INFLUENCER MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
- Most companies go through five stages of development, and knowing which stage you’re in will help you figure out the best way to advance
- A growth strategy is a plan of action you develop to expand your company
- There are five stages of growth that most businesses go through, and knowing which stage you’re in will help you figure out the best way to advance Learn how to use 11 different business development tactics to take your company from one point to the next.
According to statistics, half of the small companies fail within the first five years, and only one out of every three survives for ten years. These figures are sobering, but they aren’t hopeless. When it comes to run a company, there is always a danger, but there are ways to increase your chances of success.
Knowing which stage of development the company is in, as well as having the right business growth strategies, will help it not only succeed but prosper.
What is the concept of a business growth strategy?
A business development plan is essentially the strategies or acts you take to move the company from one point to the next.
To different people, business development means different things. Some see it as a rise in sales and income, while others see it as a new location or business growth.
Your business growth strategy should be focused on market analysis, regardless of how you define growth. It would help if you thought about your company’s structure, the product or service you provide, and your target market. It would help if you also outlined your short- and long-term goals for business growth at various points, as well as a timetable for tracking progress and the business growth strategies you plan to employ at each process.
5 stages of small business growth
Today, most large corporations began as small companies, and they did not grow into their current size overnight. Instead, they developed over time, progressing from one level to the next to become what they are today.
Most companies go through five stages of growth, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some companies may go through all five stages of the business life cycle, while others may only go through a few, depending on the type of business and other factors.
You’ll be able to select the best business development strategies to advance to the next level once you’ve identified your company’s current growth point.
Stage 1: Planting and growth
At this point, your new company is just a concept that you’re testing and fine-tuning. You’re doing lots of market research and asking a lot of questions at this point to see if your business concept is viable and can draw buyers.
Stage 2: Establishment
Your new company is up and running, and you’re beginning to draw new clients. Unfortunately, this is also the period that you might start to run into problems with clients, cash flow, or day-to-day operations. Since the startup stage is all about survival and adaptability, it’s critical to make adjustments and work things out as you go before the company reaches a stable point.
Stage 3: Establishment and growth
A new company produces a steady income with an increasing consumer base at this stage. However, the company could be struggling to break even. The goal is to boost your bottom line as quickly as possible, whether that means recruiting skilled workers, investing in infrastructure, increasing efficiency, or cutting waste.
Stage 4: Expansion
Businesses have reached a point in their development where they are stable, successful, and well-established in their industry. However, expansion isn’t the time to kick back and relax. At this point, most business owners are looking for new opportunities. It could mean gaining a larger market share through alliances, new product growth, or franchising, for example. The objective in this process is to grow but not to go overboard (or your resources).
Stage 5: Maturity and exit options
A company that has reached maturity has shown consistent profits year after year. For sure business owners, now is the best time to sell their company or hand it over to a new CEO. However, others will believe that now is the time to devise a new business expansion strategy.
11 ways to expand your company
11 best ways to grow a business
Other business growth strategies function at different stages of growth, and each growth strategy has its degree of risk. Here are 11 business development strategies to help you get off to a good start.
1. Increased market share
This growth strategy mainly seeks to gain market share in your current market by selling more of your established goods or services. Many small and medium-sized companies use this low-risk approach.
Here are some ideas for market penetration:
- Lower rates relative to competitors
- Exclusive deals and discounts to attract new buyers
- Volume and bulk discounts to encourage existing customers to purchase more
- Expand the number of distributors and dealers the company works with.
2. Product development
This development strategy entails introducing new goods and services to the existing market to gain a more significant share.
- Creating various flavors of an established product; for example, a soft drink company that manufactures the leading soft drink in different flavors is an example of product expansion.
- Introducing a new product line to your market
- Bundling your services into various bundles and levels
- Updating an existing product when the features are no longer appealing to potential customers
3. Expansion marketing or growth
Business creation is a growth strategy that can assist a growing company trying to find its footing in the existing market (possibly due to intense competition).
It includes selling existing goods and services in a new market to raise market share, often known as market expansion. To get the best results, you’ll need to conduct extensive market analysis better to understand the emerging market and its target audience.
Here are a few examples of business development:
- Selling to a particular group of consumers or target audience
- Franchising, this involves offering franchise opportunities to other companies or individuals in a different state or region.
4. Segmenting the market
This marketing strategy divides a market into categories based on geography, demographics, market behavior, and customer behavior. This growth strategy will assist a small business operating in a market with larger competitors. You can find and concentrate on a field that your rivals haven’t yet entered by segmenting the market.
