Every business owner starts out brimming with motivation and enthusiasm. And yet, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. Jump ahead to five years and that number rises to a terrifying 70%. These numbers are alarming, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel yet. It’s important to put strong business growth strategies in place so that you make it past the first year and continue to grow. You need to know what to do when your business hits a plateau. And how to speed up business growth so that you’ll see success sooner.
Here are five powerful strategies to ensure that your small business grows.
1. Increase Market Penetration
Market penetration is the sales volume of a good or service in relation to its total target market. Increasing your market penetration should increase your market share. Ramping up your advertising efforts and creating attractive promotional offers are two reliable ways to increase market penetration. Broadening the range of products or services that you offer may also prove effective.
2. Market Development
If your market is saturated or you’re struggling to attract customers in your local area, consider market development. This means finding new customers for your current products. B2B marketing, promoting your products to a different demographic, or expanding internationally are all viable strategies.
A spa might consider selling its products via a local supermarket or cosmetics store. A restaurant might expand to offer catering for private parties and business conferences.
3. Expand Your Product Line
Expanding your range of products or services may make your business more appealing to your target market. It’s a great way to refresh customer interest and generate a buzz that will help to attract new customers, too.
Of course, it could be that you already offer a large range of products. If so, consider taking a look at how much revenue each product brings in. Phase out weaker-performing items and make room for new products to excite your customers.
4. Marketing Channels
If your marketing efforts aren’t bringing in business, consider changing channels. This doesn’t mean abandoning your current efforts but investigating new ways to reach your target customers.
Most small businesses use email, social media, and a company website. If you aren’t already employing these three marketing channels, then it’s time to do so. If you are using all three channels to communicate with your customers, then you need to ask:
- Are the emails clear and engaging?
- Is the website content rich, or does it only show your opening hours and contact details?
- Do you show up on social media every day, or once in a blue moon?
On top of this, consider further expanding your marketing channels. Some of the most popular and cost-effective marketing strategies are:
- Video content
- Influencer marketing
Market segmentation means dividing your market into various groups. Then you can create targeted campaigns to appeal to each group. The most effective marketing is specific, rather than general; you can’t be all things to all people.
You may want to divide your market up by:
Of course, you will need data to be able to create the above segments. Email surveys, site analytics, and customer buying history are helpful for this. And using a CRM tool to optimise your segmentation process, can save you a lot of guesswork and time.
If you’re struggling to grow your small business then these, employed correctly, should help you grow at a steady and sustainable rate. Their effectiveness will depend on the needs of your specific business. For example, a business with a large customer base will benefit more from segmentation than one with a few big customers. Take some time to sit down and develop a plan that is realistic for your business. Then track your progress to help you optimise growth.