12 min read
Every entrepreneur dreams of making it big with their business. And with time, effort, and a solid business plan, those dreams can eventually materialise.
Sometimes, though, your business doesn’t grow the way you expect it to. Even with a popular product. Even with a loyal customer base.
And while some of that could be owing to market forces beyond your control, there might be some obvious business growth strategies that you have not applied yet, but that could make a big difference.
The strategies we are about to mention might seem small and self-evident, but many businesses continue to ignore them – which means you will get an edge if you do implement them.
1. Prioritise cash flow management to ensure business sustainability
Most business growth strategies have to do with money – that is obvious! A big mistake that new entrepreneurs often make is to leave funding requests until the last possible minute.
The more you grow, the more investors will be looking for stability in your operations, and you do not want to risk that by running out of funds at a critical juncture. You have to pay attention to your cash flow.
Therefore, it is essential to keep sufficient working capital on hand to ensure daily operations progress seamlessly as you await customer payments.
Thankfully, with our professional help, you can reclaim control over your finances and always feel in charge of where your money is going.
2. Determine optimal pricing: Charge according to the value provided
Price dropping is one of those business growth strategies that every newcomer opts for in order to attract customers. Too much of it, though, and you could end up running at a loss.
Instead of slashing prices, therefore, think of ways you can add value that your competitors do not offer. It doesn’t have to be a costly addition, just something that differentiates you and your customers will value. If your customers feel like they are getting their money’s worth and more, they will be happy to pay what you charge – even if it is not the lowest price in the market.
3. Invest in quality while strategically minimising overhead costs
Being cost-efficient is certainly a virtue, but if you are trying to achieve it by hiring inexperienced vendors or not investing enough in customer support, you will soon start losing customers.
Treat these costs as investments – your goal should be to purchase whatever serves your product best. The profits will automatically follow.
However, avoid over-investing in your business. Many entrepreneurs pour money into their business during the exciting early days, and then panic when it does not yield the results they had hoped for.
A spray-and-pray approach simply will not get you anywhere significant – you need milestones to track to, deadlines to hit them by and numbers to aim for. So you need solid advice, and the best place to get that is by approaching an accountant.
And if you do not have one yet, this is the perfect time to find one! In fact, it is best you get in touch with us. We have a lot of experience in guiding startups and small businesses, and we are sure we can help you too!
4. Delegate tasks effectively to focus on core business functions
Most entrepreneurs wear all the hats when starting out owing to budget constraints. As you grow, though, your time is worth more than the money you save from not hiring staff.
Even if it is just a virtual assistant for admin tasks or a freelancer to handle marketing copy or someone to manage your books, having someone else share the load will help you scale up your company faster and boost your long-term profitability.
5. Harness the power of relevant technology for efficiency and scalability
Technology is pretty much a non-negotiable in today’s market. And while many entrepreneurs baulk at the expense of building up a tech stack, the returns you get in terms of time saved and business efficiency more than make up for it.
There are several tech solutions available to run payroll, prepare your accounts, handle your online payments and send out emails – many of which are affordable even for small budgets.
To get started, you can really count on Xero for automatically updating your invoices and bills, capturing costs to submit and reimburse expenses, and preparing MTD-compliant VAT returns – anytime and anywhere.
Plus, use Dext to conveniently snap, scan, and upload receipts on the go from the mobile app! Consult our Dext accountants and save some serious time spent on admin.
6. Cultivate a unique competitive advantage in your product or service lineup
It should be a no-brainer that success requires you to stand out from the crowd. The problem, however, is that many businesses become complacent about what they are already doing and assume it is enough, simply because everyone else is doing it (and surviving).
In another scenario, you may have an excellent product objectively, but is it the right one for the market you are selling to? If you offer the most high-quality herbal tea in town, but your local customers are all black tea drinkers, it is unlikely you will do very well.
If you are not sure where to start with this, talk to business growth consultants for ideas on how to pivot. As a small business, you have the advantage of being able to change tracks at a relatively low cost – make use of it!
