How to Start a Small Business: Step 11 – Growth

December 4, 2020
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As your small business expands, you’ll reach the stage where growth is noticeable. At this point, you may wonder if there are strategies that you can use. Or, you may wonder how you can best use your current ideas to propel your small business forward.

Here is what you should know about growing your small business, major growth strategies, and what you can implement for the best results. 

What Are the Major Growth Strategies?

Major growth strategies that you can use for small businesses: 

  1. Market penetration 
  2. Market expansion
  3. Product expansion
  4. Diversification
  5. Acquisition 

1. Market Penetration

Market penetration is the first major growth strategy. You can use market penetration to determine how customers use your company’s products compared to the size of the market that your products compete in.  

You can also use market penetration defensively, so you can further understand how many customers purchased a company’s items instead of competing products. 

2. Market Expansion

Market expansion is another major growth strategy that you can implement. This entails selling a current product in a new market. There are a few reasons that you can choose this strategy: 

  • Too much demand for a product in the current market
  • Untapped resources in a different market
  • Users may be more likely to purchase product in a new market

3. Product Expansion

Product expansion is another market strategy that you should know about. There are ways that you can expand your product, which includes:

  • Diversify your product
  • Expand to new domestic markets
  • Expand current demographic
  • Export current product
  • License your product

4. Diversification

Diversification is one of the most notable ways to grow your small business. It encompasses entering different markets to sell new products. This strategy isn’t without risks, and if you decide to try this, consider doing market research.

5. Acquisition

An acquisition is the last growth strategy. This strategy is most indicative of growth, as acquisition involves gaining control of another company. 

Acquisition of a company occurs when one company purchases either all of or most of its assets or stock. It’s a common part of business growth and marks the sign of genuine progress. 

How to Grow a Small Business

To grow your small business, consider using the following techniques:

1. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is an overlooked part of small business growth. When done effectively, customer service can be the difference between a lost customer and a loyal one. 

While customers may imagine customer service as a one-dimensional tool, there’s much more to customer service. More information about customer service, including tips to help your small business distinguish itself, is available here.

2. Offer a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are another way to entice your customers and grow your small business. You can tailor your loyalty program to customers to achieve the outcome you’d like. Other suggestions for your small business loyalty program include:

  • Keep your competition in mind (try to match them or offer more than competitors)
  • Listen to customers as they provide feedback over time
  • Notify your customers about your loyalty program
  • Provide an area where feedback is possible
  • Select the perks that fit best for your business model

3. Expand Your Social Media Presence

Social media is another way to grow your small business. While you can always use it for advertising your small business, you can also use social media to grow your small business. 

Some examples of how you can use social media to your advantage include: 

  • Advertising with hashtags, pictures, and videos to attract a new audience
  • Answering all posts relevant to your small business
  • Finding current customers and searching for new customers

4. Network with Professionals in Your Niche

Networking is one of the most effective ways to ensure small business growth. There are several ways that you can network your small business, both in-person and online. This includes:

  • Business cards
  • Elevator pitch 
  • Small business conferences  
  • Trade shows

5. Effectively Use Sales Funnels

A sales funnel describes a process that a customer undergoes, from first learning about a product to making the purchase.

There are 4 main steps to a sales funnel: 

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest 
  3. Decision 
  4. Action

In the first step, awareness involves a prospective customer discovering what your company offers. This step only focuses on the discovery aspect of a product, not later steps. 

In the second step, interest involves a more focused role in the discovery process. The prospective customer will search for solutions to their current problem. This is also the step where your product offerings generate curiosity or interest. 

In the third step, a prospective customer decides to purchase your product. Finally, the action is the point at which a customer invests in your product or service. 

6. Implement a Customer Management System

Customer management is another technique that can grow your small business. You can use a customer management system to learn more about complaints, customer habits, and customer profiles. 

Over time, you can keep track of these traits, hoping to increase customer loyalty.

7. Conduct Competitor Research

Competitor research is an effective way to grow your small business. You’ll use competitor research to determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also use competitive research to identify how your small business can excel in ways that competitors can’t.

8. Use Targeted Email Marketing

You can use email marketing to send important information to customers. It can be an effortless way to provide customers with updates about your business. You can also use email marketing to interact with customers.

When used correctly, email marketing offers several benefits. Some benefits include: 

  • Another way to interact with customers 
  • A rapid way to interact with customers
  • Allows you to communicate with a large group of members at once

10. Build Partnerships

Partnering with a business for another way to grow your small business. Both businesses can benefit from partnership marketing, collaborating with a business to expand to a new demographic or market. 

11. Host Webinars

Finally, webinars are an underrated way to grow your small business. Webinars offer several benefits for you and your potential customers, including:

  • Customers can view your company and its employees authentically
  • You can communicate with others 
  • You can engage your audience or have customers engage with each other
  • You can promote your small business and website simultaneously
  • You’ll increase the likelihood of prospective customers buying your product

Work with a Professional

Starting a business is one thing. Expanding and growing your presence, revenue, and staff is another. As you continue to build your business, you’ll likely find that more aspects of small business management demand your time and focus. Work with the professionals at 1-800Accountant today for all of your small business needs.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.