The business world’s philosophy encapsulates business growth as increasing sales and strengthening its position in the market in one or more ways. Every organization is trying to grow and compete at a good level while attempting to enhance the outcome-oriented market share, improve profitability. At every step, it encounters challenges during the business growth process.
Let’s talk about the stages of business growth every business passes through:
The development/start-up stage – This is the first phase of a business growth that is also termed as the soul-searching phase. It talks about delivering the initial product or service offering, retaining the customers and client base, and feedback of the product or service. If your business idea is worth developing, the next step is to develop a business plan. Having a good business plan decides the course of a business’s lifespan. i.e., seeking investments, managing accounts, hiring staff, etc
The growth stage – At this stage, business starts generating rapid revenue and growing the client base. When the cash-flow becomes positive, now the focus has shifted to retain not only the customers but also building consistency in the product or service business is offering. Entrepreneurs efficiently start analyzing the key profit/business drivers, then create strategies to grow the profit drivers with the least costs possible while dealing with the competition.
The shake-out stage – Sales start to increase at a moderate rate in this phase, due to new competitors in the market. You must begin to come into your role as head of the company in this stage. It is your job now to start establishing real order as you mobilize the teams according to clearly communicated goals.
The maturity stage – Businesses look for ways to rapidly expand and finance that expansion by reinventing themselves and investing in new technologies in their product or services. This stage has a well developed managerial system. The maturity stage is mainly focused on expanding or if necessary, exit strategy. It depends upon how long to maintain and manage negative cash flow.
The decline stage – Sales begin to decline at an accelerating rate in this phase. This decline depicts the inability of a business to adapt to changing business environments and continue their life cycles. Now it’s time to get your business back in the expansion stage or think of an exit strategy.
Organic growth and outcome-oriented strategies are vital to a companies’ future. There are too many distractions in business growth, and if you are not aware of them, you will lose focus on what you should be pursuing. Here you can add strategic pillars, i.e. boundaries of the growth strategy by aligning the company and its major objectives with the marketplace and its needs. The two strategic pillars are:
Business Strategy – This defines what the business owners and investors want to accomplish with the company, and how that relates to the current state of the business. For example, customer division, owner’s objectives, target markets, strong business model, product or service offerings.
Brand Strategy – This is all about what the marketplace needs and wants from you that you can effectively and competitively deliver them — for example, brand vision, value addition, consumer’s identity and competitive benchmarking.
Successful outcome-oriented strategies for your business’s growth are –
- Market penetration and development –
This strategy refers to minimal risk. Using the existing market current products of the company are being sold. Firstly, retaining the customers, increasing the revenue and sales from the ones who have already purchased from you.
Secondly, using new markets, the business can accomplish business growth by entering international markets or opening stores in new locations.
- Identify your ideal customer –
Entrepreneurs got into a business that is focused on specific prospective customers. As we know that customers are the lifeblood of every business, so, the ability to clearly define and focus on the customers who will buy your product or service will be essential to your business growth. Determine the location of your exact customer and your ideal customers will happily pay for what your business is offering.
- Alternative Channels –
Alternative channels, such as selling your products online on the website or using social media platforms. By using the Internet as a means for your customers to reach the products or services in a new way, i.e., using any software as a service, E-mail marketing etc.
- Sponsorships and Advertising
A question arises, can we develop business growth through sponsoring events and advertising? I would say YES because choosing the right organization is the most important part of putting together an event sponsorship opportunity. Detailed research should be conducted before the event, whether the brand’s target audience is aligned with yours or not. And after the event return on investment must be determined.
Advertising, when combined with other techniques, such as speaking at an event, definitely gives positive outcomes. Well-targeted digital advertising will allow businesses to get their messages and offers in front of the right people at the right time.
- Use leadership and content marketing –
Making your enterprise visible to potential buyers and referral sources is done through writing articles/blogs/books, speaking engagements or publishing relevant content that demonstrates your business and how it can be applied to solve client problems. Digital communication plays a huge role to hit your target market.
In this fast-moving technological era, any brand’s internet presence matters a lot. Such as SEO optimized content. As these strategies make your visibility among the buyers, it also opens doors to much greater competition as well. You will find yourself competing with brands whom you were never heard of.
- Networkingand referrals –
A universally used business development strategy is networking. Researchers suggest that buying decisions are effective when done through face-to-face networking. If we study other prospective, buyers today are very time-pressured, and networking is time-consuming for them. Here digital networking techniques, i.e., social media, can help with the cost and time front.
Referrals convert networking and client satisfaction into new business. You establish a relationship with a client by providing your best services, and that person refers to new business to you. Satisfied customers do the same, and the circle goes on. Digital marketing strategies for business growth can accelerate referrals and through the marketing campaign reaches to the potential clients.
In the growth-oriented business plan, well-defined metrics and benchmarks will grow your businesses to another level. You can start with the list of top strategies mentioned above. Pick the broad strategy, engage and convert your businesses prospects accordingly and be the top-notch enterprise.