Our August peer advisory roundtable topic of business growth strategies came straight from my PhD studies in business psychology, and ties directly to the consulting work I do with entrepreneurs and growing small business owners. It was so rewarding sharing this valuable information with circle members; so many planned to immediately use their insights as fuel for reigniting their current business plans.
Whether you’re feeling frustrated knowing you could be doing more to grow your business and increase your revenue and profits, or you feel overwhelmed by which direction to grow, read on …
The strategies we explored in our roundtable discussions are applicable for companies working in current markets with current products and services (i.e. not for start-ups.) As the roundtable facilitator, I used Starbucks as context for our discussions. It resonated so much with members that I’ll use it here again:
You can take four primary routes to grow your business in current markets:
1. Increase market share: To put it bluntly, this basically means stealing customers from the competition. Let’s say there’s only so much business to go around…how do you get a bigger piece of the pie? (For example, what does Starbucks do to get customers to visit their stores vs. other nearby coffee houses?)
2. Increase product use among existing clients: For your current clients, how do you get them to buy more from you? (For example, what does Starbucks do to entice their existing client base to buy more coffee or other products?) Simple questions you might ask yourself include:
- How can I make it easier for current and prospective customers to do business with me?
- What incentives could I offer for more business or referrals?
- What (or how) can I communicate to increase engagement and attract the attention of customers who have ghosted or don’t use your products/services as much as they used to?
3. Revitalize your brand: You’ve occasionally got to put a fresh face forward to catch people’s attention, make them take notice of you again, and assure them you’re still relevant and in it for the long haul. (For example, Starbucks regularly freshens its logo and/or remodels its store fronts and in-store signage)
Take time to critically assess your company image and offerings in relation to where you are now, and where you want to go. Starbucks looked beyond being a simple local shop selling only whole beans, and then a local coffee company with 6 locations, and then a national coffee company, and then the global powerhouse as we know them today with over 27,000 locations worldwide (more than doubling in the last decade) — wow, did they grow!
4. Create new services and offerings: You have an existing base of customers that you can probably engage in new ways — like a catering company offering holiday gifts to their catering clients for their clients/customers. (Or for example, Starbucks evolved from selling only whole coffee beans to its clients, to selling drinks, to its current incarnation where it also offers pastries and quick lunches to capture those who are looking for both a bite and a quick pick-me-up.)
I always strive to challenge readers and roundtable members in positive, growth-inspiring ways, so I’ll exit here with these key closing questions:
- How might your brand be tired and in need of refreshing? (Be sure to check out Brand Identity: 20 Questions to Consider and 11 Ways to Refresh Your Company’s Image Without a Full Rebrand)
- What reminders or incentives could you send to your current customers?
- What new products or services might you offer to re-engage current and potentially new clients?
- With whom might you collaborate to reach new audiences and increase market share?
In your business challenges, remember that small and consistent changes over time add up to big change and steady growth.
P.S. – Overwhelmed by the options and possibilities for growing your business? We’re here to help. Use this link to schedule a no-obligation 30-minute consult with me.