Launching a business can be an exciting and energy-consuming ordeal. In those first few months of getting your business off the ground, every day seems like an adventure. After a while, however, you begin to fall into a comfortable rhythm with your business. This can be a good thing, partly because it offers you a chance to start strategizing future business growth.
No one wants their business to remain stagnant, and yet 45% of businesses fail within five years of business — often because they failed to grow. So how do you grow your business once you’ve finally found your feet? Here are a few strategies that are sure to take you to the next level.
If you want to effectively reach your customers, you need to be able to understand them. When you first launch your business, you may have an influx of customers from the original buzz who eventually begin to peter out. To really hone your audience, conduct market research to determine what your audience wants.
Market research can give you a sense of your customers’ buyer preferences, the ads that are most effective for them, their likes and dislikes on the market. Research your biggest competitors and look at what works for them. Then look at the customer data gathered from your website and social media to see what hasn’t worked for you. Constant market research can help you keep a finger on the pulse of your audience and keep your business on the cutting edge.
One mistake that businesses can make is trying to promote their product as widely as possible, to as many people across demographics as possible. While this seems like a way to grow your business, it can also be a way to lose your identity. It will gain you plenty of first-time customers who likely won’t return.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, honing the customers you have now is more likely to grow your business and help you find more customers that stick with your business. Offer loyalty rewards or a referral program that gives customers a discount for referring a successful lead to your business. And the happier your customers are with your products or services, the more likely they will be to recommend you to others. By honing your current customer base, you can allow them to do the marketing for you.
As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to avoid every risk. Running a business is itself a risk. However, you can rule out common risks that could hinder your business with careful planning.
Have a trade secret like a secret recipe or a select social media contact list? You can protect them with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to keep the word from getting out. Ensuring your business for things like general liability, worker’s compensation, and data security, can also help to reduce risk. Make sure that you keep up with all relevant compliance regulations such as OSHA or data privacy compliance regulations.
If you want to grow your business, you must be in a growth mindset. That means being willing to change and go with the flow when it’s needed, as well as adapting to current, relevant trends. You don’t have to adhere to every trend, but be on the lookout for opportunities to put your business in front of fresh eyes and grow it in ways you hadn’t initially anticipated. Keep an open and flexible mind, and your business will flourish.
If you want to grow your business and make sales, you need to understand how sales happen. A sales funnel describes the customer’s journey from awareness of your company to purchasing a product and — hopefully — renewing their purchase. The goal of your sales funnel should be to bring them from awareness to a place of repeat custom.
Your sales funnel will include ways to put your name out there, a potential hook to catch the interest of shoppers (such as reduced prices for the first purchase, super-fast shipping, etc.), and a plan for an excellent customer experience that will bring them back for more. If you want to grow your business, a sales funnel is a must.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure customers keep coming back is to provide them a customer experience they can’t receive from your competition. Make sure your customer service is top tier and that conducting business with you is easy, clear, and satisfying. When your customer experience is strong, your customers will not only come back — they’ll tell their friends to work with you, too.