2. How to grow
There is no single best way to achieve growth so your strategy should suit your business, the markets you’re in and the opportunities you can spot.
Make sure you fully understand your customers and your sales funnel, so you know:
- What kind of prospects and customers you are attracting
- Why people are buying or not buying
- At what point or points prospects fall out of the sales funnel and why
- What prompts prospects to go on to buy and what makes that more or less likely.
Start by fixing the issues you uncover and see what impact that has on your growth. See if you can finesse your sales funnel so you have fewer people falling out, before you tackle any additional expansion. It may also help point you to problems you can easily solve.
It can be worth following up with prospects who don’t opt for your products and services to find out why. For example, was there information missing from your website or documentation that they needed to evaluate and maybe shortlist you? Did they go with a cheaper provider because they didn’t realise you could offer some flexibility on costs? Was the customer service team unhelpful or slow in responding when asked a question? Understanding any potential pain points for prospects can help you improve your response and your conversion rates.
It is always worth remembering that it is often cheaper to keep existing customers, and even better to sell more to them, than to find new ones. However, being dependent on just a few customers for a large percentage of your turnover brings its own risks. If you lose one of these customers, for example they get taken over or cease trading, it could have a big impact on your plans. So spreading risk in a wider customer base has real value and is a good reason to pursue growth opportunities.
Once you have decided on expansion you need to decide how you are going to approach it.
Branching into new areas can extend your brand’s reputation and its range of products and services. It can help you sell more to existing customers and reach new ones. It also offers an opportunity to move into new markets.