Ready for the next step? Here’s how to identify opportunities for long-term growth for your business
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Almost every entrepreneur is looking for ways to grow their business. Successfully scaling a business requires attention to the fundamentals, patience, and persistence to stick with it. Growth can come through several approaches; An excellent starting point is determining the best strategy for your business. Here are some ways to identify opportunities for sustainable, long-term growth:
Use a sales funnel
A sales funnel represents the customer journey from discovery to final purchase. The customer journey varies, but a traditional sales funnel goes through these stages:
To develop your own funnels, track how customers move through the journey. Identify potential ways to automate the process. For example, if customers add items to their digital shopping cart but don’t buy them, consider whether free shipping or a discount might help.
Related: 3 tweaks that will dramatically improve your sales funnel
Manually tracking customer information and generating leads is difficult and takes time away from other tasks. However, these tasks are crucial to spot growth opportunities. Look for ways to automate these tasks. For example, CRM software tracks data that you can use for upswing or determining interest in a new product. Software can also search the web to find potential leads or conduct social or mobile research, which also helps with product development. Software can also automate email and other customer contact tools.
Focus on getting long-term value customers
As you grow, you want to acquire customers with high lifetime value to increase your profits and sales. Predictive modeling is a statistical technique that helps predict future behavior and allows you to market effectively to customers who remain loyal to you for years.
Several companies offer predictive modeling software. You can also encourage loyalty from all customers through loyalty programs.
Related: What is your value proposition?
Once you’ve invested in software that provides customer analytics, you’ll also want to research what your competitors are doing. Check both their marketing strategies and their product development strategies through internet research. Software like Adbeat and Similar Web can help identify marketing strategies.
Consider qualitative customer research, such as B. Focus groups to fully understand your target demographics, their needs, and their customer journeys.
Once you’ve done customer and competitor research, you may discover specific ways innovation drives growth.
Companies that let the marketing department drive innovation rather than the technology department are more likely to develop new products, product features, or experiences that customers want. A great way to stimulate creativity is to use an idea springboard matrix.
First, the marketing and research team discovers the latest thinking and recent innovations that could generate ideas. For example, what has been happening recently in the visual arts, the Internet of Things, or app development that could impact your products, customer experience, distribution, or other aspects of your brand?
Another way to innovate is to think about how you can make your product or service stand out more in the marketplace. What will make it unique? Toilet Duck, a brand of toilet cleaner, differed by having a bottle with a duck-shaped handle that made it easy to squirt under the toilet seat. This feature helped the brand quickly gain market share even though the product was essentially the same as any other toilet cleaner.
Related: How to renew your brand through visual thinking
Licensing, partnering, franchising
Growth can be achieved by working with others. One option is to license the product to a larger company. In a license agreement, you give another company the right to manufacture your product for a fee or a revenue share.
Another way is to form strategic partnerships. The best cooperation is when each company gets something attractive in the long term. They also work with companies whose products and services complement yours but appeal to the same high-value prospects.
Franchising is another growth opportunity. With franchising, you sell the rights to everything related to your brand to someone who opens a second store under your brand name. In general, licensing works best for product-based businesses, while franchising works best for services.
Before entering into a collaboration, make sure you understand the customer’s needs and how the collaboration will enable you to uniquely meet those needs.
Consider an acquisition
Sometimes the best way to grow is to acquire a competitor or a complementary company. Suppose you want to expand your business to another region of the country or abroad. Sometimes licensing is the best way to grow, but sometimes acquiring an already operating business in the area is a way to fuel expansion.
For an acquisition to be successful, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve and do your research to ensure you can achieve that goal. They also generally need to raise capital to complete the transaction.
Another growth opportunity is to diversify your product or service offering. Think about what kind of complementary products, services or information you can offer. Use your research to discover customer pain points and develop products within your niche that can alleviate those pain points. Are there other ways you can add value in your niche?
Successful business growth is possible for companies that research, innovate and focus on retaining quality loyal customers.