Grow your business by finding ways to increase sales or by targeting new markets. To increase sales you may have to introduce new business lines, expand your market, increase your marketing activities and improve customer service. If you are in manufacturing, this could mean increasing your productivity to meet demand.
Introduce new products or services
Provide a broader range of products or services for your clients or introduce completely new lines. You'll need to research your market to see if there is an appetite for your proposed offering. Consider using some of your existing clients as a testing bed, which can help you manage some of the risks and even help you learn how the product or service can be improved. Pay special attention to marketing and promotion to get the word out on your new offerings.
Expand to new markets
While targeting new markets can be costly, it can increase your client base. Market research will help you understand the potential new market and help you devise a strategy to tackle it. You'll need to also consider marketing, sales, distribution, and increasing your production to meet the new demand.
Enhance your sales channels
Evaluate and optimize your sales channels. This could help you reach more clients, increase your market control, and improve profitability. For example, you could:
- Provide your sales staff with enhanced training
- Contract independent sales representatives or hire your own
- Add retail outlets
- Use resellers
- Implement an e-business strategy
Improve the efficiency of your marketing activities. Track the outcome of your current marketing or advertising and be prepared to shift your strategy if you are not seeing your desired results. Study your intended clients to know how best to reach them, and plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
Change price, terms or conditions of billing
Changing your prices, terms, or conditions of billing could stimulate market demand for products or services. Keep an eye on what your competitors are offering and your own profit margins to determine if you can reduce your cost. Without touching your price, sometimes sweetening the deal with favourable terms can sway the buyer your way.
Keep an eye on the competition
Always be aware of what your competitors are doing. This information helps you understand their behaviours, capabilities and limitations. Armed with this knowledge, you will be better prepared to defend your market position, react to changes, and find niche markets.
Improve community relations
Increase your presence and visibility in your community. Activities such as sponsoring community events, speaking at engagements, or supporting a local sports team can raise awareness of your business and stimulate market demand.
Don't neglect customer service
Keep in mind the customer's perception of your service quality or responsiveness. The positive word of mouth from a happy customer is worth its weight in gold.
Know when to pull the plug
Eliminate sectors, services or product lines having low margins, low profitability or excessive selling costs. This can be difficult due to emotional commitments to existing offerings, but in the long run, rationalization strategies can save you money that you can reinvest more wisely.
There are many resources that could help you undertake some of these activities.