• White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Google+ Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

© 2016 Small Business California

Raul Harman
Sep 11

A Business Growth Strategy: 4 Basic Stages




Transforming a small enterprise into a large one is never simple. Statistics suggest that only 0.04% of businesses reach the $100 million mark in yearly revenue. In other words, in our data-driven, hyper-competitive environment, most companies begin small and never go further.

If you do not want to go down this road or recognize that staying small doesn’t actually guarantee your company’s survival – you will need to build and execute your business growth strategy. A growth strategy is much more than simply envisioning long-term success. It involves having a tangible plan. Otherwise, you’re actually losing business, even decreasing your chances of being competitive.


Stage one – Identify

The first part of the development of a business growth strategy includes defining your key indicators and revenue streams. Changes need to be measurable and trackable. When you’re unable to measure a change, you have no way of knowing whether it’s efficient. Identifying which key indicators influence the growth of your business enables you to decide where to dedicate time and cash.

When it comes to your current revenue streams, you will first have to identify them. What revenue streams can increase the profitability of your business? Once you identify the potential for new revenue streams, ask yourself whether they’re sustainable in the long run. Some innovative products and amazing business ideas don’t necessarily have revenue streams attached to them.

Take care when analyzing and understanding these differences.


Stage two – Analyze

The development of a company’s growth strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. As a matter of fact, due to the changes in market conditions and disrupting factors, making strategic decisions based on someone else’s successes can be foolish. That isn’t to say that you can’t learn from another enterprise, but blindly adopting a cookie-cutter plan won’t lead to sustainable growth.

You have to implement a plan that smooths out your business’s inefficiencies, refines its strengths, and better suits your customers – who can be entirely different than those from a vague, one-size-fits-all strategy. A one-size-fits-all approach implies vague indicators. However, a specific plan is a successful plan.

When you optimize your growth strategy to your customers and your business, you’ll keep your consumers happy and fulfill their wants and needs – which will make them come back for more.


Stage three – Using the data

Your organization’s data will determine all of your strategic decisions. To be specific, you can use the data from your revenue streams and key indicators to develop a personalized business growth plan. That way, you’ll better understand your company and its customers’ nuances, which will naturally lead to better growth.

However, an enterprise which doesn’t ensure the reliability and accuracy of its business data, cannot accomplish organizational growth and excellence. That highlights the relevance and importance of hiring data verification services or third-party verification services. It’s crucial to choose third-party verification services that specialize in the region where your customers are located.

For instance, Data Zoo specializes in APAC (Asia-Pacific) region so it would only be natural to use an outside verification service like this one if your customers are coming from this region. Outside service providers regularly have sets of professionally trained employees who have expertise and experience in verifying the data, making them more efficient than just having an in-house department.


Stage four – Direct

Your growth strategy will enable you to expand your business. Growth can be accomplished by investing in customer acquisition, adding new locations, expanding a product or service line, and more. The industry your business is in and the target market influence the type of growth strategy you will adopt.

Strategize, determine the available options, and integrate them into your business plan. Depending on the kind of enterprise you’re developing, your growth strategy might include, among other things:

Franchising opportunities

Selling products online across multiple channels

Product line expansion

Adding new locations

Investing in customer acquisition

The specific industry your company is in and the target market will determine your decisions, but it’s almost universally true that new customer acquisition will play a major role.

Successful businesses plan for growth. They invest time and money in it. They eventually earn it. So, what is your plan for the future?

