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Here’s How I Grew Five Businesses, and Eventually Sold One to a Fortune 500 Company.
Grow Your Business Big!
by Donna Johnson
You can take the word “grow” two ways – it can grow in size or grow in profits. I think, ultimately, the point would be to grow in profits. So, this content covers methods intended – over time – to increase your income.
Strategies to Grow Your Business
Your growth strategy would, of course, depend on your industry and budget. It could also hinge upon factors like the season, what the competition is doing, and resources (like inventory and staffing).
Grow Your Business through increased marketing.
You’re probably already using some marketing methods, but you can ramp it up or try a new method. If you’re not comfortable doing things like trade shows or networking, send an employee or partner who excels at it.
Promotions. Sales, specials, regular coupons, or a customer loyalty program (like giving punch cards tracking purchases … when a customer makes 9 purchases, the 10th is free).
Webinars work well at getting the word out about your business and its offerings, generating leads, and making on-the-spot sales.
Content: Ads, articles, posts.
Vehicle: Social media. Newspaper. Trade publications.
Branding: Develop and maintain an image, look, or style for your business.
Networking. Join and attend clubs, associations, meet-ups, masterminds, etc. Share your pitch, business card, flyers, giveaways. Set up table or booth at meetings or other occasions.
Trade shows/events. Set up a table or booth at conventions, trade shows, seminars of your peers or target audience.
Work your social media by using what you already have or creating new social media presences (like Instagram or Pinterest). Start making posts intended to generate leads by offering free articles, checklists, or programs. Generate interest through useful videos or tips.
List your products or services on global platforms. Amazon, ebay, Upwork, etc.
Create an email campaign. After building an email list (from social media, networking, trade shows, etc.), launch a systematic campaign of communications that generate interest in your product or service or that offer a program or that promote an event.
Grow Your Business through partnerships.
You can strategically connect with another business owner or entrepreneur to cross-promote or trade skills.
For instance, if you’re a garage owner you can align with an auto-body shop owner or a car wash owner to cross-promote each other’s business.
Or perhaps you “barter” by trading services or knowledge; for instance, if you have a print shop and you need someone to create and maintain your website, you partner with that person to exchange their talents for yours.
Partners can also cross-promote you in their email campaign, or let you use their email list. They can include you in online or live events as a presenter or sponsor.
Grow Your Business through more staff.
If you add more people to get the work done, you not only can take on more customers, but also improve your reputation with faster service. Additional staff can include:
- Part- or full-time employees
- Independent contractors
Different types of staff require different costs, processes, and support. There’s factors like benefits, hiring agencies, taxes, paperwork, space, and equipment.
Grow Your Business through expanding your products or services.
If you’ve developed a good following of customers, then you can grow by offering new products or services. Say you own a salon, you can offer a new line of hair care products or a new service like keratin treatments.
Scaling up products may involve considerations like additional space or storage or obtaining a new distributor.
Adding a new service may involve buying new equipment or finding trained personnel.
Either type of expansion will most likely require:
- modifying content on your existing marketing pieces, websites, and social media sites
- hiring more staff
- targeting an additional demographic
- changing signage
- instructing staff on promoting these new offerings
Grow Your Business through adding a location.
Another brick-and-mortar location will naturally generate more sales. Expanding your business in a higher traffic area or another locale.
Must take into account the costs (rent, staff, utilities, inventory, equipment, etc.) to be sure that “more is better.”
Grow Your Business through creating a franchising opportunity.
With success, some businesses may be ripe to develop as franchises. As long as your business has the right stuff:
- a strong structure and organization
- strategic direction
- well-developed processes
- great vendor relationships
- strong earnings
- brand loyalty
Grow Your Business through new software or hardware.
You can scale your business by organizing the information that makes businesses more efficient. If you’ve been using manual processes to do invoicing, accounts receivable, inventory tracking, payroll, or other business activities, you can. Free up resources and personal for more profitable ventures. You can take the data you’ve tracked to create targeted marketing campaigns or to share with partners.
Write down what you want to accomplish, goals to meet, the “how to accomplish” milestones to hit … basically a mini-project plan to grow your business. Check out this article on Growing Your Business By Getting Referrals.