So you’ve started a business. With some first clients and first projects done your company is ready to start growing. What is your next move to reach the objective of your business? Unless you are planning to forever stay a one man small business or freelancer, it will have to do with growth and scale.
Putting together a business growth strategy.
Yes, once you have a solid foundation in products and services, even got some profits going, now it is time to strategize business growth. Business growth, however, is often accompanied by an increase in complexity.
Before setting the point on the horizon and expanding your brand and company, it is wise to plan your growth strategy. A strategy that makes your growth decisions based on research and data instead of opinions and get-feeling. These are the first path to making a more sustainable profit.
A business growth strategy, what does that look like?
When planning growth, it is good to look at multiple of the available options, then add the most promissing to your business plan. Depending on your industry and business model, here are some growth strategy options to consider:
- Increase budget for marketing and customer acquisition
- Expand the number of locations
- Move into new target markets
- Product line extention
- Acquisition and mergers
- Moving your brick and mortar store online
1. Increase budget for marketing and customer acquisition
Current budget for marketing and customer acquisition: $0, yikes! With no marketing dollars and the current competitive landscape in your industry, it’s time to start investing. Increase your budget for ads by a factor of three or four times what you are currently spending now.
To make waves and generate new business, plan to hire a marketing and customer acquisition specialist and he or she will need to pick up the tasks assigned. Increasing growth budget to match competitors
2. Expand the number of locations
The company needs to expand both their number of locations and the range of services they offer. A location should be scouted properly so it has a good potential for success. You know what they say: location, location,location. So start where there is demand. But also hiring an experienced operations manager.
3. Expand your product lines
The company needs to consider expanding their product offering as well; think about adding a type of service, or another related product they can offer in-house that would bring more customers through the door and generate better margins.
4. Move into new target markets
The company needs to consider moving into new target markets. They are competing in the same space as their competitors and this is not a good idea for any business, let alone one that’s small or medium-sized. If you can diversify in adjacet markets and expand horizons, the chances of synergy become better. This also means taking a look at the competition and see what they are providing to new customers and where the gaps need to be filled.
5. Acquisition and mergers
Acquisition and mergers are another option for a growth strategy. If the company is small and has yet to scale, they might consider acquiring new companies in adjacent fields that would be complementary with what’s already offered as this can create synergy through shared resources.
If you’re looking at mergers it is also important to see if the other company is a good match for your current business. If it’s not, this can be an expensive and risky venture so you want to ensure that both companies are in sync with each other before proceeding.
6. A franchise is a perfect way to expand quickly
A great business proces that can work, but needs exanding? Think about Franchising the benefits are that you can grow your business without the inherent risks of doing it on your own.
The benefits are that it’s a low-risk investment with high potential for return. Creating a franchise formula is a great way to diversify your business and expand without all the risks, while still retaining control of what you do.
The key is to find franchise partners that will truly complement what you offer and those are not always easy to find, so make sure you do all the research before jumping in with both feet!
7. Moving your brick and mortar store online
If you still have only a brick and mortar, now it the time to start a webshop and website and move your store online.
The benefits are that you can reach so many more people, at a lower cost per customer. You’ll need to invest in an ecommerce platform and have someone manage your online store 24/hours a day but it’s worth it!
A great way is by using a webshop like Shopify which has over 500,000 stores on it already who all use the same system as you do. If you’re not ready to make this move yet then try starting with social media to build up your brand awareness and get some online marketing experience under your belt.
Creating a SWOT analysis first
Your target market eco-system and industry pay a big part in your decisions. So it is smart to craft your SWOT analysis to see what are the growth options internally and externally. Customer acquisition will always a part of it.
Here is video by Dan Martell, outlining a few business growth points from his experience.
Remember, regardless of the market, a solid business development plan can give your company a boost. There is no one-size-fits-all business strategy or plan; you have to pick the strategy that works for you and your company with the resources at your disposal, the needs of your target market, and your company vision in mind.
One thing is certain – whatever type of growth strategy you choose, know what you’re getting into before moving forward. It’s important first step though should be figuring out so that there are no surprises down the line.
Good business growth and expansion strategies will help your business grow and expand. It may take financial investments in the short term, but in the long run it can keep you ahead of the competition.
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