We’re now quickly approaching the second half of this year and it’s got us feeling frazzled thinking about all of the things we want to cross off on our ever-expanding to-do list in 2018! Like most of you out there, it feels like January was yesterday and we had the whole year ahead to achieve greatness and to grow the business!
BUT, realistically, there are many businesses out there still clueless when it comes to a solid direction and goal setting. Have you been thinking about the next steps for you and your business but are not really sure which direction to turn in? Trying to expand a business while keeping your current customers happy is a balancing act that every entrepreneur must master and it all boils down to perfecting your marketing strategy. Here are some basic tips on how to grow your business by the end of 2018.
1. Know which customer to serve
When you were starting out, you probably had different product or service offerings while you fine-tuned your niche. Now that you’re up and running, it’s important to remember those early lessons and make sure every single day you are thinking about the customer and what they need. There is no point spending energy on customers that are outside of your target market. If you’re ready to grow, you need to cater to the customers deserving of your attention. Remember that old saying? “A Jack of all trades, masters none.”
2. Divide your customers into groups
Now that you know who your market is, segment them further into groups so you can personalize your service and marketing messages. One team may focus on current customers, another with prospects, while another with former customers. This way, you can address your customers properly based on your relationship. This will also allow you to measure each customer-groups value to your company. You can plan your marketing strategy around different aspects of this such as former customers who might buy again when enticed with a reactivation offer. You can also plan how to keep your current customers loyal. All these customers are important to your business and telling them what they need to hear is a surefire way to keep them. It will also give you the confidence to venture into expansion.
3. Know your capital needs
Not everybody has a bottomless bank account or a constant stream of capital investment. The reality is, most small business owners do not have the capital needed for expansion and may need to take a business loan. When deciding if a business loan is necessary, study the loan terms, your needs, the benefits and how it affects your long-term plan. Make sure there is a market that can support your expansion. Growth is good, but the pace should be something you can sustain.
4. Measure, analyze and adjust when needed
When you have gone ahead with your expansion, take the time to analyze if your strategy is working. Always take a step back from the content of day to day productivity and try to see things from a contextual view. Aside from looking at your cash flow, you also need to study your performance KPIs, gross profit margin, drop-off rate, revenue growth rate, accounts payable turnover and relative market share.
In business, you must always keep an eye on your marketing metrics. Is your strategy moving your leads into the buying cycle? Are you able to retain your customers? Is your method effective in getting new ones? These are some of the things you need to watch closely and it’s likely that they may need continual adjustment in order to help you reach your business and expansion goals.