It is not easy to grow a small enterprise, but with strategic moves, it is possible to position your company for fast expansion. Offer them rewards for their loyalty, make sure you have good customer service by being available and responding promptly, and work on improving your products or services based on what they say about them.
Joint ventures and recommendations from other companies can be very effective means of acquiring customers. Identify partners who offer complementary products/services and propose cross-promoting arrangements. Immediately after clients are happy, request them to post reviews or actively refer others online to get the news.
One of the most critical factors is looking at sales data, web traffic, lead conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, email open rates, and many more metrics. Minor improvements become significant gains over time; therefore, be data-driven, not opinionated.
When you get your initial customers, start offering them more products or services that provide value to them. For example, a landscaping company may wish to add other options like lawn care services, tree trimming, gutter cleaning, installation of holiday lighting systems, maintenance of the pond, etc. This way, you increase the number of transactions per client, which will mean more money without necessarily getting new clients.
Begin local or niche-wise, but grow your boundaries in terms of geography and customer archetype. For instance, having performed well in one city, duplicate your marketing campaigns in surrounding towns or go from a specialized good to an extensive line-up of products. It will allow you to scale your proven business model and tap into new markets to attain rapid growth with a more extensive potential customer base, but only if you can maintain quality and service levels before expanding quickly.
As the business grows, it must learn how to deliver consistent quality and service even without massive investments and more overhead. Put down processes that all employees can follow. Delegate non-core functions to third parties. Optimize every touch point with customers for lower friction/costs and better experiences. Being operationally lean ensures that rapid growth keeps the business intact.
Growth can be achieved by hiring more workers, but if done carelessly, it can also reduce profits. The amount of revenue growth versus the costs resulting from each hire should be quantified, hence making sales and marketing employees the priority. Therefore, before bringing in back-office staff, figure out whether transferring non-revenue-generating tasks to cheaper third-party services is possible. Every hiring decision should have a clear road to return on investment.
When a business starts making money, invest some of the profits back into the industry through marketing, diversifying offerings, buying technology upgrades, process improvements, and hiring top people in their fields, among other purposes. However, ensure enough earnings reserves are left to overcome any pitfalls and downswings.
To rapidly scale every aspect at once, small businesses must focus on select strategic areas instead of trying to climb everything at once. Therefore, dedicate one or two hours per week towards moving ahead in these impact areas, catapulting your company into exponential expansion. Smaller businesses can attain essential milestones faster with consistency and effortful progress in these areas.