5. Additional platforms
Using alternative channels to grow a company is a typical small business growth strategy, particularly in the digital era. It entails promoting your company, connecting with customers, and selling to them via a different channel or network.
- Selling online through your website
- Claiming your Bevvit Business Page
- Selling through sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay
- Using paid search advertising to advertise your business
- Selling through wholesalers when you typically sell through stores are all examples of alternative channels.
This is a market expansion strategy in which two or more companies plan to work together for mutual advantage and gain. Depending on the nature of your small business, working with another organization will assist you in managing a large project or even transferring information, expertise, and technology at a low or no cost.
If your company deals with manufacturers and distributors, you might want to consider forming a relationship with them.
Look for a company that isn’t a rival but has a similar business culture and brand values to yours for a fruitful relationship. Remember the scope and prestige of potential partner companies so that you can weigh the advantages.
Diversification is a business strategy that involves selling new goods and services to new markets. This expansion strategy is fraught with risk. It will take a lot of money to pull it off, but it has the potential to pay off handsomely.
Diversification can take many forms, including:
• Horizontal diversification: This entails developing a new product range for the existing clientele.
• Vertical diversification occurs when a company competes with its suppliers or consumers.
• Concentric diversification: When a business develops a new product or service identical to or comparable to one that already exists.
• Diversification of conglomerates: In this situation, new goods or services are created for a particular target group.
8. Mergers and acquisitions
A company can buy another company (acquisition), or two companies can plan to combine as one with this growth strategy (merger). It’s viewed as a growth strategy for established companies due to the amount of capital typically needed.
There are three categories to choose from:
- Upstream acquisition: A smaller company merges with a larger one to create a new company.
- Downstream acquisition: When one corporation buys another, the purchased company becomes a subsidiary of the buying company.
- Lateral acquisition: When two firms of similar size plan to merge to create a larger company.
Cost-cutting is a market development tactic that improves the bottom line and frees up funds for expansion. Your company will most likely prosper and expand if you keep costs low without sacrificing quality.
Find the following cost-cutting strategies:
- Monitor expenditures with accounting software
- Go paperless as much as possible
- Evaluate all business processes and consider automation where possible
- Reduce conventional marketing techniques and focus the majority of the efforts online.
- Outsource where appropriate.
- Time is money, so promote effective time management strategies in your company.
10. Retention of customers
Customer retention is a growth strategy that focuses on nurturing and converting both current and new customers into repeat and loyal customers. You must earn your customers’ confidence for this to work.
Retaining customers will help you save money because it is less expensive to keep customers than acquire new ones. In addition, customers who return are often more likely to spend more, and loyal customers who spread the word about your brand through word of mouth can be an essential part of your company’s growth. When you:
- Communicate regularly with your customers via personalized emails and social media
- Over deliver on any commitment you make to a client, such as making home delivery within 24 hours instead of the 48 hours you agreed.
- Express customer appreciation through loyalty discounts, gifts with purchases, complimentary service upgrades, and various other methods.
- Use live chat, self-service, or phone support to provide outstanding customer service.
11. Marketing on the internet
All marketing campaigns carried out online to promote the company to the general public are referred to as online marketing. This marketing method allows you to reach out to a more significant number of people, including your target audience.
According to research, there are nearly 4.57 billion active internet users worldwide. As a result, online marketing is a vital tool for small companies and an appealing growth strategy for small companies.
The following online marketing strategies will help you expand your business:
• Make a company website: Having a website lends legitimacy to your brand and keeps your company opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
• Participate in social media: There are many social media platforms to choose from, but you don’t need to be involved in all of them to develop your company. Instead, figure out where the bulk of your target audience hangs out online and use that information to create a social media marketing plan.
• Use review sites: Review sites allow users to look for companies, rate them, and leave feedback. Your small business would be easier to find online if you build a business page and become involved on review sites. It also allows you to communicate directly with current (and potential) customers by responding to comments, uploading images, and sharing current information
With trust, expand your market.
Even though many small companies fail within the first five years, millions of others thrive over time. Besides commitment and sound business practices, employing the appropriate business development strategy is critical to your company’s success.
You’ll be better prepared to select the proper business growth strategies to advance to the next level once you’ve identified your company’s current growth stage—from seed to maturity.
Although the sheer number of growth strategies available can make your head spin, the 11 options outlined in this guide are an excellent place to start and will guide you through the process in realistic, easy-to-follow steps.