New Posts
  • Tracey Clayton
    Oct 2

    One would think that the farming business is on the decline. Yet, countries such as Australia make it look so easy — they export almost two-thirds of their entire agricultural output . Nevertheless, starting your own farming operation takes more than just a few seeds like it does in Minecraft. It takes considerable time, effort, and (above all) knowledge. Speaking of which — take a closer look at the article below if you wish to become an expert in the field. Get Some Hands-on Experience First Reading various guides and books, and watching YouTube videos about farming is commendable. Yet, nothing beats getting your hands dirty. Farm work, in general, can be extremely dangerous; especially so for rookies. Hence, you might want to partner up with an experienced old-timer or consider doing some farm work yourself beforehand. Just make sure your mentor knows what they are doing; otherwise, the both of you can get seriously injured on the job. When you determine that you’re finally ready, plant a smaller patch first, instead of a whole acre, to act as a test run. Once you get the hang of it, you can start planting larger fields. Should You Buy or Rent Land In a nutshell, both strategies are viable and each has its own pros and cons. For starters, buying land requires a substantial amount of capital; that is if you haven’t inherited anything already. Meaning, you have to splash the cash and invest first, making it a somewhat risky endeavour. On the other hand, with cash renting, you can start right off the bat with minimal investments. Still, rents will leech large amounts of your profits each month and can get quite astronomical in size. At the end of the day, it really comes down to how invested you are in your new enterprise. If you’re really going for it, then buy that land by all means; if not, stick to renting, just in case. Whether to Go Wide or Tall Australian farmers are faced with two options when it comes to making a profit — you either go the mass production route, or you simply downsize and modernize your equipment instead. Now, if you’re just a one-man crew, the latter is the more obvious choice. For example, say you wanted to start a small poultry farm in your own back yard. Before you fall into a chicken and egg situation (so to speak), you first need to get your hands on some proper equipment. Luckily for you, finding a reliable egg incubator in Australia is relatively simple; compared to some other developing countries. After you get one of those, hatching and brooding your little feathered friends becomes a breeze; just remember not to count all your chickens before they hatch. Should You Specialize or Diversify Your Business When it comes to running a small farm business, placing all your eggs in one basket isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sticking to what you know best often yields the best results. In addition, experimenting with new breeds and sorts takes a lot of trial and error that may not pay off in the end. Nevertheless, finding a niche market is still better than playing it safe; it just requires some additional research. The reason being, customers — especially the younger generations — are now more interested in sustainability and quality than they are concerned with food prices. This presents an excellent opportunity for imaginative entrepreneurs to find a hole in the market and exploit it for profit. Selling Your Produce Marketing your produce to local health food stores, instead of merely going to the farmers’ market, is probably your best bet; especially in this day and age when there’s such a craze for all things healthy and natural. Millennials, in particular, are fiercely loyal when it comes to brands, and they are no small customer base by any means. So, if you have a unique selling proposition (organic foods, home-made, etc.), focus your attention on this specific target audience. That way you’ll get more out of your goods than on the market. In essence, you can even cut the middleman out and sell produce directly from your property if there’s enough demand. In the world of business, spreading brand awareness goes a long way. So, don’t be a chicken and dabble in marketing to jumpstart your business and go on from there.
  • Raul Harman
    Sep 12

    Many people out there believe that running a business is all about offering the best product available. Although a quality product is an important part of it, it’s just one of the things that dictate whether a customer will buy from you or not. Your customer’s experience starts from the moment they find out about your business and continues to last even after they pay for your product. Improving your customer’s experience is a great way to take your business to the next level and we have listed five ways for doing so below. Hand out free stuff People love getting stuff for free – it’s as simple as that. No matter what you sell, if there’s a way to include something for your customers for free, it can do wonders for your business. Promotional products have been used in marketing purposes for ages and it seems like they’re going nowhere. Just by handing out a promotional product to each of your customers can boost their experience and make them more likely to think of you the next time they need the product you sell. You can also consider giving away some of your products for free to customers who prove to be most loyal. Say no to user harassment Business owners often believe that stuffing their customers’ inboxes is a great way to ensure they come back. In reality, people don’t enjoy getting spam emails, even when they’re personalized. With that said, make sure you put more thought into sending emails to your customers. Only do it when there’s something you actually want your customers to know. Even then, try to keep your email as short as possible. In case you decide to design an app for your business, sending short in-app messages might be a better solution. Improve call centre efficiency Even though you can find a lot of information online, nothing beats a call when it comes to learning about a product. Whether it’s just someone asking about your product or an old customer who needs some help with it, it’s critical that your call centre operates like a well-oiled machine. Luckily, there are companies that offer cloud call centre solutions that might be exactly what you need in order to give your call centre a boost. Don’t keep your customers waiting, hire polite staff and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Engage customers on social media With more than 3 billion users around the globe, social media now plays a huge role in our everyday lives. This is something you can use to your advantage and create pages and profiles for your business. Although your Facebook and Twitter pages can serve as a place for promoting your product, it’s also where you can ensure your customers enjoy buying from you. What you can do is provide them with useful content and even make them laugh from time to time. Just take a look at how Wendy’s approaches social media and think about whether that’s something you can see your business doing. Ask for feedback Another great way to improve your customer’s experience is to ask them for feedback. People like to be valued and asking for feedback shows your customers that you care about their opinion. This is especially the case if you keep using the feedback you get to make adjustments in your approach. The best part of it is that it can also help your business do better. Just think about it, if you make changes based on your customer feedback, it means they’ll enjoy buying from you more and your profit will increase. Over to you All in all, there are so many things you can do to ensure your customers enjoy every second of doing business with you. Start with the five ways covered in this post and there’s no doubt you’ll see more customers coming back and recommending you to their friends and family.
  • Raul Harman
    Sep 11

