The 3 Ways to Grow Your Business – With Suggestions for Each

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It is one thing to start a business, but it is something else entirely to actually grow that business. These days – with all of the advantages that technology affords each of us – it is relatively easy to get up and running with your own business idea. Depending on your idea, you may not even need much money to get started. Growing that business, however, is going to take plenty of time and effort.

Three Basic Concepts

In general, you can break down the process of growing your business into three categories. Those categories are as follows –

  • Increasing your number of customers
  • Increasing the average customer purchase
  • Increase frequency of customer purchase

Below, we will highlight each of these three methods of business growth, along with some ideas for how to pursue each channel.

adwordsIncreasing Your Number of Customers

When you think about business growth, this is probably the first thing you think about. After all, if you have more customers, you are going to make more money, right? Well, yes, in most cases. Acquiring more customers is always desirable, although the cost of doing so can be prohibitive in some cases. 

To gain customers for your business, advertising is going to be the channel which is most likely to yield results. By purchasing advertising space in any number of different areas, you can put a marketing message in front of your target audience. One of the easiest and most-controlled ways of delivering an ad message today is through the use of Google AdWords.

AdWords is a marketing channel that allows you to display paid search results on Google when potential customers search for terms related to your business. The advantage of AdWords is the incredible amount of control that you have over targeting your market. As long as you know your market and you know what your potential customers are searching for, you can display ads to that population without wasting money showing ads to those who aren’t interested. Also, you can tightly control your spending on AdWords, so going over budget should not be an issue.

Increasing the Average Customer Purchase

Another way to grow your business is simply to get your current customers to spend more money. This is a desirable path because you don’t have to invest money in acquiring new customers – you can simply work toward extracting more money from those who you have already acquired. A popular, and successful, way to add to your average receipt is through the use of quality shopping cart software on your website.

When a customer goes through the process of making a purchase on your site, you want to make sure they are offered the opportunity to add on to their purchase before checking out. For instance, a quality shopping cart software program will make it possible for you to present buyers with products related to their purchase at the last moment before checkout. You can think of this in the same way as a grocery store putting things like candy bars and gum right up next to the check stand. These last-minute purchases are a great way for grocery stores to earn extra income from existing customers, and you can do the same on your website.

Increase Frequency of Customer Purchases

The last option on our list for business growth is adding to the frequency of your customer purchases. This is another desirable method because, just like with the previous point, you don’t have to track down new customers. Once someone has made a purchase from your business, they are far more likely to do so again in the future – as long as you give them the opportunity. So, to target increased purchase frequency as a method of growth, you are going to need to market to your previous customers.

In today’s world, this kind of marketing usually comes through the use of an email list. If you build a database of email address from your previous customers, you can use that list to send out promotional material on a periodic basis. By reminding your customers that you have plenty of goods available, and that you have great prices and sales, you are likely to improve your purchase frequency. Even without adding a single new customer, you can make your business more profitable simply by selling more often to the same people.

Make no mistake – it is hard to grow a business. However, the fact that it is hard does not mean it is impossible. Think about your current marketing efforts and how they could be used together with the strategies listed above in order to grow sales and profits well into the future. Good luck!

How to Change the Paradigm of an Existing Business

paradigm-shift

When you are starting a business from scratch, it is relatively easy to set the tone for the new company. As the owner, you can establish ground rules right from the beginning, and you can use those rules to establish a culture and framework that will carry the company forward right from day one. The culture of an organization is essential to its success, so getting it right on this point is crucial.

However, what do you do when the paradigm of an existing business needs to change? To be sure, this is a much more-difficult proposition. Changing the way an existing company works – especially when dealing with employees who have been in place for some time – is a significant challenge.

paradigm-shiftStarting Over

In many ways, you will want to take the same approach to changing the paradigm of an existing business as you would take when starting a new business. Basically, you need to start over. Of course, that is easier said than done, but it is the only way that the old business will manage to head in a new direction. If you fail to make a clean break from the past, you are always going to be stuck dealing with yesterday’s problems rather than looking for tomorrow’s opportunities.

Human beings are creatures of habit, and that fact cannot be overlooked with regard to this topic. As you work toward changing the culture and patterns of your business, you need to remember that your employees are used to doing things a certain way. That doesn’t mean they can’t do things in a different way going forward, but they are going to have to be given a reason to make a significant change. It is up to you to give them that reason.

A Big Event

If you truly would like to change the direction of an existing business, you need to stage a big event which is going to grab the attention of everyone in the organization all at once. This is not something that can be done subtly, or gradually. Most of the time, it will be necessary to call a meeting which includes everyone on staff from top to bottom. This is a meeting that they will remember, and it is a meeting which will mark the official beginning of a new direction for the business.

In this meeting, it is important to lay down the ground rules and expectations for how the business will operate going forward. This should not be an adversarial meeting – but it should be an authoritative one. In this case, you aren’t asking for opinions or input. Rather, you are laying out a plan for the future, and you are making it clear that you are in charge of that plan. Again, it should be quite obvious to everyone in the room that this change is going to be significant, and it is going to be for the better. There is no turning back from this point.

Communication is Key

Since your employees are going to have to quickly adjust to a new way of life at work, one of the keys to success throughout this process is going to be communication. Making sure there are open lines of communication in order to work through problems will be important, and there should be clear communication channels outlined from the start. When someone has a suggestion or a question, they should know exactly who to talk to in order to get the ball rolling. Efficient communication is a hallmark of a quality organization, and it is going to be crucial if you are going to move properly in your new direction.

It isn’t easy to change directions in business, but it is possible. The key to success when trying to change the paradigm of an existing business is to do so swiftly, confidently, and authoritatively. Change isn’t going to come about by accident, and it certainly isn’t going to come about without confident leadership from the top. Take the reigns of the organization, give your employees the guidance they need to be successful, and look forward to a bright future.