It’s not unnatural for a company to go through ups and downs since a lot of your business can be dependent on a number of external factors like the economy or industry downturns.
But what do you do when you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to find where that next boost of growth is going to come from?
The easiest – and quickest – way to increase sales is to sell more to existing customers. To do so, you’ll need to get a better understanding of your current market and how your current products are being maximized to meet their needs. If you don’t have what they need, find a way to supply them with these extra products or services.
Get more products and services on the shelf
As you gain customers and they keep coming back, you can offer a wider product range by further developing your core products to expand your product offering.
This is where the opportunity to offer variations of or complementary products and services that meet specific customer needs comes into play. Products can be created in various colors, sizes or levels of quality. Services can vary in extent, duration, quality or processing. You can also explore ways you might partner with another company offering products or services that would make a nice addition to yours and create bundles.
An increased product range also means you can offer products at different price points. This can help you attract customers with varying purchasing power, budgets, and interests.
Find new distribution channels
After establishing processes for innovation and new product development you’ll need to find the best delivery channels. Do your market research: how do your customers prefer to buy what you’re selling? Online? In-store? Both? You may need to work with distributors to get your products where they need to be.
And don’t forget to include your personal and business network on your list of distribution channels. Selling through your network can be the easiest, cheapest and most genuine way to acquire new customers.
Overcome growth challenges
It’s often a catch 22 situation for many business owners: they work hard to grow their business, get so busy that they can’t handle any more business on their and send it somewhere else, but then remark that it ‘would be nice to grow my business.’ What is a one-woman/man show to do?
To overcome the major challenges to business growth you’ll need to figure out a way to get more time and money, and how to leverage your skill set within your business (and find people who are strong at the things you are not).
When all else fails…
Plateaus are not always necessarily a bad thing. If your company has been growing aggressively and quickly and suddenly plateaus you might think it’s an indicator of worse things to come. However, if you’ve been keeping careful track of data along the way, you can use this opportunity to pause, breathe and reflect on your next steps.
CEDEC Small Business Support offers powerful frontline support to help your small business innovate, grow and prosper. For more information or to book a free 360° Screening of your small business visit: www.cedec.ca/sbs