Written by Jodie Pride
4th September 2014 • 7 min read
Growth shows that yours is a living, thriving business that’s relevant and adapts to change. Stagnation is a warning sign that while you may not yet be counting your losses, something needs to change. So here are 7 ways to grow your business and keep your figures on an upward trend.
1. Face your weaknesses
It may sound painful, but if your business isn’t growing as planned you should step back and identify your weaknesses. This isn’t about finger pointing but refining your current methods before introducing new measures. You’ll then have a clearer idea of what you need to invest in and may even find you can adapt an existing resource, saving you time and money. Try to keep the process as objective as possible by using as much data as you can, such as that from analytics, sales records and surveys. You can then use this data to build up a record of your approach to help validate your findings and to reference should you need to conduct such a review again.
2. Increase your people power
There’s only so much you can do with so many people. Eventually you’ll reach the point where you can’t take on new projects or initiatives because you just don’t have the people to run them. However, while recruitment is key to growth, before you pick up the phone to the recruitment agency pause to consider all your staffing options.
Will more men on the ground or a new overseer reap the most benefits? By this we mean do you need sheer manpower to get a job done, or a fresh perspective to manage and reinvigorate a team? For example, digital content is an increasingly important marketing tool, so you could get someone in to provide the necessary graphic and video resource, or hire a digital content director for their marketing strategy.
If you’re at the start-up stage or your stagnation is down to limited funds try freelancers. While day rates can be hefty you can hire them for very specific tasks and keep their engagement to a matter of days. They’re also a good option if you want to validate a new role. Hire a freelancer on a rolling contract, then if the role is proving pivotal you can extend their contract or offer them the position full-time. If the role isn’t as fruitful as you’d hoped, freelance contracts can be ended quickly.
3. Try new platforms
Your website may be doing stellar work, but do you have an optimised mobile site? Or perhaps you’ve got Facebook and Twitter business accounts, but have you thought about branching out into Instagram or Pinterest? Instead of just sticking to your tried and tested platforms, reach a new audience by digitally branching out.
New platforms provide the opportunity to further showcase your products or services. Fun photos on Instagram can show your product being used in novel ways or a new take on your service. Mobile sites are ideal for demonstrating location or comparison elements of your business as customers can use them while out and about.
4. Focus resources
More and more businesses are adopting an omni-channel approach. Companies like Burberry and Apple are great examples of businesses using the same assets across all their advertising. Not only does this create a seamless customer experience and strong brand identity, but it lets you focus resources on one stand out campaign.
So instead of adopting a different approach for your digital, above the line, in store and editorial campaigns, focus on producing one campaign that will work across all channels. This will not only save you money, but your business will become more recognisable and cohesive across all your customer touchpoints.
5. Increase your audience
Have you considered increasing your audience by going international, or if you’re already there, focusing on emerging markets? You can turn your UK-based site into an international one by offering global shipping options, additional currencies and multiple translations. This sounds expensive and complex, but dependingon the eCommerce platform you’re using, can be achieved via inexpensive plug ins and online translators.
If you’re already established internationally then emerging marketsoffer untapped opportunities. With their increasing funds and access to digital, some well geo-targeted promotions could open up a new lucrative audience.
6. Try new products
If you’re seeing a period of stagnation with your current product offering, then it may be time to diversify.
You could test the water by bringing in some new related products. For example, if you sell sofas you could start offering otherliving room items like bookshelves and coffee tables as your customers are likely to be looking for these too.
Or you could build on your relationship with your existing suppliers to see what other products they could offer. Use your standing as an existing client to negotiate a deal as your supplier will only be extending an already established distribution.
7. Treat your existing customers
Build upon your existing customer base by encouraging repeat visits. Use customer purchase data to target them with specific offers on items or services they’re likely to be interested in. Or if you know someone hasn’t shopped for a while, send them a discount code and details of some of your latest products.
Sometimes the old ones are the best and good customer service is still a great way to get customers coming back. Make it easy for them to contact you and not just through a premium number. Don’t bombard them with questionnaires or feedback forms, but make it enticing for them to interact with you. Offer a reward for writing a product review or instead of just asking them to sign up to your mailing list, ask them to enter their email to unlock a discount code.
Trying to grow your business? Veeqo is the perfect ecommerce solution to make your inventory management and product shipping faster and easier!
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