5 Ways to Create a Growth Strategy that Works for Your Business
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How To Create a Growth Strategy For Your Business
Whether you want to transition from startup to small business or are ready to expand your small business, you will need a strategy that fits the kind of growth you envision.
It can get tricky to manage growth, particularly fast growth, so it is important to create a roadmap for your business to grow more successfully.
Is It Time to Grow?
Before you invest too much time, energy, and other resources into your business, make sure it is the right time to grow.
High demand for your product could be a good sign, but not necessarily.
“Sudden spikes in sales aren’t necessarily an indicator that demand is high — this could just be a fluke,” writes Kristin Wong in a New York Times article, ‘How To Grow Your Business.’
You will want to see consistent demand that you can supply before moving forward with a growth plan, she says.
Also, look at the external factors. If you are part of a sector or industry that is experiencing fast growth or expected to grow over the next few years, it could mean it is time to take your business to the next level.
Check-in with Customers
One of the best places to look to determine whether you are ready to grow (and identify areas for growth) is through the voices of your current customers.
Survey your customers about their satisfaction, interest in new products, and overall feedback about your business advises Wong.
“Then look for patterns in the responses you get. If your customers want more of your product, faster delivery, or additional services, that’s a good sign,” she writes.
The Growth Ladder Model
Keith McFarland, the author of The Breakthrough Company, likens growth strategies to a kind of ladder, where lower-level rungs present less risk but maybe less quick-growth impact.
Part of getting from A to B is to put together a growth strategy that brings you the most results from the least amount of risk and effort, he says.
“The bottom line for small businesses, especially start-ups, is to focus on those strategies that are at the lowest rungs of the ladder and then gradually move your way up as needed,” McFarland advises, according to an article by Inc. contributing editor Darren Dahl.
McFarland describes the lower rungs of growth strategy as Intensive Growth Strategies. Each new rung brings more opportunities for fast growth, he says, but also more risk.
New Product Development
A classic growth strategy, and a rung on McFarland’s growth strategy ladder, is product development – developing new products to sell to your existing customers as well as to new ones.
Less risky might be selling new products to existing customers but also selling your new product to a new market would expand growth opportunities, but with more risk, notes Dahl in the article about McFarland’s advice.
Get New Customers
One of the most obvious ways to grow is to get more customers. Then it is a matter of identifying the best ways to go about doing so.
And again, you might want to gather insight from your existing customers.
Conducting customer interviews can give you a range of valuable information for your strategy, including what makes your business unique.
“Figure out what made your current customers want to buy your product,” says Ramit Sethi, author of the book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich” and founder of Growth Lab.
“This will help you pinpoint what you’re doing right, and what marketing strategies might be a waste of time,” he says in the article by Wong.