Starting your own business may seem like the only way to grow your business, but there are plenty of other growth strategies you can use to get more customers without necessarily expanding your operation. Not only are these strategies often less costly than opening another location or buying another product line, but they also allow you to focus more on the core of your business, namely customer satisfaction and retention.
1) Position yourself as an expert
It’s one thing to say you do X, but it’s another thing entirely to become known as an expert in X. Focus on becoming an expert at what you do. Expand your knowledge of your industry and its jargon. Invest in training courses that will help you master a new skill, polish an existing one or simply get familiar with industry-specific software and hardware.
2) Target the right people
The target market is often talked about in marketing, but it’s also important in terms of finding new business opportunities. Before you start chasing after new business, know who you’re trying to attract. This knowledge can help guide your decision-making process as you start looking for other customers who might be interested in your product or service. Answering these questions will help you zero in on your ideal customer: Who are they? What do they need?
3) Network like crazy!
If you’re trying to grow your business fast, networking should be one of your top priorities. Make it a goal to meet a new person every day—at coffee shops, at conferences, in line at the post office, wherever. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do; just try meeting one new person every day for a month and see how it boosts your business contacts.
4) Cross promote with influencers
If you can think of influential individuals who could be interested in your product, consider reaching out and asking if they’d be willing to promote it. But first, make sure you have a product that influencers would want—and don’t bother them with your idea until you’re ready for beta testers. Influencers are likely inundated with requests like yours, and they’ll want something amazing before they write about it on their blogs.
5) Stay engaged on social media
As an entrepreneur, you know that social media is a must for marketing your business. But it doesn’t stop there. Social media can be a terrific tool for attracting top talent, which is no small task when you consider that 83 percent of professionals use social media in their job search. Whether you’re looking for interns or full-time hires, here are 10 reasons why social media is so powerful in finding great people
6) Use location, location, location
Choosing a place for your business that’s near where you live (or, in some cases, choosing a job where you get to work from home) can give you more time and energy to spend on growing your business. You don’t have to relocate entirely—even just working out of an extra room at home or taking lunch breaks outside can make a big difference.
7) Research everything before jumping in
First and foremost, make sure you have an idea of what you’re getting into. Research as much as possible about your target industry. Think about who your competitors are, and look up their reviews online. Look at what they’re doing well, or not so well. Learn from their mistakes so that you can avoid them in yours!
8) Have fun with it!
Most new businesses fail not because they can’t make money or don’t have a viable idea, but because they aren’t fun. So have fun with it! Take your time and explore your options. If you try to be too serious or push things along too quickly, it won’t seem like as much fun anymore—and you won’t enjoy yourself if you aren’t enjoying yourself.
9) Scale up when you’re ready
One of most common mistakes that small businesses make is trying to scale up too soon. It’s hard for many business owners to resist growth when it means new clients, more revenue and an influx of cash in general. That being said, it’s important not to put your company at risk before you have a structure in place. If you try to scale up without having systems in place first, you could find yourself overwhelmed with tasks and struggling to keep everything afloat. Before you can think about scaling up, create systems and processes that will allow your business to run smoothly while maintaining its integrity.
10) Check back often and learn from your mistakes
Finding out how you can make your business better is one of our favorite things, and there’s no better way to do it than by seeing what mistakes you make along the way. Each time a mistake is made, think back on why it happened and how you could have avoided it. It might be helpful to write these down in a notebook or planner so you don’t forget! We like making lists; use them! If you find yourself making similar mistakes over and over again, try to figure out if there’s a pattern that leads up to those errors. If so, try changing that pattern—it may help prevent future problems from occurring. You may also want to consider bringing in an outside source for some advice on how you can avoid repeating past errors.