We're still at a very high level here. Each of these four ways has quite a number of steps. We can't cover them in detail here, but future articles will look at some of the more common ones. Some will be more relevant to your business than others, but the basic issues are the same for everyone. Growth is about making your business more valuable - whatever that is to you.
Let's start with the four ways to grow your business. These four ways are:
- Increase the number of customers of the type you want to have.
- Increase the number of times customers come back to buy from you.
- Increase the average value of each sale you make.
- Increase the effectiveness of each process in your business.
Other strategies can help temporarily, but won't make your business more valuable.
Each of the four ways will help grow your business, and there is a compounding effect for the first three. If of the three each increased profit by say 10% each (and there's more than one component in each way so five changes giving 2% would be more than 10%), that's a 33.3% improvement overall.
Ideas make a difference only if and when implemented. Different people will have different issues leading to different solutions, but the framework applies to all businesses. If you want to discuss any of the issues mentioned here, email us - talking involves no cost.
More customers of the type you want
The first way - more customers of the type you want
This is the front end of marketing, where most business owners begin. The qualification "of the type you want" is often overlooked, but customers of the wrong type can actually be negative for your business. They may consume excessive amounts of time, or they may bad-mouth your business to others (and these days social media gives then a wide reach), or for a variety of reasons distract you from your vision.
There are five major strategies for getting more customers: unique core differentiators (UCDs), telephone, sales systems, market research and promotions plans.
A UCD is the reason customers buy from YOU. If you haven't worked out why they should buy from you, you will have a harder time convincing prospects.
The telephone is often how customers contact us, even in this electronic age, although the same principles can apply to other forms of contact. People may ring with queries or complaints. It doesn't matter the reason - if a call is handled badly, that will have a long-lasting effect on the prospect.
A sales system is crucial to ensure every customer gets the same top-quality effort every time.
Market research is essential to target the right people at the right time. You simply have to know your customers, and how your products relate to their needs.
Without a promotions plan, how can you reach the right people at the right time? No amount of research will help if you don't plan how best to use it.