There’s no doubt that growth results in a host of benefits for small business owners — some of the most popular being increased profitability and better opportunities.
But what about when there’s a potential recession looming on the horizon?
Ironically, this is one of the best times to prioritise company growth.
As your competitors play defence you can prioritise growth and enjoy further benefits, such as:
- Increased market share due to competitors scaling back their operations.
- Diversifying your customer base to better weather an economic downturn.
- Allowing your business to capitalise on lower operating costs (wages, rent, etc.) that arise during recessions.
But what information do you need to grow your business?
In this article, you’ll learn how to grow your business in eight simple ways so you can play from a position of strength in this uncertain economic environment.
8 ways to grow your small business
Increase your online presence
The easier it is for potential customers to find you and current customers to stay up-to-date with your company, the bigger your business will grow.
There’s a strong chance you already have a digital presence, but are you maximising it to grow your business online?
Consider creating a presence on new platforms, whether that’s an extra social network (TikTok is seeing excellent traction right now) or doubling down on SEO through blog content.
By doing this you can cross-promote content to increase reach without having to create fresh content all the time.
Focus on customer retention
If you’ve been wondering, “How do I grow my business organically?”, focusing on retention is a good place to start.
Retaining your current customers does more for your business than acquiring new ones. A small 5% increase in retention can boost profits by up to 95%!
Some ways to improve retention include:
- Better customer service.
- Loyalty programs (make sure customers value the rewards).
- Referral incentives to reward word-of-mouth marketing.
Utilise Google My Business
While you likely already have a business listing in Google, without a GMB profile you’re not maximising its potential.
Why? A GMB account is the only way to own and optimise your business listing so it’s more attractive to searchers.
You can use the account to add pictures, descriptions, contact details and more. In fact, you can even use SEO strategies on your listing to ensure it shows during relevant searches.
Other benefits include being able to engage with your customers when they leave reviews and having access to SEO insights for your listing.
Technical innovation is growing at a blistering pace and it’s making life easier for small business owners.
Right now, there are hundreds of applications that can help you optimise your business. For example, CRMs that ensure all your customers are taken care of or analytics platforms that uncover purchasing trends.
And, of course, we can’t forget AI marketing tools, such as Chat GPT, that can speed up content creation and ideation. You can even ask it, “How to grow my business?” if you’re stuck for ideas!
Expand your products or services
Have customers been asking for something that you don’t offer? Do you see market demand that’s going unfulfilled?
Then it could be the perfect time for offering extra products or services—especially if they help you attract customers that otherwise wouldn’t be interested in your business.
But if there’s no product or service that ticks that box, consider add-ons that complement your offers. For example, a cafe could offer a wider range of milk options or drink customisation.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce
When growing your small business, knowledge is power and one way to get more is through your local Chamber of Commerce or another entrepreneurship community.
Not only do these organisations provide resources, such as education on how to make your business grow, but they’re also great for meeting other business owners.
These relationships can spur new partnerships or simply help you find ways to grow and scale your business.
Conduct fresh market research
If you’ve been wondering, “What is important to grow a business?”, market research is your answer. After all, consumer wants and needs are always changing so you need to keep up if you want to know how to expand your business.
Some easy ways to conduct market research include:
- Emailing a short survey if you have a contact list.
- Interviewing customers by phone.
- Talking to customers when they’re in your store.
Stay on top of your KPIs
Like conducting market research, it can feel tedious to constantly review business performance as it doesn’t have an instant impact on your business growth.
However, your KPIs can uncover your company’s sticking points so you know how to grow your small business.
But more importantly, your KPIs will show you whether the changes you made are working or if they’re making matters worse!
Do you have an exit strategy in place?
While the focus of this article is how to improve your business and grow your company, one counterintuitive way to maximise growth is having an exit strategy.
Firstly, it helps you stay focused on your business goals when times are tough. You won’t settle for less because you know what you want to achieve. Consequently, it also helps you maximise the value you get from the sale as you’ve taken the steps to build your business to the value level you want.
Finally, having an exit strategy ensures you’re prepared for the unexpected because you can plan for potentially negative situations.
While creating an optimal exit strategy is out of the scope of this article, an easy first step to exiting your company is to advertise your business on our site.
Not only will you gain access to local, national and international buyers interested in your sector, but you can also find the right buyer for your business.