Most business owners start their business small but with a large business as the end goal. Even with this goal in mind for many entrepreneurs, most businesses focus on survival in the first years of business.
For some entrepreneurs, making enough money to just pay the bills, go for vacations, and to live comfortably is a success. It doesn’t matter whether their business is small or big as long as they make enough.
For other entrepreneurs, enough is just not enough for them. They want more for themselves and their businesses beyond the bare sustenance level.
Susan Ward on The Balance Small Business says when you prioritize business growth, you increase the chance of creating a lasting business. You also contribute towards your economic well-being and creating a financially stable future.
Generally, big businesses are marked by greater profits and greater market reach. Most small business owners work towards growing their businesses to a capacity that reaches a greater market and brings more profits.
You might feel a little bit intimidated when you want to go big and compare your business to existing big businesses. They seem to have more human resources and financial resources to do what you can’t do. But that should not prevent you from thinking big as a small business.
Growing a small business to big business, regardless of the type of business takes work, effort, and time. That means you cannot afford to do the bare minimum if you want to go big. However, this does not mean you need a big budget to go big. With the following, you can slowly grow your small business into a big business.
1.Convert existing customers to repeat customers.
Your customer base has a key role in your business growth. They are the ones who keep your business going.
Most business owners think that having more customers is the only way to increase your sales and grow your business. However, business experts say that the customers you already have are more important than the ones you don’t have. Customers who have paid for your goods and services before are more likely going to buy from you again.
When first-time customers come to your business, get their contact information, and come up with strategies to make them come back to you.
As an entrepreneur, work towards retaining your existing customers by building relationships with them and giving them a great customer experience. Additionally, combine customer retaining strategies with strategies to acquire new customers. These two strategies will increase your sales and grow your business.
2.Enlarge your Market Reach.
An effective strategy to grow your small business is expanding your business’ market reach.
Work towards making your products or services available to as many customers as possible. Find and reach new customers who will benefit from your products or services.
There are several ways to consider enlarging your reach such as opening new stores in locations you have not yet reached. Your new stores don’t have to be physical. Being in a digital era, you can have an online store through your website and reach new customers.
Another option is targeting a new target audience who could benefit from your products or services in ways similar to your primary target customers.
A unique way of bringing your business to a different market is finding new ways to use your products or services. How else can customers use your products or services – ‘multipurpose?’ This will help you acquire new customers who can use your products differently to fulfill different needs.
Expanding your market helps you bring in more sales and be more stable during market change.
3.Expand your products or services.
Product or service diversification might be the key to your small business going big. However, you have to be ready and able to maintain your market.
When you take a look at most successful businesses, for example, Coca-cola, Apple, Microsoft, etc. they don’t focus on one product or service only. Coca-cola for example offers soda, sports drinks, juice, and bottled water. Even the big businesses in your country offer a diverse range of products and services. This diversification has highly contributed to the growth of these businesses.
Experts however advise small businesses against expanding their products or services if their primary products or services are not selling well.
As you diversify, introduce products or services related to your existing ones and meet the needs of your existing customers. Consider focusing on new market groups that have similar needs to your primary target audience.
4.Be the big fish in the market.
Maybe you don’t want to expand your market reach or your products or services. On the other hand, you can grow your small business by finding your niche (a narrowly distinct group of customers) in the market.
“Big businesses tend to appeal to general customer bases,” Karina Fabian writes in Business News Daily. As a small business, find customers who have specific needs and these needs are not being met by the existing businesses.
Joanne Chang, a bakery and café owner said in The Wall Street Journal, “Ask yourself how you are different.” Have something unique in your products or services that will help you meet the needs of your niche and concentrate on that aspect.
Contain your expenses.
As most small businesses grow, they tend to increase their expenses as they increase their share in the market. Experts say the increase in costs leaves businesses with little to invest or make a profit.
Look for ways to reduce the costs associated with getting your products or services to a wider customer base. Any cost you can cut as you run your growing business, cut it. Lowering your expenses ensure cash flow which is crucial for your business’ growth and stability.
However, do not cut costs in ways that could negatively affect your customer and employee satisfaction. Reduced customer and employee satisfaction will stall the growth of your business.
Create a Plan.
All these strategies can help you transform your small business into a big business. But, depending on the stage your business is in and your resources, some strategies will work for while others will not.
Find the right growth strategy by considering how much time and money you want to invest. Also, consider the expertise (personnel) you have to help grow your business.
Other key and important factors such as your business goals, the market, your customers’ needs, and interests will influence your growth strategies.
Once you decide on the strategies you want to use, come up with a new business plan aligning with the strategies. This business plan should show your expected expenses and your expected business revenue, and expected growth goals. Include your key performance indicators and other ways to measure your business growth.
Lastly, keep track of your progress using your goals and your performance indicators.
It will take some time before you start experiencing growth. But with continuous efforts and investment, you will see progress.
It will take time, money, people, the market, and the customers, and in the base of it all, your goals.