Business growth and development can be looked at in various ways depending on the stage a company is in. Many startups see growth simply in terms of increasing their customer base. But in fact, business growth can also be achieved if existing customers can be encouraged to purchase more.
Whatever the route to expansion, the important metric to concentrate on is revenue – and on finding a way to increase profits sustainably whilst mitigating risk.
There’s no single magic formula for achieving successful business growth and development, but there are some proven ways to help you reach your growth milestones.
Here are some to get you started:
Business growth and development tips
1. Hire the best people
Before you can even think about growing and developing your business you need to ensure you have the right staff on board to help you achieve it. The only surefire way to achieve fast growth is to have a good team at your side.
If you’re an owner, work out what you can do yourself and what requires external specialist skills. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to take on certain tasks you need to outsource – otherwise, you will slow your business growth and development.
2. Focus on established sources of revenue
Sometimes it makes more sense to focus on your core customers rather than aiming to acquire new customers all the time. Consider implementing a customer loyalty program or trying out marketing strategies based on previous buyers’ behaviours to stimulate repeat business.
Loyal customers not only help a company grow quickly when times are good, but they also help companies stay afloat when times are tough. (Bloom Intelligence)
Focusing on your established market is in any case important if you’re attempting to secure funding. You need to show banks and investors that yours is a large market so they have more reason to see the potential return on investment.
3. Reduce risk
Business growth and development inevitably involves an element of risk and it’s impossible to control every aspect. However, there are ways to mitigate that risk, both when it comes to internal or external threats to the growth of your business. For example, make sure you seek out insurance products that would help you recover from disruptions such as the theft of employee data or customer records or other cyber losses.
4. Be flexible
A trait that many successful startups have in common is the ability to adapt to changes in the market. An agile approach to business growth and development will help both your products and services grow your company more quickly.
By ensuring you can switch direction quickly you’ll be able to test out different approaches and find out what works best for you. Flexibility can help you expand your customer base beyond what it is at present and take your products to the next level.
5. Put the customer first
Customer perceptions can make or break a business. If you mess things up it can quickly escalate on social media. Smaller companies are nimbler than larger ones and are often better at responding to customers’ needs and are often able to bring new innovative products to market more quickly.
Diversify your products to cater to changing tastes and make sure you personalise your customer’s experience as much as possible.
6. Invest in yourself
If you’re at an early stage in your business you probably won’t be making much of a profit but it’s essential that revenue does get put back into the company if you are to get off the ground.
7. Upgrade your business website
If your website was designed several years ago it may not be fit for purpose. Technology and trends have changed so if your site simply resembles a brochure with basic information on your products or services it’s time for an upgrade.
8. Create great content
Content is what attracts customers to your website so posting a regular blog is a must. Keep customers engaged by getting them to sign up for your newsletters and encourage them to follow you and share your posts on social media.
Spend more of your time sharing your knowledge with prospects rather than simply spending money on advertising campaigns.
Make sure you share your content on the social channels your prospects use, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. If you don’t embrace social networks you will get overlooked.
9. Use marketing automation
Using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot can help you get things done more quickly.
For example, it can help you set up efficient email campaigns and move prospects further down the sales funnel. It can also help you automate lots of tasks including lead scoring, social media sharing, and performance tracking.
10. Have a business growth and development plan
You don’t have a feasible business without a plan. A business growth plan will help you plot out the tasks that will enable you to generate more business.
If you need pointers on creating an effective business growth plan there’s a lot of information and advice readily available online. It may also help to seek help from a specialist business growth development consultant.