Looking for proven ways to grow your business? Check out this whole menu of strategies and tactics for pushing more business growth.
You’ve got to keep growing your business. There are many ways to do it, as well as multiple metrics to measure it by. How do you plan to grow your business?
Here are some of the approaches to looking at growth, methods of achieving it, and everything from free small actions you can take right now, to big moves to supersize your business over the months ahead.
Always Be In Growth Mode
As a business, you always have to be in growth mode.
In business, if you are not growing, you are shrinking. That’s a downward spiral and painful way to fade out that no one wants to go through.
The player in your space that is growing the most is usually the one that keeps on compounding their advantages, while the rest keep on losing ground on all fronts.
Growth brings exponential benefits. Some are direct. Some are indirect. There are also two very different schools of thought on pursuing and creating business growth.
Though you may ultimately adopt both of these mindsets at different phases of your business. One is the traditional concept of staying lean, focusing on fundamentals, having revenues and profits, and letting your profit pay for business growth.
The other is the more recently trendy approach of growing at all costs. Which usually means raising extreme amounts of capital to force certain metrics, even if that means taking financial losses every quarter.
You have to grow to survive. Growth also means being able to attract and recruit the best talent. It can mean more cash flow, access to better investors, and more funding.
It can also mean the difference between keeping your job as a founding executive, or not. And, it means retaining your customers.
Plus, after all, why stay small, when you can go big. You launched yourself into this as a mission. Certainly, you want to push the boundaries of that potential as much as you can. And, the one way to do that is to explore the proven ways to grow your business.
What Is Business Growth?
Business growth isn’t the same thing for every business and business owner. Pushing one type of growth can create exponential growth in multiple metrics at the same time. Though you should have clarity on what you are going to focus on and prioritize growing, and why.
Some of the common metrics for measuring business growth are as follows.
Customer acquisition is an especially common metric among startups. It can be one of the most important in the early stages of business. Especially for pre-revenue startups, and those using freemium and tiered pricing models.
How many people you have on your team can be a metric of growth as well. It can be an indicator of other business metrics as well.
It doesn’t always coincide with positive measures in revenues or profits, or even users. Though it suggests those things ought to be moving in the right direction too.
Again, this may be a good number to highlight if you are still pre-revenue. It may also be one of the easiest to control. Others may find it more meaningful to measure revenue per head.
This is about what percentage of the market you own. What is a good percentage may vary greatly depending on your industry?
You may only need single digits to have a billion-dollar business in some markets. In others, you may need to own over 30% to 40% to be a serious player or to become the market leader.
Sales Unit Volume
How many more units are you selling? This doesn’t always directly relate to more revenues, and certainly not net profits.
Yet, it is a strong growth metric, with the potential to yield these other important numbers. There are plenty of ways to force growth in units in terms of sales deals.
A BOGO special can double it, which is why you should factor in this metric when figuring out proven ways to grow your business.
Growing revenues is probably one of the most significant metrics for many purposes. It will be one of the most important for some types of investors and potential acquirers.
It doesn’t always mean net earnings are up in proportion with that, though it can be a lot closer and easier to turn that into profit than some other metrics.
By many pure business standards, this is the most important metric of a business. The rest may be irrelevant if you are improving and growing in this one area.
Though of course there are others who would rather and eagerly put this far on the back burner in exchange for growing other metrics as rapidly as possible.
Valuation can be volatile, and there are a variety of diverse ways to calculate business value depending on the purpose. This may be important if you have investors, or your goal is to sell your company.
You may choose to measure these things on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Ways To Grow Your Business
Here are some of the proven ways to grow your business.
Add New Products & Services
Adding new products and services can help you attract new customers and increase sales units and revenues from existing customers.
Talk to your customers. Find out the current problems they want to pay for solutions for. Figure out how you can give them more value that they will eagerly pay for.
Invest In Your Brand, Or Rebrand
Sometimes all you need to make a leap in growth and traction is better branding. This may be sprucing up your current brand.
Giving it a makeover and bringing out the right parts of your story, with the optimal positioning. In other cases it may be time for a complete rebrand to better connect with the right customer base., and at scale.
