One of the most critical and complex challenges for those who run their companies is to determine the best way to grow their businesses. Although there are always periods of high sales and low sales, a lasting slowdown in business growth is usually a cause of great concern for investors and management.
We understand that finding ways to broaden the business and income can be tiring, especially for startups, small companies or even for the new division of a large multinational. All transactions have room for improvement. But not all leaders know where to look. Or how to correct the course to achieve change when difficult times come. That’s the business growth definition.
The biggest threat
For example, repeating a business growth strategy that worked in the past is particularly harmful. Often, companies rely on a plan that affected back in their day. Such an approach could have expired and no longer have the desired impact on the market.
Companies that search through the bag of old tricks without carefully assessing the changing dynamics of the market risk becoming trapped in a vicious circle. They are repeating the same actions, and over time, obtaining results more unsatisfactory than anticipated. Although many companies indeed find it difficult to keep up with the changes caused by technological advances and new business models. These are not the only reasons why companies find it challenging to find and maintain business growth and sources of income. Sometimes, the biggest threat to a company is its success, or worse, its complacency.
87% of companies go through a period of stagnation at some point in their life, and only a small percentage of them come to recover. We realize that what determines the probability of success was not the organic business growth strategies that companies opted. It is instead the context in which you implement the plan, the combination, and sequence of the initiatives. Growth is much less complicated than people believe.
Therefore, we can make a category of most of the efforts made by a business to grow into ten strategies of business growth. This denotes that many of the classic plans have not disappeared and remain valid.
Small and medium enterprises face the challenge of converting their businesses and reconsidering their strategies in the search for business success. According to the latest Global Survey of CEOs prepared by the consulting firm PwC, a quarter of respondents pointed to innovation as a top priority for their companies during 2018.
This desire to innovate and grow is not usually so easy to carry out: the desire to identify new areas of growth, opportunities and establish long-term success plans can be difficult for both consolidated companies and startups.
Look at the context
With the new complexity of the business world due to the rise of e-commerce, SaaS, and other innovations in technologies and business models – and as consumers understand more -they must be applied from a more modern perspective. It is not enough to choose a new business growth strategy. You must fully understand the context of the current market before making a move. Otherwise, even the right decision or path of growth can diminish you at the most inopportune moment.
Make it clear
when choosing the appropriate path of growth for your company, you should always start with the context, circumstances, or events that make up the environment in which the business competes.
In our opinion, the fact that companies make growth decisions intelligently weighing the product, market, consumer context, threats and opportunities posed by such settings and the combination and sequence necessary to support chosen growth pathways. It can make the difference between success and failure.
We list ten strategies that will help increase your business’s growth:
1. Customer experience
It will help you boost additional purchases and a good reputation. The customer experience is the sum of all contacts: both online and offline, both through human and technological agents. It remains an important reason for the growth of the business.
A company uses the path of customer experience to channel growth. It must become the centre of all business units, all functions, decisions, and employees. Each worker must understand their role in providing the product or providing customer service. From the accountant to the cleaning team, everyone has their role.
2. Penetration in the client base
What’s an organic growth business definition? Sell more products to the customers you already have. To do this, you will need to have a thorough knowledge of the market and the actions of the competition. It is not about acquiring customers once, but about making sure that your brand is the first in the minds of consumers. Especially when they think to buy again, you should talk regularly with your current customers, but also with those of the competition.
The big data analysis can help you to outline the most subtle details of the attitude, behaviour, and interests of your customers. In the best case, you will know more about your customers and their relationship with your products than themselves. In this way, you can not only change the pricing and marketing strategies almost immediately but anticipate what your customers will want next and welcome them when they appear.
3. Market acceleration
A small business growth plan can expand to new markets with products that you already have. This strategy is carried out just after the previous one. It is quite likely that you should cut products to meet the needs of the local market or the market that you have just set as your target. This route is a bit more dangerous than the previous one because it can be challenging to capture the context of a new market. As well as its hidden complexities, the changes in customer demands, and its geographical limitations when it comes to finishing what combination and sequence it takes to perfect.
However, the possible reward of this strategy compensates for the higher risk. It took decades to accelerate the pace with which a company adopts a new product and its number of users. Still, with the changes in the market context (Internet, social networks, mobile), decades have become days.
