Most business owners spend much of their time focused on the day-to-day operational priorities. That makes sense. The business is often in a reactive mode, where taking care of the most recent crisis or just managing to the needs of the customers are critical to maintaining and growing the business. But to really take the business to the next level, strategic thinking needs to become part of the leaders’ skill base. Here are several ways to grow a business strategically.
Acquire a Similar Business
The easiest and fastest way to grow your business is through the strategic acquisition of another business that is similar to yours. Through the strategic acquisition of another company, you can achieve economies of scale, efficiencies and enhanced market visibility. The acquisition can also increase your client base, add new markets and help increase shareholder value, among a variety of other benefits.
Open Up to New Markets with New Products or Services
If you’re like most business owners, you’ve been selling services and products to a specific customer group for years, if not decades. And that’s ok, but have you thought about thinking outside of that “box”? For example: Is there a related product or service that your customers may have an interest in? Or, can you try taking your current products or services to a whole new customer group? Adding new products and services or expanding products to a new customer group are some of the quickest and easiest ways to drive growth. You may need to do some market research to see what your existing customers want or what other customer groups would gravitate to your current product or service offering – but it’s easier to do a little bit of research then to open a brand new business.
Open a New Location
The business location you have now is doing well, so it will probably do well somewhere else. Try another city or state for your new location. When that one becomes successful, you will have learned everything you need to move to the next! Expanding geographically is another quick and usually fairly easy way to grow.
Affiliates will promote your services and products for you. This will bring you more business without spending more money and time marketing. All you will have to do is pay a commission to those affiliates if they send business your way.
Consider Franchising Your Business
You could also consider turning your business into a franchise. You need to have very repeatable processes and a good reputation to take this leap, but there are many new franchises that start-up every year based on someone’s current business model. It can be a great way to strategically grow and add residual income to your existing business model.
Partner with Another Business
Find a business that sells products and services your audience would be interested in, and ask the business owner if he or she would mind you sending some of your customers his way. You can then ask the business owner if they would do the same for you. If they have customers who would benefit from your services and products, they can send them to you. That’s how a strategic partnership is born.
Start a New Business
Starting a new business doesn’t mean you’re abandoning the one you have now. What it means is that you will be able to grow as an entrepreneur. In fact, an entrepreneurial mindset means that you are always looking for a new businesses to start. There’s no harm in having a few different businesses going as long as you have the right team in place and can manage the workload. The more you do, the more you’ll grow and earn.
Use the Internet
If you’re a local business, you’ve probably already exhausted much of your consumer base. People know about you, have bought from you, and the only sign of getting new business is when someone new moves into town. Instead of relying on population growth, go to your consumers by promoting your business online.
If you’re selling products, you can easily sell them on the Internet. Set up an e-commerce website, promote it, and start selling to people. Your consumer base extends nationwide when you do this, which could result in phenomenal business growth.
If you’re a service provider, you can reach clients outside of your local area by sharing your knowledge in the form of blogging. Most people search for solutions (business or personal) by turning to the Internet first. If you share your knowledge by writing about specific topics that would be of interest to your target audience, your content can come up in search engine results – driving traffic to your website where you can convert those “leads” into prospects.
The strategic growth strategies I mention in the article are very broad and general in scope, but almost every business can implement at least one – if not more than one – of these options as a way to grow their business. Give one a try and start thinking strategically about business growth rather than just tackling the day-to-day operational issues. In future blogs, we will explore the skills required to become a true strategic leader. Stay tuned!
Much success, luck, and growth to you!