How to Grow Your Business in Five Steps

Growth is a pre-requisite for business success. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, most companies need to grow just to stay in place. They need to expand market share, seek out related and new market opportunities, and constantly pursue new customers just to stay even over the long haul.

To grow successfully, businesses need to build upon their success with current customer and grow outward from there. As such, the five steps to business growth are:

  1. Satisfy Your Current Customers: As discussed in 8 Steps to Satisfy Your Current Customers and Re-Charge Growth, the first step for business growth is to exceed the expectations of current customers. This reduces your customer turnover (churn), which means that you no longer have to find new customers just to replace current customers that have stopped buying from you due to poor service. Further, satisfying your current customers allows you to increase your share of wallet with them.

     

  2. Increase Your Market Share in Your Current Market Space: Increase your overall market share with your current product line in your current market space. Satisfying your current customers strengthens your brand and proves that you live up to your brand promise. Building on this strong brand and referrals from your good customers, viral market out and penetrate new customers in your current market space.

     

  3. Work with Current Customers to Determine New Product and Service Opportunities: Your best customers realize that you are an excellent and reliable supplier. Especially, with B2B (business-to-business) customers, these good customers will often invite you to help them in other related parts of their business where they may be having issues. They may also want your help to refine current products and services or to solve new problems that they may be facing. Pursue these potential opportunities aggressively, as they will bind you closer to these best customers and point the way to new product and service offerings that can then be offered to your entire customer base.

     

  4. Pursue Market Opportunities Already Under Your Nose: Be easy to do business with and open to the potential customers that are contacting you today looking for help to solve their problems: You Don’t Know Me; But, I Want to Give You Money! In addition, follow up with and learn more about the newest customers that are buying from you. Why do they now need your products and services? Is this a trend? Are there other companies in their same market space that now need your products and services as well?

     

  5. Actively Pursue New Products and Market Opportunities: This is the proactive part of growth and business development. It includes seeking out growing and profitable markets, solving customer’s problems, and finding new market niches where your company can have a sustainable competitive advantage. This can include all the sexy stuff that they teach about in business schools: new product development, market entry strategies, joint ventures and acquisitions. While undeniably important, beware!! The active pursuit of new product and market opportunities is just one out of five steps to business growth; to grow your business successfully requires using all five steps to business growth. As sales and innovation strategist David Cooke says well:

    All too often businesses over-emphasize the importance of new customer sales as a key to building a business. While this is and continues to be an integral component of business growth, real and sustainable growth occurs when a business leverages its relationships–team, customer, suppliers, ownership–in a strategically focused manner to retain and expand the ones it already has.

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About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Growth and Strategy, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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