Four strategies to grow your existing business
If you’re looking for growth opportunities, before you jump in and commit to frantically trying to come up with new products, services or capacity, there could a few nuggets of gold waiting to be discovered within your current business. Find out which of our four growth strategies could be relevant for you.
Strategy 1. Focus on your best customers
It’s often accepted that it’s easier to sell more to your existing customers than to find new ones. They may know you personally, understand the way your business works, how to order and unless something goes dramatically wrong, are unlikely to switch to someone new.
Sell more to your existing customers by:
- calling customers to re-order. It’s proactive and often leads to more sales
- list your best customers (those who pay on time, order in large volumes, buy high margin items) and set up a regular promotion cycle (direct contact, e-newsletters, special offers, discounts for buying in bulk, early notification of new products or services)
- invite customers to workshops, webinars or product launches to keep your business top of mind
Any way you can sell to the customers you already have will likely be cost effective.
Strategy 2. Develop a growth marketing plan to find new customers
The most obvious ‘new’ customers are those that look a lot like your existing good customers, as they should have similar needs and therefore need less convincing. Identify where these potential customers may be and develop a plan to get in front of them.
A few options include:
- finding new contacts within your networks
- adding content customers need to your website to build leads
- posting in the social media channels your customers visit
- optimizing your website for search engines to increase traffic
- buying online advertising
If you target other businesses, then it could be as simple as finding owner details in directories or driving around the block to find possible new customers and ask them in person to do business with you. Read our article on using social media to find new customers, to help build qualified leads.
Strategy 3. Find new ways to sell
Sometimes there are growth opportunities by altering the way you do business, especially if the way people buy changes. There are increasingly more sales channels available to a business such as selling online and third-party sites like Amazon. Some businesses sell monthly subscriptions to users, others license their intellectual property or joint venture with complementary businesses to sell on their behalf.
If you feel you’re missing out on sales not because of what you do but how customers want to transact, it’s probably time to change.
"Improving your existing systems and creating efficiencies will often drive extra profit to the bottom line, reducing the effort to get new revenue."
Strategy 4. Tighten up cash flow
This last strategy isn’t about trying to find more growth revenue, it’s about re-discovering the cash that’s fallen under the couch in the TV room. Improving your existing systems and creating efficiencies will often drive extra profit to the bottom line, reducing the effort to get new revenue. This is even more important if it’s getting harder and harder to increase sales growth (or it’s declining).
Look to fix the cash slippage cracks by:
- conducting regular (and unannounced) inventory audits to identify wastage or theft
- adopting your industry software to streamline processes (every industry tends to have specialist software)
- using accounting software such as Quickbooks, Sage, Xero, or Wave to track daily cash flow
- requesting deposits or progress payments to reduce money owed
- using credit scoring systems and setting appropriate credit limits to minimize any losses
- implementing compulsory credit checks to reduce the chance of bad debts
- having strong systems to reduce fraud
- You can also improve your cash flow by increasing prices and reducing costs across your whole business. TD's cashflow improvement calculator can help you determine the impact of these changes to your bottom line.
- if you don’t use accounting or industry software already, subscribe to what’s best for your business to monitor your business drivers
- identify customer buying cycles to decide when to make contact
- contact existing customers to confirm your key competitive advantage, then highlight in your advertising
- go through your business and implement cash saving tactics
- identify the activities you want to accomplish in the next 6 months and make a start.
If you have any additional questions about growing your business, please contact your TD Account Manager or find an account manager near you.