Grow Your Business
The ways to grow a business and make it more valuable can be narrowed down to a list of four:
- Increase the number of customers,
- Increase how often customers buy,
- Increase how much customers spend when buying, and
- Increase effectiveness and efficiences of business processes.
When working on increasing the number of customers in the business, focus on the types of customers you want. What market niche does your business serve, and who is your ideal customer? Are you a low cost leader or are you a premium service provider? What makes customers want to buy from you? How is your business different from the competition? Knowing the answers to these questions will help in marketing efforts to obtain new customers of the type you want. While attracting new customers, don't lose touch with serving the existing ones. Customer acquistion rates should be closely monitored with customer defection rates.
What about your business continuously brings customers back to you? Repeat business is vital to long-term business health and success as it costs more to acquire new customers than to serve your existing ones. Awesome customer service and product/service offerings will bring them back again and again. Be sure to ask and listen to the voices of your customers...what is it they are looking for, what are their needs, how do they perceive you relative to the competition in the marketplace, etc. Nurture the customer relationships and establish frequent communication plans. If customers perceive you as uncaring or indifferent, they will take their business elsewhere.
Present customers with options and let them know of all the products and services you offer. Understand the needs and wants of your customer base and offer additional products and services when appropriate. Sales systems should be in place to offer additional complementary products and services, upselling to premium level products and services, and identifying bundling opportunities. Customers don't always know what they want or need, you must present available options and let them decide. How do they know what to buy if they don't know what it is you are selling?
Business processes shoud be evaluated and changed as necessary to address how to acquire more customers, keep them coming back and buying more on each visit. Clearly identitfy the company's mission and goals. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the company and the opportunities and threats in the market place. Document processes in the business in all key areas, i.e., marketing, sales, accounting, personnel, etc. Works towards growing and building a better business with new strategies and a clear focus of where you want the business to be.
Obviously, the four ways to grow your business as listed above have been presented in a simplified manner. These four areas are the basic building blocks and focal areas to be considered. Each business is different, customers are different and markets are different. How can these four ways to grow a business apply to you?