To truly succeed long-term, you need to always be asking yourself “what can I do differently and more effectively than the competition?” Then, implement business growth strategies that get you there.
7. Develop a strong branding and marketing strategy to stand out
This is one of those business growth strategies that entrepreneurs shelve “for when I am bigger”. And while branding may feel like a fancy extra, first impressions matter a lot when customers are checking out your business for the first time.
If your website looks clunky, or if your logo looks tacky, or if your pages take too long to load, customers are more likely to assume that your business is not worth much.
Invest in polishing up your website and branding materials, and you will automatically look a lot more credible. Get testimonials that speak highly of your team and offering!
Moreover, to build a loyal audience, you need to get the word out about your business. And yet, many entrepreneurs continue to rely on traditional business growth strategies like word of mouth or mailed directories, which simply are not that reliable.
Invest in a professional marketing team who can bring your business to the right audiences through a mixture of paid and organic marketing. Once people know about you, your top-notch offerings and customer service will seal the deal!
8. Engage in continuous customer research and foster two-way communication
Who are the people buying – or most likely to buy – what you sell? If you cannot immediately answer this with confidence, you have a problem. Sit with your team, identify trends in your current customer base and build up a buyer persona to market your business to – your marketing agency can help with this.
You should also survey your customers about what they think of your business and pay attention to their behavioural patterns. Are they adding a lot of products to cart but not checking out? What is the open rate of your marketing emails?
Do they log in from a desktop or a mobile device? The answers to these questions are critical to shaping your business growth strategies going forward.
9. Network purposefully to connect with influencers and industry leaders
It is fairly easy to be connected with new people these days, thanks to social media. But how many of your LinkedIn connections or business group members are actually capable of helping you out if you need it?
You are better off reaching out to influential people in your industry – people who could connect you with clients, offer you the right advice, be advocates for your business and even be your clients themselves.
It may feel daunting to reach out to those individuals, but with smart business growth strategies, you can add them to your network and have them actively help you out. And when the time comes, you can repay the favour!
Having a community of entrepreneurs is also a great way to get perspective about a new product or market and learn from the mistakes others have made. Humans are social animals, and we could all do with some healthy companionship.
10. Commit to regular training and skill development to stay ahead in the market
Speaking of skills and knowledge, you need a lot of both before you can hope to become a successful entrepreneur. Media may have portrayed entrepreneurs as broke college graduates or genius drop-outs. But your chances are much better once you have seen something of the industry and built up a fund of knowledge.
You can invest in courses, connect with business growth consultants and mentors, or network with other entrepreneurs in the same space – anything you need to do to ascertain that you really have what it takes to build a successful business in your sphere of choice.
For example, if you do not have the budget to hire a huge accounting team just yet, start with one solid hire and approach an accountant with experience of startups to support you in the interim period. Take help however you can. Start off on the right note.
Always be ready to pivot for success
Please also remember that things do not always work out as planned. Even if your business growth strategies are on point, you might find two years into your entrepreneurial journey that you need to change your offerings – and if so, you need to make that change.
A large percentage of small businesses fail because they do not accept change when it has to happen. Whether it is a market demand pattern, a cost-cutting necessity or a bold but high-potential idea for a new product, it is on you as the entrepreneur to embrace it.
Plus, there are far too many small business owners who go into it with the idea that entrepreneurship is a cool thing – fuelled in part by social media content from influencers who peddle the “quit your job and upgrade your life” movement.
In fact, most of entrepreneurship involves hard work, failures and struggles that people will never know about, for rewards that are never certain.
The right attitude is to be sincere about creating something useful for customers based on the skills and knowledge you possess. Sincerity is the real “cool!”
And if you need some extra perspective on how to scale up your company, you can always reach out to us – your friendly neighbourhood business growth consultants. We are passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed and would love to be at your side as you spread your wings.
Running a business is like embarking on a journey; each challenge faced is a milestone crossed, and every success is a new horizon reached. Good luck!