Systems, automation, and increasing efficiency in your business can make all the difference in how much business you can handle, how well you do at handling and multiplying that business, and the free cash flow and profits available.
This can include things like getting your team to be more productive, implementing new software, and really putting your CRM to work.
Offering financing to your customers can help bring in more of them, increase their spend, and help retain them longer.
You can do that in-house, raise credit facilities especially for this, and integrate third-party financing solutions. You can even find ways to get paid upfront on these accounts or to turn them into lump sums of cash as needed.
Get More Visibility As The Leader
The personal branding of founders and CEOs is becoming ever more important and valuable. This alone can add a lot of value and appeal.
It can make a huge difference in gaining traction, attracting talent, and drawing in the right investors and business partners.
Get in the news and online magazines. Get podcast appearances and featured on popular lists.
Become A Content Machine
Today content is driving business metrics more than ever. It’s one of the proven ways to grow your business. More of the largest and fastest-growing businesses in the world are reinventing themselves as content businesses.
Facebook, Google, Apple, AT&T, Netflix, you name it, is about the content. So, get busy producing and publishing consistent, quality, and interesting content.
This can be blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, whitepapers, and Tweets. All of them can help your business grow on all fronts.
Mergers and acquisitions are a fantastic way to supersize growth fast. You can use them to acquire stronger brands, better and more talent, technology, users, market share, and growth velocity itself.
Strategic business partnerships are another fast way to go big. Imagine having Google or Walmart selling your product for you. That can put you in front of billions of new customers overnight.
You can have others sell or bundle your product and services. Or you can have others expand your reach, sales, and brand through licensing and franchising.
Sales & Marketing
Often growing just comes down to sales and marketing. Unfortunately, many startups don’t excel here. They are great at coding and product design. Not so much when it comes to selling and advertising.
If you are killing it, then may you just need to seriously increase your marketing budget to grow your results.
If you are not crushing it when it comes to traffic, leads, and conversions, then it is essential that you get help to tighten this up.
It will make or break your business. It will make all the difference in being able to consistently and profitably grow. Once you have these unit economics down, then you can scale it. Recognize it as one of the critical and proven ways to grow your business.
Grow Yourself As A Leader
To grow your business, be able to take it to the next level, and keep up so that you are not holding your own company back, you have to be growing just as fast and staying ahead of the curve.
Grow your network to open up new doors and get higher-level advice. Grow into new types and levels of advisors and consultants.
Invest heavily in growing your own knowledge and skills, especially when it comes to hiring, strategy, and fundraising.
Making A Business Growth Plan
Now that you’re ready to learn more about making a growth plan, take the time to understand how startup accelerators work. Check out this video I have put together. It explains in detail how to use them to your advantage.
Fresh Analysis & Research
Begin by getting more clarity on what you really want to achieve and what’s available to you.
Be clear on why you are expanding? What is your big strategy? How will these choices set you up to succeed in the next stage of your business?
Conduct fresh research and analysis to ensure accuracy when planning your next moves. A lot can be riding on it, and things have been changing fast.
Check your own data. Research industry data and benchmarks. Spend plenty of time talking to your customers, prospects, investors, and advisors.
Evaluate where it is most important for you to grow, as well as what direction may be most profitable and efficient with the resources you have access to. Where is the optimal risk-reward balance?
Laying Out Your Business Growth Plan
Don’t get bogged down in it, but do make a real plan.
Key questions to answer in this process include:
- What is the big vision?
- What are your specific goals?
- Have you checked what will the organizational structure of this effort look like?
- What amount of budget will you need for these efforts?
- Where will the funding for this come from, and how will you get it?
- What people do you specifically need for this, and how many?
- Have you identified what assets, technology, and equipment may be needed?
- What materials need to be created to support this growth effort?
Be sure to get feedback and advice on your growth plans. Quiz those you trust on what challenges you may not be seeing, how it can be done more efficiently, and any opportunities you may be overlooking.
Next, it is time to start testing it and iterating before going all in. Prove it and then scale it. Use this process for each stage of growing your business to the next level.
Ready to grow your business? There are a variety of approaches to gaining more traction and getting bigger, as well as ways to measure your progress and results.
Check out these proven ways to grow your business. Pick those that are the best fit for you, put them into a plan, and take action.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.