If you are an ambitious business owner and thinking about how to grow your business, you have to first go back to basics. What does business growth mean to you? (Increase turnover by X%? Expand your offices? Hire more employees to release some of your time?) Once you have a focus, leveraging these seven steps will help you achieve your goals.
These are the seven most important aspects, which any business can address to achieve business growth. Addressing these points will not only help you to grow short-term, but, if done right, will help you to achieve long-term success.
1. There are only four ways to grow any business
- Increase the number of your customers (of the type you want to have)
- Suggestion: Use referral systems to bring more quality customers to your business
- Increase the number of times each customer comes back
- Suggestion: Create special offers to encourage customers to come back,especially if you have seasonally low periods across the year
- Increase your average sale value
- Suggestion: Package goods and / or services together;
- Consider what other goods or services could be supplied to your customers
- Increase the effectiveness of each process or system within the business
- Systemise as much as you can to make processes more efficient and keep an eye on your expenses
2. What gets measured gets managed
Measure all your key performance indicators (KPI’s). Not all of these are financial, and, in many cases, the non-financial measurements are just as important to a business
Some examples of KPI’s might be:
- Conversion rates – incoming calls to sales; meetings to quotes; quotes to sales;
- Customer satisfaction scores / NPS
- Team happiness scores
And the usual financial ones:
- Turnover by month and YTD
- Gross margins by month and YTD
- Cash balances
- Debtor days – a measure of how long your customers take to pay you
Once you start to measure these, you can manage trends and set targets. There are many KPIs that could apply to your business so give it some thought. You need to measure the right ones and do not want to report on too many and lose focus. Once you know your KPIs, report on the numbers regularly and improve each one of them over time.
Read more on Business Metrics here.
3. Build a Unique Differentiator
- What differentiates you from others? Build your brand around this and ensure your team is consistently spreading the message
- People buy the differences they perceive when deciding on which business to give their custom to
- Read More: 8 Ways to Differentiate Your Business
4. Learn the value of customers key frustrations… and turn them into positives
- Surveying customers or just asking customers what they think can give you invaluable insights into why they buy, which you can use to focus your business plan and grow your business
- Some examples of key frustrations would be
- Goods or service not delivered on time
- Not returning calls
- Not issuing quotes in a timely manner
- Mistakes on orders
- If you can turn around any of these key frustrations into positives, it can only help the business. For example:
- “If we fail to deliver on time we will send you a voucher for a meal on us”
- “If we fail to return your call within xxx hours, we will discount the cost of our service by 10%”
5. Look for the add on sale and focus on the lifetime value
- Approach existing customers with new products and services
- Don’t focus on the upfront cost and appreciate the value of customers that keep coming back to buy
6. There’s usually a better way than cutting the price!
- Value add to products rather than discount
- Create packages
- 2 for 1 sales to clear old stock
- Closed door sales
- Discount for “future” purchases – “buy again within 30 days and receive x% off”
7. Lower the barriers to doing business
Look at what barriers could affect customers buying from you
- Rigid payment systems
- Distance from you
- Opening hours
- Ease of contact
And then remove the barriers to grow your business!
- Payment systems – make it easy for customers to pay – offer all alternatives:- cash / cards / apple pay / website etc
- Extended opening hours – late nights on certain days of the week to cater for customers working hours
- Free delivery offers
Addressing the above seven points can help you to grow your business.
For help putting together and implementing a business growth plan, contact Partner, Paul Dell at firstname.lastname@example.org.