When you’re growing your business, there are no guarantees. There might be times your business feels like it’s on the fast track to success and other times when it’s in slow motion. To stay balanced, try building a holistic small business growth strategy.
With a growth strategy, you can improve your chances of surviving, expanding, and maintaining a healthy business.
Building a Holistic Small Business Growth Strategy
There are different types of growth strategies, so your options aren’t limited. You can offer new products or services, break into different markets, or expand your target audience.
Here are some ways to create your growth strategy. Depending on your objective, you might use more or fewer of these tips.
Identify Your Target Audience
Whether you are just starting out or a veteran entrepreneur, you need to know your target audience. Once you know your target audience, you can grow your business by marketing and selling to them. To help you identify your target audience, conduct focus groups.
With focus groups, you can learn your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Gather feedback on your products or services to determine how much your ideal customers are willing to spend.
On your small business website, you can include live chat support to ask users whether they are finding everything or not. You could also send email surveys asking buyers to rate your products or services, talk about their product preferences, and more. If you conduct polls over the phone or in person, consider offering an incentive, like a discount.
Encourage Sales with Pricing Strategies
To grow your business, you need sales. You can work on improving your sales by implementing different pricing strategies.
To grow your business, decide on a strategic pricing plan. And, update your pricing strategy continually throughout the life of your business. There are a few pricing strategies you can choose from, depending on your goals.
You can grow your business by pricing products or services low to gain customer attention (market penetration pricing), offering discounts, or bundling products. These strategies can encourage consumers to buy from your business and become loyal customers, leading to long-term growth.
Create Marketing Strategies
According to Business Insider’s 2016 State of Small Business Report, marketing and advertising are the top priorities for 46% of small business owners. And, it’s no wonder. Marketing makes it possible to attract your target audience and promote your business.
You can market digitally through social media, blogs, and emails. In many cases, these options are inexpensive but have huge growth potential over time.
Creating social media platforms is generally free and connects you with consumers who might be interested in your business. Sixty-nine percent of the public uses social media, according to the Pew Research Center. Because the majority of people are on social media, you could be missing out if you are not active. You can share promotions and other updates on social media to grow your business.
Your blog can also help fuel growth in your business. A resourceful, helpful blog that is optimized with searchable keywords can draw in users. Not only will you build brand awareness, but you could also end up with paying customers.
Email marketing can help you grow your business, as well. With email marketing, you can bring attention to promotions your business is running and build brand awareness.
To grow your business, you need to create an effective marketing strategy that doesn’t overpower your target audience. You don’t want to bombard them with content. Instead, set a schedule to post on social media, publish blogs, and send emails. And, you don’t want to constantly push your business on customers. Post, publish, and send other content, like general industry updates and other useful information.
For example, you could post social media content three times per week on each platform. The first post could be about weekly deals at your business, the second about industry updates, and the third a picture of customers. Get creative, and discontinue ideas that don’t work.
Remember, you need money to grow your business, and you need customers to make money. Marketing done right should translate to paying customers who help grow your business.
Conduct a Marketing Analysis
To build your business’s growth strategy, look at your competition and other businesses in the industry. Though you shouldn’t copy their strategies, knowing what others are doing can help you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Your market analysis can provide information about consumer buying patterns and the relationship between the economy and your industry.
You shouldn’t be oblivious to what’s going on around you. If you want your business to grow, you need to conduct a market analysis and use the information to make business decisions and set goals.
Your small business has no room to grow if your expenses are too high. Cutting business costs is a great way to focus on growing your company.
You need to bring in more income than what you spend if you want to turn a profit. If cash flow is low, or if you constantly have a net loss, you will work on keeping your business alive instead of growing it.
Determine which costs your business can live without. And, you can try shopping around at different vendors to see if there are better rates. Once you start mastering aspects of your business, you might be able to reduce inefficient processes with high expenses.
Measure Your Growth Strategy
To make sure your growth strategies are working, you should measure them. You can measure your business’s growth by comparing the data on each of your financial statements over time. Financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Looking at these can show whether your business is growing, remaining stagnant, or declining.
You can also measure your business growth strategies by looking at customer loyalty and engagement. Determine whether you are gaining new customers at a steady rate. For example, if you use social media to market, you can use a platform like Likeable Local to automatically measure customer engagement.
Creating a small business growth strategy, and remembering to measure it, can have a big impact on your profits. Ensure your business continues to grow by trying new strategies, setting goals, and measuring growth.
Rachel Blakely is a content writer at Patriot Software, LLC, a provider of affordable online payroll and accounting software for small businesses. At Patriot, she enjoys providing actionable, growth-oriented information for small business owners.