4. Expansion of product portfolio
Sell new products to existing markets. In a strategy of product expansion, the key is not to not confuse your current customers with a new product. It does not fit entirely with those that are usually associated with your company. Try to preserve your essence and choose elements that resemble your existing base.
New and growing value is what attracts customers and feeds companies. If the amount offered is not increasing, or if a product stagnates, the company risks losing ground in the market while competitors, or even newcomers, increase their value and leave it behind.
5. Diversification of customers and products
It may be more convenient to start with product expansion and market acceleration to test your capabilities. Only then can you redouble your efforts to promote new products, markets, and customers.
6. Sales optimization
Streamline sales processes to increase productivity, which is to maximize the results of your sales team by improving their use of the entire arsenal of resources – systems, processes, workers, technology, and capital – to close a sale and then to take advantage of that relationship in the uncertain future.
7. Minimize customer losses
Keep more customers. If you do not try to retain the customers, you already have and do not strive to reduce their attrition, and you can generate incalculable losses. Adopting the management of casualties as business growth strategies is delicate because it tends to be a reasonably defensive strategy.
The idea of reducing casualties implies that you are doing something wrong (the cause) for customers to abandon you (the effect). If customers were delighted with your product or service, there would not even be a risk of suffering casualties.
Usually, casualties do not have a single trigger. If you manage to analyze the timing and causes of abandonment (by investing in technology), you will find solutions to end customer casualties and even reverse them.
Take advantage of alliances, channels, and ecosystems. The pillars of a good partnership are trust and mutual benefit for both parties. Companies cannot do it all alone. Businesses help companies to avoid the costs and risks of entering new markets or looking for new types of customers in addition to accelerating the return on investment in expansion projects.
Cooperate with the competitors of your market or sector (product development, shared intellectual property). Collaboration is a reaction against the idea that a particular market is zero-sum: an economic pie of fixed dimensions in which competitors cut pieces of market share from others and the winner takes it all.
Instead, the goal of the cooperation is to find synergy with competitors to increase the size of that cake. If you achieve this, everyone wins, and that makes it even worth collaborating with your recognized competitor.
10. Unconventional strategies
It changes current thinking. This strategy is not especially expensive in terms of investment or labour. For example, Steve Jobs had almost no difficulty taking the stand at the annual Apple conference and inspiring thousands of people to covet, and they will buy their products.
What makes unconventional strategies so attractive is that it is a growth path with the potential to revolutionize the sector, end competition, and even become the head of a vast new market. Unconventional strategies, by definition, involve embarking on the unknown — for example, corporate social responsibility, conscious capitalism, social entrepreneurship.
11. Focus on the business first, then the competition
Companies must have a broader vision and have strategies to anticipate market and customer trends and stay ahead of the game. Focus on the business itself and not the game. What is better than focusing on the race, companies should instead invest their resources and, most importantly, the sacred time in better understanding their business affairs. That means developing their teams and departments and extending a positive impact on their workforce.
How should a business grow?
The answer to this question has a lot to do with the particular experience of each entity. Also, what does it mean to grow? Does freeing processes and automate them imply growth? It is a term very quick to interpretation. What is certain is that any company aims to be more efficient, improve its quality, provide a better service, and have higher profitability and a long etcetera. The best way to determine where to grow is to identify those points in the processes of a company that you can carry out efficiently. Of course, there is always a way to improve.
For example, anticipating the growth of a company’s collection team implies the need to develop new solutions so that it works optimally. To consider a service that guides and guarantees the proper functioning of these types of processes that become complex with business growth is equivalent to understanding the direction of the company’s evolution.
Following some of these recommendations, your company will grow within the business world. You just have to start implementing these tips and see how your goals get closer and closer. Most companies make it a long term approach, and efforts are engaged on a short-term basis. It may seem natural that hard work equals the constant growth of the company. However, this is not necessarily true. Dedicating all the time to everyday work can mean that the company is stalling.
Understanding problem solving as a goal reached is a mistake. It looks more like a stop to change a flat tire. This metaphor helps to understand reactive versus proactive. If the wheel of a vehicle is flat, it cannot continue its path and must be changed. When changing the tire, the reactivity is being applied, reacting to a problem. However, proactivity can prevent issues, so as not to focus efforts solely on putting out fires or patching tires.