01 Mar 4 Tips For Growing Your Business
No matter how long your company has been in business, you should always look for new opportunities to grow. Becoming complacent is a deathblow for many businesses. Even if your competitors don’t leave you behind, you run the risk of becoming an outdated option that consumers simply don’t care about.
Growing a business, however, isn’t easy, and you may encounter many pitfalls. Follow these four tips to make the process a little easier and improve your chances of continued success.
Find a Marketing Partner
If you have already been in business for several years, then you may feel that your marketing attempts have reached a wall you just can’t get over. Testing new approaches to marketing could help you find more customers, but it’s not easy to find funds for more outreach.
Instead of borrowing money to reach new customers, partner with another business. Obviously, you don’t want to partner with a direct competitor, but you may get good results by teaming up with someone in a related industry. For instance, if you sell handmade crafts, you may want to combine marketing efforts with a store that sells craft materials like yarn, felt, and thread.
By finding a marketing partner, you can reach a new audience while reducing the amount of money you spend on marketing.
Offer Customers Flexible Payment Options
Today’s consumers expect to pay for their purchases in a variety of ways. If you don’t accept the type of payment that your next customer prefers, then that person will likely move on to one of your competitors.
By offering flexible payment options you can match each customer’s expectations. Some popular choices include:
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
- Electronic checks
- Gift cards
It’s also best to extend these payment possibilities to your website. Payment processing using online software can give your customers the flexibility of purchasing products and services from you without visiting your physical location. Considering that between nine and 11 percent of sales now happen online, it’s a good idea to give your customers this choice.
Open a New Branch
The Internet provides useful ways to reach new customers, but it’s important to remember that most people still shop at stores. That could mean that you have to physically grow your business by opening a new branch.
Opening a new branch definitely involves some risk, so it isn’t something you should do haphazardly. In order to succeed, you will need to:
- Build on your existing brand
- Find a location where people already shop
- Negotiate a fair price when buying or renting real estate
- Publicize the new branch
- Potentially seek loans to pay for your expansion
Once you find the right location and secure funding, though, a new branch is a smart way to grow a business that has already found some financial success.
Diversify Your Products and Services
Adding more diversity to your business’s products and services is often an effective way to not only find more customers but encourage existing customers to spend more money at your store.
You may worry that adding too much product diversity will make it difficult for loyal customers to find the things they want to buy. It’s possible that diversification could confuse shoppers. If you have built your reputation in a niche market, then this is a serious concern.
That’s why you need to take a strategic approach to diversification. The company Lululemon Athletica offers a good example. Lululemon built a strong reputation by selling high-quality athletic clothing and accessories to women. While that was an effective starting strategy, it eventually limited the number of consumers the company could reach.
The company recognized that this was a problem, so it expanded into apparel for men and kids. That way, it could target a wider range of consumers while building on its existing brand. Even if you are in a niche market, you can grow by taking a similar approach.
No matter how you choose to grow your business, you will want to take a carefully planned approach that mitigates the risk of failure. By following these tips, you can put yourself on a path to success.