Coins in a jar

Growth is key to businesses at every stage. For start-ups and SMEs it’s especially crucial.  The strategy that’s effective for one business may have no real impact for another so it’s important to generate growth that works for, and with, your business. Here are 4 potential ways to achieve it.

1. Use your customers

We live in customer-centric times. Social media and the internet in particular have put the customer in control when it comes to brand reputation and this is something that can be harnessed for growth. Re-evaluate the experience that your customers have with your business, whether that’s via a website or in person. What could you do to improve this and how can you really add value? Really satisfied customers become brand ambassadors who go out into the world and convert more people into your customers. When it comes to growth they are an incredibly powerful tool.

2. Diversify your offering

If you feel like you’ve expanded as far as you can go with one product or service or market then look at ways to extend into another. The best diversification is a natural extension of where you already are. Moving into selling products or services that are complementary to what you already offer is a natural next step. You might also consider shifting demographic focus – if your brand does particularly well with Millennials, could you start marketing to the generation before too?

3. Join forces

Alliances with other business can be a very effective way to grow your own. Mutually beneficial relationships like this offer a simple way to access a ready made set of benefits. Choose a strong and successful business ally, one with an established presence in a market you’d like to access, whether that’s demographically or geographically. Or opt for a business with knowledge, innovation or expertise to share. The key to alliances for growth is that both parties get something from it and both are equally weighted in terms of what they have to offer.

4. Innovate

Perhaps the fastest and most effective way to create something more from what you already have is to make your business relevant. Innovation of products or services that puts you right at the heart of an industry can begin a period of very positive growth. The best innovations often come from frustration – what have you always wanted to change about your industry, the processes you work with, the complaints your customers make the most, the biggest challenges you face? Is there an obstacle that always slows things down? Use the bumps in the road you’ve experienced to create growth-generating solutions.

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