This is a Guest Post written by Greg P. Hixon, Founder of GravyGrowth.com
Okay, so your business is now up and running. Great! You have an established customer base and you’re asking yourself “what next? How can I grow?” That’s a good sign. Business growth is the most exciting part of running a business in my opinion.
When I was ready to scale my company, I carefully determined how my business model would be repeatable. I laid out all of the operational details so they could be repeated accurately. Then, after completing my business plan, I executed it confidently.
Watching your business sprout up in other regions is very rewarding. It’s like re-living your start-up experience all over again, but without experiencing some of the nightmares you had to deal with the first time around.
Depending on your business and the industry you’re in, there are a few possible ways to grow your business. Defining your growth strategy is job one. It will allow you to make the best decisions when you execute your plan.
Ways to grow your business
Let’s take a good look at some of the interesting ways you can grow your company…
This is typically considered a way to protect your business when a specific product line slumps or fails. Consider that a benefit of diversifying. Do it to grow, first and foremost. Engage in new product development after knowing more of the needs you can meet within your target audience.
Caution: Ensure your new products or product lines relate to your core business.
According to Chris Zook, the author of Beyond the Core, and global strategy practice leader at Bain & Co, “When a company moves into a new line of business, it should closely relate to the firm’s core operations.”
If you have functional patents on your products, you may consider pursuing a licensing deal with a more established firm. They could have a much larger distribution channel for your products. The hardest part of this scenario is the product development itself. But if you already have products selling, you’ll have the confidence to pursue this option. Just be sure to work closely with the licensee to ensure their marketing strategy is sound for your product type.
Here’s a way to scale your company without having to manage many locations. Franchising is a proven way to grow quickly. Keep in mind, there are some difficulties, risks and drawbacks to franchising:
- Your role and your daily activities will change…you now sell and support franchises
- Franchises are products, so market research is required in order to sell them effectively
- Being a legal entity, franchises require much time, effort, and expense to get the legal side ironed out
- You must typically open multiple locations first, to prove scalability before franchises will sell
If you’re not doing this already, but your business is established, congratulations! You’ve successfully launched a business without utilizing the best way to market products or services! So now, incorporate this to really build your brand recognition.
Content marketing has been around for over a century. In 1891, August Oetker included free recipes with the packages of baking powder he sold. Years later, in 1911, He published a cookbook which contained these recipes. It was a huge success. The Michelin Guide, which started in 1900, distributed the first edition for free. They delivered 35,000 copies without charging a penny. Also, a huge success! These examples show how effective content marketing can be.
One of the best ways to grow your brand is to offer something valuable to your target audience, for free. That is why content marketing is so effective. By providing content they will learn from, a high percentage of those that read it will become familiar with your brand very quickly. Do this frequently and their familiarity will grow into loyalty. As marketers already know…repeat contact builds trust, and good feelings from the repeat contact generates loyalty.
For an in-depth look at how you can grow your brand using content marketing, please check out Content Marketing – Build Your Brand Today
Government contracts – Utilize the SBA for this one
According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), “One of the best ways to grow your business is to win business from the government. Work with your local SBA and Small Business Development Center to help you determine the types of contracts available to you.”
Become a game-changer and challenge the status quo
The object here is to compete with the status quo instead of your competition. When you compete with them, you must convince your customers to pick you over your competitors. Unfortunately, many customers choose to not make the purchase at all. They may decide to just keep things how they are. It’s an expense, an inconvenience, and they have other priorities.
Present a new and exciting way to do business in your industry. Provide convenience or value in the market structure rather than with a special product. Your competitors can imitate hot products easily but, they will be blind-sided by changes in the status quo. Their infrastructure is based on current market structure. Make them trip!
Open up a new paradigm for the public to explore. Most business models are already based on the internet, so you need to come up with something more. Use the internet, if applicable, but don’t make that your tactic. And remember, people resist change, so your plan needs to make your customers instantly react with “wow, what a great way get that!”
Now weigh your options and create your effective growth strategy
Each method to grow your business has its advantages and disadvantages, so plan carefully. Set up a strategy that will get you there based on research. Uncover the history of successful businesses in your industry and identify the growth path they followed. Also, identify areas that would have improved their success. The growth strategy you choose will be your path to success!
About the author
Hi there, I’m Greg Hixon, the Founder of GravyGrowth.com.
My objective is to truly assist entrepreneurs…those already in business, those starting a business, and those who are thinking of starting a business. Are you looking for some quality entrepreneurial substance?
Provided in the content of my articles is a deep level of helpful information…real business fundamentals. Motivational language that encourages entrepreneurs is important, and you’ll find that here…but real entrepreneurial insight, covered in good detail, is paramount at GravyGrowth.com.
Currently, I work full-time for Intel Corporation as a Project Manager for Merger & Acquisition Lab Integration, but I have started, operated and grown small businesses successfully over the last 20 years. GravyGrowth.com is a platform for me to assemble and communicate my knowledge and experience.