How to grow a business? It is the most basic of questions asked by everyone from the CEO of a multinational organisation right down to the “One-man-band”. There have probably been thousands of books written on this single subject and we have found that almost all small business owners are looking for the “secret sauce” or “fairy dust” to make it happen fast.
The simple answers to how to grow a business in any type of economic climate are the following:
– Fulfil a need in the marketplace
Simply put, have a product that people want to buy or are already buying from a competitor (yes, you don’t have to be the first to the market). The converse of this also applies that if you have a product where the market has dried up, then you need to reposition your product or products to change the value proposition or get some new products that will fulfil a need in the market.
– Market your products
Bus loads of prospects are not going to come and beat down your door, so let your potential customers know you have something that is of value to them. If you have never marketed in the past then start now. If you are currently marketing but it’s not as effective as it once was then try a new marketing method. Try different marketing methods until you get two or three the work well.
– Know your numbers
Most small business owners use one metric, i.e. their bank balance, to indicate if their business is going well or not. This is a dangerous practice. If you are serious about growing your business then you need to add some addition metrics so that you can see what activities are having a positive impact on your business. A few of these should be, number of prospecting meetings, average sale price, number of quotes per month, value of quotes per month. Watch as they increase or decrease and react to the change.
– Talk to your customers
The single most overlooked and immediate source of good business are your existing clients. If you carry out this exercise you will find that most of your existing customers do not know the full range of the products and services that you offer. Moreover, they already have a good relationship with you and they will buy more from you if you take the time to meet and talk with them about all you have to offer. An equally important point to note is that when asked, clients will also tell you what they would buy if you were to supply it.
So if you are really serious in finding out how to grow a business ask for business help or even business advice from someone you trust, then if you implement any or all of the above bullets with some conviction you will see your business starting to grow.
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