    In our overly digital world, printers may seem to be forgotten, but they still are a necessary part of any workplace. No matter how much of your marketing is reserved for online promotion only, or how much your business tries to be a paperless model, printing is still a major player in the majority of business processes, including promotion, customer acquisition and inner data management. Moreover, the printing technology is not without its innovations. Smart solutions disrupt this sector by expediting and simplifying the printing processes. Other innovations bring new ways of using print technology for branding, communication and sustainability goals. Here are five ways modern print technology can help your business: Enhancing your company’s promotion One of the most common uses of print technology is producing marketing materials and promotional items. In other words, using printing for promotional campaigns and offline marketing efforts. Branded goods are still one of the oldest means of traditional marketing still used today, mostly since they remain to be efficient and cost-effective. For instance, giving out printed T-shirts and other apparel to either customers or employees (or even to friends and family) is a viable branding tactic most small enterprises have used in the past and still use today. However, printing visuals on dark clothes was always a difficult challenge due to their receiving properties. But the introduction of the heat transfer paper technology changed the game, making printing on dark garments easier than ever, enabling businesses to mass-produce promotional items on a new level. Nowadays, new printing technology has the power to redefine how printed promotional goods are created. Sustainable printing While the term itself does sound like a marketing buzzword with nonexistent tangible benefits for your business, in practice, sustainable printing is not only beneficial for the environment but can also help you save considerable cash. One “green” printing solution that can help your business is a multifunction or all-in-one printer. When you use such a device, you not only save power – a single device versus at least two and often three – but also space and you reduce your use of consumables. As for the printers themselves, most of the big-name printer manufacturers have developed new print engines over the past couple of years that are directed towards reducing the use of ink and toner as well as reducing or even removing the number of used print cartridges. For instance, Epson and Canon both produce no-cartridge, eco-friendly printer lines, while HP, Brother, and Xerox all have cartridge recycling programs that can help you dispose of used cartridges with more ease, all for the goal of reducing the impact on the environment. Improving low-quality images with enhanced presses Nowadays, the printing technology has come to the point where it aims to expedite the entire process by utilizing smart software to enhance low-res pictures and hence save you the trouble of sourcing adequate quality photos every time you have to print something for a meeting or a marketing campaign. You can select the level and type of image enhancement, ranging from color correction to saturation and brightness, enabling you to improve a picture right there on the spot. 3D printing The fact of the matter is that technology has made quite a progress, even in the printing sector, and this is proven by printing no longer being restricted to paper and other 2D surfaces only. Today, 3D printing is the newest tech that keeps developing as time goes by. Not only does 3D printing leave cartridges and ink out of the equation, but businesses can also use it for manufacturing as well. In other words, using only the materials you want, a 3D printer builds three-dimensional products by melting layers on top of each other. That means that there’s no expense for ink or toners. The fact that 3D printing technology is becoming popular in the business world proves that this technology will continue to advance further. Even now, 3D printing is being used to manufacture prosthetic limbs. Not only that, but NASA is considering using 3D printed materials for space missions. Printing may not be the most famous IT technology in the world, but that doesn’t mean that the sector isn’t brimming with innovations. If you still believe that printing is solely for paper, then it’s time to take a closer look at what is available today.