If you’re a small business or home business that’s moved beyond the start-up phase and built a thriving operation, you may be wondering how to take the next step. Read our six tips to successfully grow your business.
Increase your sales
The simplest way to increase your sales is to sell more of your products or services to the customers already buying them. This means persuading one-off customers to become repeat customers, trying to win back those customers who’ve stopped buying from you and increasing your volume of sales to regular customers. It’s crucial to keep a detailed record of your customers and what you’ve sold to them, so you can create targeted sales and marketing campaigns designed to get the best results.
Win new customers
Find new customers for your products and services by increasing awareness, both by advertising in your local area and using digital marketing and social media. You could also talk to potential customers who don’t use your business at the moment and find out what it would take for them to switch from your competition. You can find out more in our beginner’s guide to telemarketing for small businesses.
Secure extra funding or investment
Growing your business, whether through increasing sales or boosting your profits, often means you need to invest more. You can do this by investing previous profits back into your business, taking out a loan, securing outside investment or looking for other sources of finance, including government-backed schemes. You’ll need to show any potential lenders or investors how your business will spend the extra money to increase sales and profitability and how the how increased ongoing costs will affect your cash flow.
Employ more staff
To expand, you’ll need more capacity to produce or provide your product, and perhaps a wider range of skills. Whether you already have employees or you’re a sole trader, make sure you understand your responsibilities as an employer and the risks involved before you take on new people. You could also look into training up your existing staff to grow your skills base and perhaps take on an apprentice as an investment in the future that would pay off over time.
Expand your products or services
A great way to grow your business is to diversify into new products or services, or to develop and improve your existing offering. Either way, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research your market first. Test everything with your customers as if you’re a new business going to market for the first time. By making sure there’s real demand for what you’re planning to sell, you can find any problems and fix them before you’ve wasted too much time, effort and money.
Cut your cost base
You’ll have more funds to invest in business expansion if you cut your cost base and make it easy to instantly expand your IT and communications capacity. You can transform your business into a lean operation that only pays for the services it needs by moving into the cloud, which means your phone and IT systems will be hosted online.
Cloud-based systems such as VoIP phone services are low-cost and easy to manage and upgrade, so you can spend less time on IT issues and more time growing your business. Find out more in our guide to business VoIP phone systems.