You’ve invested so much in your business—a combination of time, money, sweat and, most likely, sleepless nights in order to get it up and running. Now that you have the platform in place, the question becomes how to make it grow.
Tips for Growing Your Business
Thinking outside the box is a good start to growing your business. While there’s nothing wrong with the “basics,” it’s now time to add some extra layers.
· Diversity is key to opening more additional doors to business and revenue. If you offer one service exclusively but have experience in another, expand the secondary service as an added marketing/selling point. If you prefer to focus on one service type, consider offering complimentary services, special deals, or discount coupons. Diversifying is a strategic move towards business growth.
· Put your “money where your mouth is” by volunteering at a local college or technical school teaching adult classes. This can bring in new opportunities.
· Tap into other markets. Think about who your customer base consists of and where you’re likely to find them in their off time. These areas could open up the road to a new stream of clients. Places to consider include special-interest clubs, community centers, and organizations.
· Even though your business may just be starting out, there is nothing stopping you from bidding on government contracts. Whether it’s the city, county, or state, submit your proposal outlining the services you can provide. This can be a time-consuming process, but will give you a chance for payoff in growing your business. Do your research, be prepared with in-depth information about your company, and take your time preparing your proposal so it reflects your company’s best assets. Even as a small business, you can still compete with larger companies. Your business growth can be accelerated by winning just one contract.
The Best Overall Options for Business Growth
There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer that addresses every type of business. For example, some business owners who consider opening a second location wait until they’ve experienced several years of profits. They also track economic and consumer trends to ensure their services will continue to be needed in the future.
For others, franchising is a viable option to increase business growth. Again, these business owners usually wait a significant period of time to ensure that their platform is stable and profitable, they’ve worked out any kinks with their current systems, and they’ve started marketing their business to neighboring cities and states.
Buying a failing business may not seem practical, but if you have access to funding it can be a positive move in order to acquire the company’s customer/client base. Through due diligence and hard work, you can reach out to the acquired company’s customers and can potentially see high retention. If possible, hire the top staff from the purchased company. They’ll already know the business inside and out, so they’ll be huge assets in making the acquisition process run smoothly.
If you aren’t tapping into the free sources of the Internet and social media, you’re missing the boat in a big way. Millions of people find their goods, products, and services online every day, so having a social media presence is a must for growing your customer base. These must-haves include:
· Website – While face-to-face might be ideal, your company should still be accessible 24/7. Your website is essentially a mini-resume, showing potential customers what services you provide, what you’ve done in the past, and what else you can offer. It expands on your experience, your track record with customers, the services you provide, and any other information a potential customer would be looking for. People are on the web at all hours of the day and night, and it’s beneficial to you to have a professionally designed site with quality content available no matter when a customer is searching.
· Social Media – There’s a lot more going on with social media than sharing memes and smiley faces. With multiple social media pages from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and more, visitors can share, tag, and like your page, which generates the possibility of even more customers. From your social media pages, you can post updates about special discounts, answer questions, talk about your services, and share photos of projects in progress or those that have been completed. Whatever you want to promote about your company, social media is always available.
· Videos – This is yet another option to grow your business beyond business cards and word-of-mouth marketing. Posting videos about your services allows visitors to “see you in action” - whether you’re on camera talking about what you do or even walking viewers through a completed job site. This provides a more in-depth experience for potential clients than text or even photos. You can share videos on your company site, through your social media accounts, and more.
The tools to growing your business are available; it’s up to you to choose the ones that best serve your business needs. Growing a business can take time, but these tools are sure to jump-start the process.