According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 627,000 new small businesses open annually across the United States.
In the face of new competition every year, you have to find ways to grow your small firm's revenue to remain competitive. Taking a small business and expanding it is extremely difficult, and many options will call for your attention. Do you venture into a new market? Do you sell more products but within the market you are in? The questions are endless.
No matter which business growth strategies you adopt, you must align them to your firm's objectives. Here is a look at some ways you can grow your small business and where they best apply.
1. International Market Development
One way to kickstart your business growth strategy is to look at selling your products beyond the United States. Thanks to the internet, you can now scale your sales more effectively.
When entering a foreign market, you should optimize your website to use the local language. Take care to not just depend on a language translation service but instead invest in a platform that can enable you to deliver a more comprehensive local experience. Eliminating the language barrier can allow your products to resonate with new customers which then stimulates sales.
Outside of the United States, the payment infrastructure varies per country and in some cases between regions within the same borders. Some markets depend primarily on cash, mobile money, or credit.
To successfully enter a new market, you should include a digital payment means on your site that is compatible with merchants in that region. That way, you empower customers to access your products without you having to invest significantly in new payment infrastructure.
2. Target Adjacent Customers
Customers whose needs are close to what a business offers are an accessible element of growth strategies for small business owners. If you can accurately identify such customers, and have a deep understanding of what they need, they can become an excellent source of new revenue.
For example, if you provide landscaping services to bird-friendly gardens, you can consider targeting game lodges and bird-watching groups. Using digital marketing, you can offer personalized packages to these adjacent customers and thereby increase your sales.
Remember that with adjacent customers, the trick is not to copy and paste your existing products. Success lies in taking your core skills and creating new ways to solve the problems these customers face.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Did you know that 16% of all online orders now come through affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is one of the small business growth strategies that offer a high return on investment.
Essentially, affiliate marketing is where you sell your products through a third party (the affiliate). The beauty of this strategy is that for a modest investment, you tap into an audience the affiliate can influence. As a result, you can increase your customer base without having to compete with the affiliate for their followers’ attention.
An affiliate marketing program will help you glean customer information that you can track in real-time. Such granular access to the sales information will help you optimize your strategy to get the most sales out of the program.
4. Provide More Value Across Your Customer's Journey
Whenever a customer spends their hard-earned money to get the product or service you provide, they are trying to achieve an objective. In this context, your small business is a means to an end. To grow your business, you need to find more ways you can help your customers along their buying journey.
For example, an online credit lending business will focus on providing finances as its core responsibility. But when customers deal with such a company, they are looking to fulfill a need such as buying a house, car, or even paying off debt.
If you were to add financial advisory as part of your service, you would help potential customers know how to use the money you loan them wisely. That way you earn interest on the loan and also on offering financial advice.
5. Market Penetration
Once you have added new products to your offering and entered new markets, you are left with increasing your market share. Market penetration helps you assess your current market and identify ways you can win over more customers.
If you operate in a sector where there isn’t a lot of differentiation, you can reduce your prices to attract more customers. You can also look for other digital channels that can help you distribute your products to a broader audience.
Are there new features you can add to your products? Doing so can help you bring in new customers within the market by offering more value.
Small businesses with shared interests have the power to broaden each other’s markets and earning potential. Identify a company you can partner with without cannibalizing each other’s sales to help each other grow.
For example, if you offer accounting services, you can partner with an accounting software development business. You can help the software firm reach out to more customers who want to automate their accounting system but still need to outsource managing the system to you.
On the other hand, the software firm will help you earn more significant margins by offering you competitive pricing and customized offers.
7. Mergers and Acquisitions
Although mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are considered growth strategies for big businesses, small firms can use the same principle to grow. Just as with big companies, you will need to ask yourself if the sum of the whole after M&A will be greater than the parts.
For example, a small digital marketing agency that focuses on search engine optimization (SEO) can merge or acquire a graphics design business. The result would be a bigger firm serving two markets and earning more through cross-selling its services as well.
Identify Relevant Business Growth Strategies for Your Small Business
Every year more small businesses join the fray, and you must find ways to keep elevating your firm. Business growth strategies are a dime a dozen, but unless you match them with your firm’s objectives, they may not deliver the best results. Understand the strengths of each strategy to know when it can best apply to your small business.
Universal Creative Solutions exists to develop comprehensive strategic solutions that can grow your business. Contact us today for a free consultation on how you can take your small business to the next level.