“More money is a bad idea.”
Unless you’re a monk, chances are slim you’ll say that sentence out loud.
No matter where your business stands, you’ll want to take it further by growing your customer base, strengthening your brand and increasing your revenue. Besides, the best way to ensure your business survives is to keep growing, keep expanding and keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (after securing the comfort zone of course).
Here are ten ways to ensure business grows fast.
1. Fire Your Worst Client
You may feel that you can't afford to lose even one client but chances are, there's one person who’s more stress than he’s worth. The client demands more time than the others yet pays the same (or less than the same) amount. Unless that client starts paying for the extra time, he/she is costing your business money. It’s time to cut ties.
2. Reach Out to New Prospects
With that extra time, you can channel efforts and resources to win new clients/customers. If you focus solely on existing customers, you'll stagnate. To truly grow, you need to add new clients. Why not set a goal to reach out to a set of new prospects each month to increase your chances of adding new clients?
3. Expand into a New Market
If you've limited yourself to a particular regional area or industry, consider going beyond those boundaries. One new client in previously unexplored territory could lead to referrals to others in that area, growing your business exponentially faster than staying within your comfort zone.
4. Outsource the Small Things
Time is a finite resource. In the early days, business owners often take responsibility for everything, since they can't afford to hire employees. Hence they get bogged down with administrative minutiae. But today's business owners can outsource duties online to freelancers and virtual assistants. By outsourcing small things, you can focus on attracting new clients and growing your business.
5. Change Your Hiring Practices
If you've already grown to the point that you have a team of employees, consider shaking up your recruiting practices in 2016. Hire someone who brings a unique skillset to your team, even if it means contracting with a recruiter to find the perfect person. By diversifying your talent pool, you'll bring a new perspective to your daily work environment, brainstorming sessions, and client meetings and possibly open doors for your business to pursue new projects.
6. Attend a New Conference
When you started your business, you may have skipped conferences due to a lack of funds. If you did attend them, you probably focused on a few events within your own industry or region. This year, consider attending a conference outside your industry or in a new area of the country. You'll make new connections and get perspectives you wouldn't have otherwise heard. This can be particularly helpful when considering expanding geographically.
7. Participate Online
If you own a business, chances are you have a website and several social media accounts. But, if you don’t, you should. If you do, are they active? If you aren't participating in your online presence, you may lose followers who see your sites as outdated. Social media enables businesses to follow conversations their target market is having online and to remain in the know about trends and events.
8. Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity
Franchising your business is a proven route to rapid growth. If you have dreams of seeing your brand become a household name, with a network of franchisees from coast to coast or around the globe, this is one sure way. When the right concept is franchised effectively, it can be a great expansion strategy that doesn't require as much up-front capital as growing through company-owned units.
Becoming a franchisor means you'll be engaged in entirely different activities than you were as a business owner. You'll primarily be selling franchises and supporting franchisees now.
Ask yourself if you're comfortable having a role as a teacher and salesperson, selling and supporting franchisees as opposed to going out there and doing it yourself. In addition, franchising your business will require that you relinquish some of the control you've had over how your concept is executed. Franchisees won't do it exactly the way you would, even if they do it well.
9. Form an alliance
Aligning yourself with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly. Rather than trying to win a new customer base, partnering up gives you leverage by skipping the customer acquisition process.
Usually, you strike a partnership with a bigger company or a company with traction or clout in a different industry that could maybe use your services. Such partnerships come in many forms but the important aspect is both parties have something to gain out of it.
There are several ways of for diversifying your product or service line:
Sell complementary products or services
Become an industry trainer
Import or export yours or others' products
Become a paid speaker or columnist
Diversifying is an excellent growth strategy, as it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and, of course, increase sales and profit margins.
There are numerous opportunities to take your business to the next level. An entrepreneur must just know how to look and sometimes create those opportunities.