If you are like most business owners, one of your main goals is to grow your business.
Although the goal is clear, the way you achieve it might not be obvious. Here are 11 ways to grow your business.
Word of mouth marketing
For many businesses, word of mouth recommendations are the foundation for growth and the most effective way to grow your business. The key to getting recommended to others by your customers is providing a quality product or service and making sure that you are meeting or exceeding expectations.
Happy customers will recommend you to their family, friends and colleagues, helping to grow your business without having to spend time or money on marketing.
Traditional marketing includes direct mail, print advertising, billboards, printed newsletters, radio and TV ads. Although not seen as innovative anymore, traditional marketing methods still offer the potential to build your business.
For example, radio ads remain popular with businesses because over 80% of consumers still listen to radio at least once each week. Another traditional form of marketing that can boost sales is direct mail. Although email marketing has taken off, consumers are now getting so many emails that they are not paying attention to most of them. With less competition in letterboxes today, a well-crafted direct mail campaign can attract more customers.
Traditional marketing methods can be especially effective if you are targeting a local market. If you don’t have a large budget, you can focus your marketing efforts on a smaller geographical region. For example, running an ad or including flyers in your local newspaper could help you to grow your business.
Online / digital marketing
Online and digital marketing can take many forms, a few of which include search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click (PPC) advertising, social media, and email marketing. With search engine optimisation, the goal is to get ranked by Google so that people find your business when searching terms related to your products or services. Many factors go into getting a higher rank from Google. Some of these include using the right keywords on your website and having backlinks from relevant and respected sites.
With pay-per-click advertising, you create ads that are displayed when people search for keywords related to your business. Using pay per click advertising, you can target the geographical locations you serve.
With social media, the goal is to grow your audience and stay connected with them. Keys to social media success include sharing content and staying connected through feedback and conversations. Paid advertising is playing a bigger role in social media with more businesses paying for advertising on platforms where their current and potential customers are found.
SEO, PPC and social media are all ways to capture names and email addresses to build your email marketing list and eventually grow your business. When you have enough names on your list, you can start sending email marketing campaigns. The best way to begin is by offering your knowledge on subjects your readers are interested in. This will boost your credibility with your readers before you try to start selling to your list.
Focus on sales
All businesses need to focus on sales. Usually, the higher the cost or complexity of the product or service, the more customer contact is required to make the sale. For example, if you are selling low-priced consumer goods, you won’t have as much personal interaction when making a sale. On the other hand, if you provide a costly and complex product to businesses, much of your focus will be on interacting with prospects to make the sale. Hiring sales staff is one way to increase your focus on sales and grow your business. If you need to make more sales, you could hire professional telemarketers on a temporary basis to increase leads for existing sales staff.
Expand your network
Depending on the type of products or services you offer, networking can be a useful tool to grow your business. The key in networking is to build your credibility and trust with fellow networkers so they eventually call on you or recommend you to others. This means that your focus in attending networking events should be on getting to know people without pushing your products or services. One excellent way to connect is to look for ways to help the people you meet at networking events. When you are helpful, people will naturally want to reciprocate by helping you.
Go to trade or consumer shows
Trade and consumer shows can be an excellent way to grow your business, whether you have a business-to-business or business-to-consumer focus. Depending on your product or service, the goal might not be to sell your product or service on the spot. For larger sales, whether to businesses or consumers, you will want to collect names and contact details that will enable you to follow up with emails and phone calls to build the relationship for making future sales.
Leverage cross promotion
With cross promotion, you work with related businesses to help each other. For example, a lawyer, accountant, financial planner and insurance broker can work together to promote each other to their clients. This could include providing each other’s brochures in their offices and recommending each other to their respective clients. Getting more elaborate, this group of professionals could organise an event where each person presents on an aspect of their business, including the latest developments around their area of expertise. All members of the cross-promotion group would invite their clients so it can be an excellent way to promote each other’s services and grow your business.
Expand to a new location
Depending on the type of business, expanding to a new location can give you access to new customers. If your business is location based and tends to attract mostly local clientele, opening a new location might be a viable option for growing your business. For example, if you run a restaurant that’s popular with locals and fully booked most evenings, you could recreate that success at another location and grow your business. It will be important to choose a location with a similar demographic profile as your current location. In addition, you want to ensure that you replicate the quality of food and level of service at the new location. If the success of the business is the result of the owner’s management skills, it might be challenging to recreate this success at a new location.
Besides expanding to a new location, you can go online if you don’t have a web presence already. For example, if you are selling products from a physical location, you could venture online as a way to expand. Before setting up an e-commerce site, you could test market your products on eBay.
Run a promotion
Running a promotion can be a great way to generate short-term sales and attract new customers. You can begin by determining which items have been your most popular products (or services) and what has motivated your customers to buy these. You will have many options available for the promotion, including offering a discount on a product or service, or a free product when they purchase your product or service. The way you advertise your promotion will depend on how you stay in touch with your customers. If you collect email addresses, you could promote your offer through email. If you tend to focus more on social media, then you could get the word out through this channel.
Diversify your products or services
Adding a new product or service can be an effective way to grow your business. Start by considering products and services related to your business that you are not currently offering. Talking with your customers and understanding their needs is a good place to start. After receiving customer feedback, find a product or service that matches their requirements.
Consider business loans
Most of the points covered in this article require money to make them happen. For this reason, a business loan could be the key to growing your business. There are many options available when it comes to business loans. Give one of our experienced Finance Brokers a call on 1300 736 780, or get a quote.
We’ll assess your needs, discuss your options with you and give you a decision within 48 hours. Upon approval, you can start implementing your plans to grow your business!