3 Business Growth Strategies To Implement Right Now
It’s a truth, universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a business must want that business to grow.
Your business will never grow if you just let things trundle along.
You need a business growth strategy!
In this post, we’ll explore three of the most popular and effective business growth strategies, before letting you in on a little secret that could streamline your growth.
Something Important to Think About Before You Implement a Business Growth Strategy
Is your business ready to grow?
There is such a thing as too much success.
Before you enact any business growth strategy, first take a good look around you and ask yourself – am I ready to handle more?
Will your staff be able to cope with increased workloads, or will you have to hire some more?
Do you have the infrastructure and the capacity to fulfil an influx of new orders or service requests?
Will you need any new equipment or inventory?
Can you afford these upfront investments?
You don’t want to become a victim of your own success!
Carry out a thorough audit of all your operations before you make any moves to grow.
This will help you to determine which strategy is right for your business. You’ll be able to make the sort of plans that’ll ensure your business can grow at the right pace.
Let’s take a look at some potential business growth strategies!
Market penetration is a business growth strategy that sets out to increase your total market share.
Do you know how to figure out your market share? Essentially, you have to compare the sales volume of your product or service compared to the total available market for this market or service.
With a market penetration strategy, your aim is to get more sales for you, with fewer sales for your competitors.
There’s a number of ways you can achieve this. The most obvious way is to convince new customers to start buying from you.
You could also encourage your existing customers to buy more from you.
Most challenging of all – and potentially most satisfying – is to convert customers away from your competitors, so that they start buying from you instead.
Here’s a few market penetration strategies you can implement right now:
- Adjust your prices. How much are your competitors charging? If you start charging less than them, you may encourage some of their customers to switch to you. Alternatively, if you start charging a little more than your competitors, you could subtly create the impression that you’re offering a superior product or service. Again, this could convince some to start buying from you. After all, people want to know they’re getting the best!
- Open a new distribution channel. Are you selling online? If not, why not? Or if you’re exclusively selling online, perhaps you could consider opening a good old brick and mortar store. It stands to reason that the more places you sell your products, the more you can grow your market share.
- Advertise. There’s probably no better way to increase your market share than with a good advertising strategy. On a basic level, adverts let people know that your business exists. With more brand awareness can come more customers. But beyond this, advertising lets you tell your brand’s story. You can highlight just what it is that makes your products or services so special, so unmissable. Sing your own praises, and not only might you win new customers, you might even win some of your competitors’ customers.
The first step to market penetration is research.
How’s the market currently looking?
Do you think it might grow, or do you think there might be a risk of stagnation or saturation?
Also, take a good long look at what your competitors are up to.
Are there any gaps in the market?
Is there anything you could provide that your competitors do not, or cannot?
Market penetration is all about selling your existing products or services to customers in your existing market. Market development is a lot more complicated but potentially a lot more rewarding.
It involves seeking out gaps in the market and working to fill those gaps. In this way, you can target non-buying customers in the segments you’re currently targeting, along with new customers in new segments.
The undisputed master of market development is Coca Cola, and the quintessential product of market development is Coke Zero.
Let us explain: Coca Cola is constantly creating new products to appeal to new customers in new markets across the world. Years ago they created Diet Coke, for those who wanted a less calorific Coke experience. It was a phenomenal success, but over the years Diet Coke has developed a reputation as a “feminine” drink.
Coke Zero is identical to Diet Coke in every single way. It’s exactly the same product made to exactly the same way. The only difference is that it has a different name and different packaging. In short, it’s Diet Coke for men.
That’s market development in action – the same product, but for a different market.
There are five steps to market development:
- Identify your new target market. You might target the same customers, but in a new area. Or you might target new customers, but in the same area. Or you might set yourself the ultimate challenge and target completely new customers in a completely new area. Your first step is to decide which of these strategies you’re going for.
- Develop profiles for customers in your new target market. If you can attach a name and a face to your new target market, you’ll find it much easier to develop a marketing strategy that’ll really strike a chord. Read our guide to setting up customer profiles here.
- Do your research. You need to understand your brand awareness levels in each potential new market. Various tools can help here, including Google Market Finder, Google Trends, and the Google Ads Keyword Planner. You also need to do your competitor research. What are they offering, what are they charging, and what sort of opportunities are open to you?
- Make a choice. All things considered, is this the right market for you? Are there customers willing to buy, and are you in a position to meet their needs? And what about the competition? Are they dominating the market, or will you be able to compete and grow?
- Decide. Either you’ll enter the market, or if you decide that it’s too risky, you’ll go back to step 1 and seek another new market.
Head here for our more in-depth guide to market development.
This is the riskiest growth strategy by far. Which obviously makes it the most exciting strategy.
Market diversification involves entering a new market or industry with a new product or service.
Broadly speaking, there are four ways to diversify your business:
- Extend your existing offering. We were just talking about Coca Cola. They offer Diet Coke and Coke Zero for anyone who’s counting calories, as well as a huge range of fruitier flavours, including Cherry Coke and Fanta. Something for everyone!
- Offer complementary services. For example, if you manufacture ovens, you might also offer repairs, maintenance, cleaning and servicing.
- Acquisitions. Facebook acquired Instagram, and Google acquired YouTube. In both cases, the tech giants identified a related product, saw benefits and potential, and then entered the market through acquiring smaller companies.
- Go nuts. Quick! From the top of your head, how many Virgin products can you name? Not every company can afford to constantly try new things in new markets. But those that manage to pull it off tend to be among the most successful businesses in the world.
Once again, the first step of any market diversification strategy is research. In any given market, you need to garner a good understanding of what’s out there, and what sort of potential there is for you to compete and thrive.
Head here for a more detailed guide to market diversification, which also contains a bit of information about how to tell when you’re ready to diversify.
The Secret to Business Growth?
So there you have it!
Three business growth strategies, from the relatively-straightforward to the risky, challenging, yet potentially highly rewarding.
We also promised to let you into a little secret that could streamline your business growth.
Earlier we mentioned how the Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you to understand your brand awareness in a potential new market.
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a pay-per-click (PPC) tool. And the secret we want to share is this: When it comes to business growth, PPC is your best friend.
As well as helping you to spot trends and gauge the popularity of certain terms in certain areas, PPC ads can also help you to quickly gather the sort of feedback that will tell you whether your business growth strategy has legs.
Say you want to sell your products in a different part of the UK. Let’s say… Winnersh. You want to tap into that lucrative Winnersh market. Who doesn’t?
With PPC, you can exclusively target Winnersh, and with a good keyword strategy, you can exclusively target the sort of people you want to target. Play your cards right and your ads will only ever get seen by the people who want to see them.
If you get a good reception from these ads – if lots of people see them, click on them and convert – then you’ll know that your plan to move into Winnersh is a good one.
If you don’t get a good reception from these ads, then no harm done! You can simply target a new area. And with PPC, you only ever pay when people click on your ads. So this invaluable market research will have cost you very little indeed.
This is just one way in which PPC can help with your business growth. Really, we could talk about this all day. We’re the PPC Geeks!
For more information, here’s 18 immediate benefits of PPC advertising.
And if you’d like to know more about how PPC could accelerate your PPC growth, get in touch for a free audit.