing strategies and channels are working for you, and which should be improved or thoroughly eliminated in the future.

If you are a B2B business, you should ask how your product/service has helped their business’s objectives. For B2C consumers, ask them about what they liked about the product and what they most disliked.

By conducting these interviews, you can also accurately identify your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP): what makes you unique compared to the competitors. Leverage these insights to plan your strategy to attract new customers.

2. Improve your online presence

In this digital age, it’s crucial to have a strong online presence, even if you are not an exclusively online business (i.e. an eCommerce store).

You should:

  • Have a professional website. Social media profiles are not a replacement for a functional website
  • Maintain consistency in publishing your content both in quality and quantity. This is crucial in establishing your credibility and thought-leadership
  • Make it as easy as possible for new customers to purchase from you:
    • If you are selling products, use proper eCommerce platforms like Shopify to ensure secure and streamlined transactions
    • If you are a service-based business, make sure you have proper appointment software like Bookeo to make it as easy as possible to book your service.
  • Run paid promotions on social media and relevant advertising channels.
  • Host giveaways and contests on social media, also a great way to build your social media followers.

3. Affiliate and influencer marketing

Marketing (or affiliate marketing) is encouraging other people to sell your product or service for a commission for each sale.

Influencer marketing, as we know, is about partnering with influencers in your niche so they will promote your product/service.

Both of these types of marketing work on the same principle: people are more likely to purchase things recommended by those they can trust.

B. Growth in Business Operating Speed

The faster you do your business, the more customers you can serve and/or the more products you can manufacture, and the more potential revenue you’ll generate.

There are four different business operating speeds to consider: 

  • Functional speed: how quickly you can execute the business’s day-to-day operations. In most cases, this is about hiring more people and/or upgrading systems and infrastructure.
  • Delivery speed: how quickly you can deliver a finished product or service to your customer. Improving delivery speed is about improving your efficiency.
  • Expansion speed: how quickly but accurately you can expand the business. However, in expansion, fast isn’t always better. If your team is not ready, it can backfire.
  • Timing speed: how businesses can leverage the right timing to maximize opportunities. To improve this, businesses must have strong positioning and continuously gain insights into opportunities.

C. Growth In Human Resources

Growth in human resources would allow businesses to more effectively and efficiently execute the processes (in parallel), produce more products/services, and serve more customers.

Growing human resources, however, isn’t solely about hiring more people, but you should also consider: 

1. Management

It’s useless to hire more people if you can’t appropriately manage them and maximize their potentials. Also, the more people you have in a team, the more potential conflicts and group dynamics would arise. Growth in human resources must also be balanced with growth in managerial skills (and managerial personnel). 

2. Right people for the right job

It’s crucial to make sure you are hiring the best people for the job, and at the same time, you should assign appropriate roles and responsibilities so they can contribute according to their core competencies. 

3. Outsourcing

With remote working and video conferencing becoming the norm, it might be more cost-effective to outsource certain tasks rather than hiring and building an in-house team. It’s crucial to assess which option is best for each situation.

D. Growth in The Number of Products/Services Sold

Another way to grow your business is by selling other products or services to generate more sales and/or serve a wider range of customers. However, just like expansion, it’s important to make sure you are ready to have multiple products or services, and whether you can attract buyers for these new items.

Market research

Begin the product/service development with thorough market research. Would your existing customer purchase this new product/service? Are there actual demands for these products/services? Interview and survey your customers when possible.

Upsell and cross-sell

Upselling is the practice of pushing an add-on product to a customer, for example offering a power brick for customers who just bought an iPhone.

Cross-selling is offering a separate product that might benefit the customer in some way. Using the same example, we offer an iPad to the customer who just bought an iPhone.

When upselling or cross-selling, timing and value are the most important factors: you have to communicate the value of the offered product/service and the cost, while at the same time offering the product at the best time possible. For example, you can send them a promotional email when there’s a new product launch or on a specific season.

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