You didn’t start your own business to stay in one place. So the question isn’t, “should I grow my business?”—it’s, “how will I do it?” One way to start is to borrow from the popular business model developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Here are four different approaches to growing your small business.
The BCG growth model is based on an overall analysis of the products and services you provide. It recommends that businesses concentrate on the products with the biggest potential.
Here are four ways you can approach your growth strategy:
- Sell More of What You Have – Have a product that is doing well? Increase sales by getting your existing customers to buy again and going after your competitor’s customers. Some businesses use loyalty programs that provide incentives to repeat buyers. It might be advanced notice of a sale or discounts on future purchases. These incentives reward current customers and offer something your competitors may not.
- Look for New Customers – Who else could benefit from your product/service? For example, a bookstore specializing in children’s books might expand their marketing efforts beyond the children’s parents to their grandparents. These individuals are often looking for ways to pamper their grandchildren and books are something they can enjoy together. Expanding to a new market extends the reach of your existing products.
- Invent a New Mousetrap – Think about your current customers. What else can you offer them that you don’t offer today? A new product/service helps build on your current relationship and capitalizes on the trust they have in you and your business. For example, a local sandwich shop may begin to offer delivery service to customers. This convenience extends your value with a new offering that could increase demand and further differentiate you from your competition.
- Break Out of the Mold – This approach calls for you to develop new products for a market you don’t currently serve. Businesses might use this approach when the potential for their current product is maxed out. Diversifying could help replace revenue from fading markets. For example, a residential housekeeping service may start to offer nightly cleaning services to offices.
Take a look at the products/services you offer and select a growth strategy that capitalizes on the ones with the biggest potential.