How do you know when to grow your business? The quick answer is that the best time to expand your company is when market conditions are right. But that can be hard to determine; many factors go into optimal market conditions.
You’ll know the time is right when your market analysis shows you that there is an outrageous demand for your products or services. High demand suggests that this is the perfect time to enlarge your enterprise because your risks are low and your profit potential is high. This is why it’s critically important to continually analyze the consumer reaction to your products and services.
Scaling up your company might also prove beneficial if you’re in a saturated market–you’re struggling with too many competitors and cannot effectively differentiate your products or services. By expanding into a bigger, broader market, you won’t have to deal with all the problems of working in a saturated marketplace. In fact, you can carve out new niches within that marketplace.
So how do you grow your business? After drawing up your business plans, focus on getting the capital you need to expand your operations. First, find investors; then, figure out ways to increase your current revenues and improve your market reach
Before seeking potential investors, invest some time and money in improving your branding. This will make your business plan look far more attractive. Presentation is everything when it comes to investors: they want to see a proposal that makes them feel like they can’t possibly resist this opportunity to make money.
While there are many ways of finding investors and many types of investors, consider working with a growth fund if you need capital, business advice, or more connections. The Business Growth Fund, for example, is a U.K. business, underwritten by The Chernin Group, that is keen to help ambitious companies get bigger.
You don’t have to expand your product line or hire additional people to increase your revenues. Your business probably has a lot of untapped potential to maximize your profits from your existing customer list.
Here are seven ways you can increase revenues:
- Start maximizing your profits by converting your one-time customers into recurring customers. It’s like they say, you don’t sell one car to a family; you sell 10 cars to a family over a lifetime. Once you have lifetime customers, your brand has a reliable pathway to permanent growth.
- Encourage customers to provide testimonials. Testimonials are big these days on company websites. They’re also good for filling out profiles on social media sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and consumer review forums. It’s especially good if you can get a celebrity or a bigshot in your industry to provide a testimonial.
- Get more referrals. Referrals – or leads, as they’re sometimes called – help you to build your customer base. But they’re easier than cold calls because your customers are doing the work for you and recommending that a friend gives you a call.
- Layer in more buying options in your sales process, such as offering up-sells and cross-sells on your most popular items. Up-selling is sometimes given a bad name, but it doesn’t have to be sleazy. In fact, in its traditional form, giving customers more buying options and cross-promotional branding is good for your long-term image.
- Drop products that don’t sell well. By streamlining your product line, you’ll accomplish two things: first, you’ll slash your inventory costs; and second, you’ll make it easier for customers to decide what to buy. Every entrepreneur or business owner has a couple of ideas that are labors of love that they don’t want to give up on. But ultimately, it’s the market that decides what your product line or service offering will be.
- Hire a top sales trainer to increase your sales team’s close rate. Like they say in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, “ALWAYS BE CLOSING!” Your sales team should have more comraderie and significantly less hostility than that movie demonstrates, but the idea is to have a full team with good closing abilities.
- Find a copywriter with a proven track record to increase conversions on your website. Copywriting is a critical aspect of online sales, whether it’s on-site sales, email marketing, social media marketing, or search engine optimization (SEO).
Improve Market Reach
Since marketing is an ongoing business process, you need to optimize proven strategies that will help your business acquire an increasingly larger market share.
You will improve your market reach by building your network and creating partnerships and business alliances with non-competing firms in your industry.
If you are doing the best you can with your marketing, then now might be a good time to talk to a marketing consultant to identify any bottlenecks in your marketing and sales process. Since you don’t know what you don’t know, a marketing consultant might give you fresh ideas on how to improve your market reach.
Finally, try integrated marketing–develop both online and offline marketing strategies. This process works well regardless of whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or a digital business. So, if you have a well-developed online strategy, then consider improving your offline strategy. Conversely, if you’re running robust online marketing campaigns, consider the merits of some traditional marketing approaches, such as print, radio, or TV advertising.
Some Obvious Signs It’s Time to Grow Your Business
In closing, here are three more signs to suggest that it’s time to grow your business:
- Your customers love your business and ask you if you’re planning on expanding soon. Can you take a hint? They love you, they really love you.
- You have more business than you can handle and you’re leaving profits on the table by not serving more people. That means it’s time to expand your operations and build a stronger infrastructure.
- You’re turning in profits like clockwork because of your streamlined business operations and can safely scale up your business without destabilizing workflow or compromising customer satisfaction.
At the end of the day, only the business owner and his/her chief operating officers and assistants know whether it’s time to grow the business or not. But once it’s time, you can’t hesitate.