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10 ways to grow your business

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10 ways to grow your business

Updated: 16 August 2022

As well as bringing in more revenue, growing your business can help you become more stable and resilient, diversify your offering, benefit from economies of scale and more. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s 10 ways you can grow your business.

1.) Launch a new product or range

While establishing a new income stream with a new product or service can fuel business expansion, you’ll want to think carefully about how you approach it.

You can target existing customers with a new product or service, or target a different audience to bring new customers on board. For both routes, it’s worth taking a look at what others in the space you’re targeting are doing already, pulling together a few ideas and running a focus group with your desired audience to gauge their appetite. To help you decide which route to go with, you should consider:

  1. Who are you targeting?
  2. How will you market your new product or service?
  3. Does it compliment your existing offering?
  4. Does it fit with your brand?
  5. What does a set up and launch look like?

Don’t just go with your first idea either. Make a business case for a few ideas and see which stacks up best.

2.) Invest in your e-commerce offering

Investing in e-commerce is a fantastic way to grow your business. Making your products available online gives you the scope to attract a far broader audience, and even expand into overseas markets. 

If you already have an e-commerce offering, consider how you might use your existing online presence to further increase profits. Look for ways to improve your online conversion rate, such as updating your website to improve customer experience, testing different calls to action or capturing leads to use in your email marketing.

3.) Advertise your business

Before considering other methods, it’s worth exploring whether investing more in your advertising, or fine-tuning your current advertising to make it more efficient, could help you grow your business. For example, you could try to: 

  1. Grow your social media audience to build a loyal customer base 
  2. Use paid social media or search ads to attract new customers 
  3. Improve your website’s ranking on Google with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)  
  4. Advertise exclusive deals to existing customers via email marketing
  5. Advertise on local radio and publications

As marketing can be a full-time job in and of itself, and there are many different routes to explore, you may want to consider using an agency or freelancer to help come up with a strategy that best suits your business and your goals. 

4.) Take inspiration from your competition

Check out your competitors to see if you can grow your business by taking inspiration from what they’re doing. For example, by tracking your competitors, you may notice market trends and nuances that can help you decide where to take your business next. 

Pay attention to what your competitors’ customers like (and don’t like) about their brand. If customer service is a top priority, consider how you might improve your own customer service to better retain customers and increase your profits.

5.) Expand nationally and internationally

Once you have a loyal customer base and a good relationship with your target audience, it may be time to consider expanding into other markets – both nationally and internationally. If the UK market is saturated, you may be able to grow your business by making your products available overseas. The British Chambers of Commerce also has a range of resources to support you when making the leap to international trade, so be sure to check out their advice before putting any plans in motion.

The same thing can be achieved on a smaller scale in the UK. If your products are only available in local stores, consider how you might reach new customers in other parts of the country. Contact major retailers, attend markets, and reach out to boutique stores that may be interested in stocking your range. 

6.) Create passive income streams

Passive income is money that you bring into the business without making a significant investment in time or effort. Not all passive income streams are suitable for all businesses, but here are some ideas that could be worth considering: 

  1. Rent out equipment or unused office space 
  2. Sell an e-book or an online course 
  3. Create an app to compliment your service 
  4. Monetise a blog 
  5. Sell advertising space on your website

7.) Consider franchising or licensing

Franchising and licensing can be effective ways to grow your business if you already have an established brand, though they tackle this in slightly different ways. 

Franchising is where you allow someone else to recreate your business in another location for a fee, and it’s a model that a lot of popular chains, like Wagamama and McDonalds, use to their advantage. A franchise agreement is put in place which, as well as the above, may also require that the franchisee purchase all stock and supplies from you, which creates even more opportunities for increased income.

By contrast, if your products are in demand but franchising is not an option, you may consider selling licenses for other companies to sell your products or services. This can be a good way to expand out into overseas markets, as it enables a local company within the target market to distribute and manufacture your products and services, in exchange for a fee, and/or a percentage of sales.

8.) Attend networking events or host your own

Attending networking events can lead to valuable collaborations with other business owners. This is also a smart way to increase your company’s visibility in the local community, or where industry-specific events are concerned, with your target audience. If there are no suitable networking events nearby, you might even consider starting your own. 

Partnering with a non-profit organisation can grow your business by enhancing your public profile. You might achieve this by offering to sponsor an event or activity, or through exchanging unused goods for advertising. 

9.) Merge with another business

Merging with another company will instantly increase your customer base and allow you to use the combined expertise of both organisations. However, merging is most viable when both businesses have a similar culture, ethos, and goals. It may be difficult to find a suitable arrangement, as one company must agree to give up their name and brand, to be absorbed by the other.

10.) Acquire other businesses

Business acquisition may be an option if you’re looking for fast-track growth and have the available funds. This involves buying out another company, to assume control of their assets. Unlike merging with another company, business acquisition allows the acquired company to continue operating under its original name and conduct business as usual. Both business acquisition and merging have the advantage of instantly increasing market share, while eliminating some of the competition. 

Consider small business finance 

If you’re hoping to make use of any of the other growth strategies above, taking out an affordable small business loan could help get you where you want to be. Apply to borrow between £10,000 and £750,000 from Funding Circle today and you’ll get a decision in as little as one hour. 

While we want to help as much as we can, the information found here is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here. If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.

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