1) Organic Growth… increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction, and streamlining operations.
2) Acquisitions... often thought to be the sole dominion of larger corporations, growth by acquisition has proved to work very well for mid-sized companies… sometimes with less risk than large corporate acquisitions.
Wow, a large topic! Let’s split this into a couple posts…
Here are some tips on how to grow your business organically:
Spend More Time In Sales
The first strategy is to ensure that the business owner or entrepreneur is spending as much time selling or managing the sales process as possible. That your company, as an entity is investing the appropriate resources in sales.
If you’re a start-up or new division of a larger operation, then you should be investing 80% of your resources in the marketing and sales process! If you’re in a more mature mode, then the rule of thumb is 30%
Is your company or division investing this percentage into your marketing and sales effort?
This is particularly important at the early stages of business, when this resource is often the owner or manager.
Many operators do not even know this percentage… if you’re one of these, then you owe it to yourself to do the calculation. Add up your overhead, your operational costs, and decide what share is being invested in your marketing and sales… what percentage are you investing to power your business engine?
Be A Niche Player
Don’t try to be everything to everyone – select a niche market that plays to your strengths and build your services, processes and reputation around being the undisputed leader for this target market. A niche may be a group of industry specific customers, or it may be a specific type of service.
Since this strategy often takes more time many business owners lose patience and find themselves going off in new directions or new markets – this can stunt growth quickly… “trying to all things to all people”
Resulting in spreading yourself too thin and often only getting 70% of a wide range of tasks done. Business success is about being an expert in one core field for one core target market before expanding services, or locations. This will help ensure you generate more leads, close more sales and can generally earn better margins.
Launch A Lead Generation Campaign
Proactive marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business fast. More than 50% of your marketing expenditure should be focused on proactive marketing. Is it?
Don’t wait for customers to contact you, go out and find them using one of numerous direct marketing campaigns open to you. These might include; Internet advertising, direct mail, e-marketing, telesales, seminars, trade shows, or person to person sales.
Beware though that it is not all about closing the sale on the first contact – it often takes up to seven contacts before a customer is ready to buy so mix your communication up and ensure you are only selling to the right customers at the right time.
For the rest you need to work out how to build their needs and have your company at the top of their list when they are ready to buy.