Learning how to grow your business isn’t just a worthy goal; growing your business is often a necessity for your business’s survival and your economic well-being. What can you do to get your business beyond the bare sustenance level? What can you do to turn it into the income-generating powerhouse you envision? Try one or more of these growth strategies. All have been successfully used by other businesses and, with some planning and investment, will work for you.
1. Penetrate Your Existing Market
When you think about how to grow your business, the first thing that probably comes to mind is getting new customers, but the customers you already have are your best bet for increasing your sales. It’s easier and more cost-effective to get people who are already buying from you to buy more than to find new customers and persuade them to buy from you. So focus on ways to get customers coming back.
2. Ask for Referrals
Of course, attracting new customers to your business is never a bad approach. One of the easiest ways to do it is to ask your current customers for referrals. But notice the verb. Having good products and great customer service and just assuming that your customers are passing the word about your business isn’t going to do much to increase your customer base; you have to actively seek referrals. During or after every job or sale, ask the satisfied customer if they know anyone else who would be interested in your products or services.
3. Innovate Your Product or Service
Discovering and promoting new uses for your products or services is a great way to attract existing customers to buy more and attract new customers. Think petroleum jelly and duct tape—and how few of these would actually be sold if they only had one use!
3. Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool to promote your business to potential customers and gain valuable insight through ‘social listening’. Through social listening you can find out what customers are saying about you, gain insight into their behavior, identify keywords and trends that appeal to your target market and so improve your customer service. Social media can help you to build your business profile and attract new customers.
Attend networking events
Invest time to build your networks – it’s not what you know but who you know. Networking allows you to build relationships with other people and encourage them to refer customers to you through word of mouth.
Give back to your community
Building brand awareness in your local community is a great way to attract new business. Consider sponsorship or participating in a community event to raise your business profile.