No matter how many years you’ve been at it, how best to grow your business is a problem that never really goes away. From one-man shops to multinationals, the reality for every business is that zero levels of growth are an incredibly worrying sign that could indicate looming disaster.
Though running a business can be a staggeringly complex affair at times, many of the basics are surprisingly straightforward, and that’s nowhere more true than when it comes to how to encourage business growth. No matter what way you slice it, there are basically only four ways of putting more numbers on the bottom line. Let’s step through them to make sure you’re focusing your attention where it matters!
- Get More People In The Door
This is the first solution most business owners tend to gravitate towards. More people or prospects should naturally translate into more business after all. It’s a sensible area to focus on but be careful of putting all your eggs into this particular basket unless you are already very confident in your existing targeting and conversion. If you’re not currently honing in on the right people with your marketing (and effectively converting them), you risk simply throwing good money after bad.
- Fine-tune Your Conversion Rates
The first question to tackle here is whether you currently even know your average conversion rate? If not, make that your first order of business before going any further.
Focusing on boosting your current conversion rates doesn’t just add immediate value to the bottom line, it’s also likely to force you to have a hard look at your overall marketing and sales processes and lead to radical improvements in both departments.
- Boost The Number And Value Of Average Transactions
If you’re already reliably getting people to put their hands in their pockets, half the battle is won. One of the key questions you should now be considering is how you can get them to buy more of whatever has caught their fancy more often.
You should be concentrating on two key initiatives:
- How do you get people to buy more during their initial purchase? Consider upsells, special offers, related products, and anything else you can ethically use to boost that first-time dollar amount.
- How do you keep them coming back for more? You should be making consistent offers to all existing customers to make the most of the relationship over time. The best prospects you’ll ever have are the people who’ve already paid for your products and services.
- Up Your Margins
You don’t need to be an MBA to work out there are basically two ways of doing this: raise prices and cut costs.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with raising prices if you think the market can bear it, particularly in a services environment. A huge number of service providers are engaged in a pointless race to the bottom when it comes to pricing, simply because they can’t position themselves correctly as a top-tier provider. Don’t make that mistake.
Cost-cutting should also be a constant concern, but never at the risk of lowering overall quality or short-changing your customers or employees. Be frugal but never cheap.
If your business is currently going through a tight patch – and we’ve all been there! – make sure you’re tackling the core business growth tactics we’ve outlined above before hitting the big red panic button. They’re all common sense levers you can pull to bring in more business and make the most out of what you already have. Use them wisely and growth will take care of itself!