Are You Ready for Business Growth?
It happens for many companies: That triumphant day when they’re not just meeting their sales goals, they’re surpassing them.
As time goes on and that heady feeling fades, however, an entrepreneur realizes his or her business is growing.
That brings with it a whole host of challenges that they didn’t have to deal with before.
To soften the blow of such growing pains, below are some strategies for handling business expansion the smart way.
1. Decide Which Clients Are Most Profitable
Some clients just aren’t profitable in the long run.
For example, let’s say you’re a graphic designer. You have a client who changes their mind every single time you submit a completed project to them. At a certain point, you may spend so many hours trying to please them that the money they originally paid you is way less than what’s warranted by the work you’ve done. In this case, spending your time and resources on a less demanding client would be best.
2. Maintain Relationships With Your Customers…
Your existing customer base can be a great source of new business. That’s why salesforce.com’s Babette Ten Haken says you shouldn’t spend all your time replacing lost clients with new ones.
Instead, focus on building up your relationship with your current clients. They can provide valuable feedback on your current products or services; be the test subjects for new ones and also help spread the word about your company.
3. …Including the Ones You’ve Outgrown
When your business outgrows smaller clients’ budgets, there are several ways you can end your relationship on a graceful note.
If you’re making changes that will affect your client, give them advance notice so they aren’t blindsided by the new developments. If they can’t afford the cost of your services, refer them to other companies that fall within their price range.
Not only can this help you generate goodwill with the business you refer them to, but your old client will also be relieved of searching for a company to replace you.
4. Target Your Buyer Personas
If you’re in the business of selling travel products, you’re probably not going to have much success selling to stay-at-home moms.
James Clear, the founder of business advice website Passive Panda, advises that small business owners practice “market segmentation.”
He points to Pepsi as an example: Rather than trying to unseat Coca-Cola as the king of the carbonated beverage, Pepsi focused its efforts on the younger market, appealing to its members through the celebrities they would easily recognize.
In the same vein, decide on your ideal buyer persona, and focus your efforts on them.
5. Form Partnerships
Collaborating with another business in your industry can be beneficial to both of you.
For example, if you own a restaurant or food business, you may want to partner with one of the local breweries, or another company selling a different food product (such as pastries from a bakery).
The other business will get increased exposure, and you’ll add more variety to what you’re already selling.
Clear gives the example of a tennis ball producer partnering with a distributor: In this case, the former can reach more consumers, while the latter gets part of the profit.
Especially when your business is growing, it can be easy to lose sight of which tasks are the most important.
Think about your work tasks and notice which ones are the most time-consuming. Are they worth all the time they take? If not, see if you can divvy up tasks and delegate the less important ones to other members of your team. When you do, you’ll have the room to concentrate on the important things that can help your business grow even more.
When your business is growing, the process can be exhilarating, but also overwhelming. As long as you have a growth strategy in place, though, you can handle the changes with a deft hand.
Image courtesy of cooldesign/FreeDigitalPhotos.net