how to grow small business

Discover 10 ways to grow your small business effectively and efficiently. Learn how to grow a small business by increasing customer retention, diversifying product offerings, entering new markets and more. With The Hartford Business Owner’s Playbook, get advice on scaling your small business today.

How to Grow a Small Business in 10 Easy Steps

You'll want to boost sales and raise revenue no matter what kind of small business you run. That is the reason why so many individuals are curious about how to expand a small business.

For small business entrepreneurs, there isn't a simple, universal plan for business expansion. However, there are important tactics you can do to give your company the best chance of expanding.

10 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

It might be challenging to scale your small business successfully and efficiently. It calls for a clever strategy and work from several departments inside your firm, including:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Legal

Additionally, as a startup, you might have to wear numerous hats before you can acquire knowledgeable staff. There are ten tactics you may apply to hasten business growth, albeit it will take time and effort to grow your small firm.

1. Do Your Research

You must conduct market research when considering how to expand your small firm. You can better understand both your current and potential clients thanks to this. It's crucial to obtain an understanding of your target market and be aware of their wants. You may then understand how your company can develop and adapt to suit those needs.

Remember to do some research on your rivals as well. You may make more informed judgments about how to appropriately scale your small business by being aware of its strengths and drawbacks.

2. Build a Sales Funnel

Your sales funnel can assist in expanding your company. Consider a sales funnel to be the journey of a consumer. They are at the top of the funnel when they enter your store or go to your website. They have completed the funnel when they make a purchase or sign up for a service. In order to achieve a sale, you should try to think of strategies to drive consumers through the funnel. This can involve giving them a discount or requesting their contact information so you can give them news about your company.

3. Increase Customer Retention

Getting new clients for your business is not sufficient. You also need to encourage repeat business from your current clients. Building customer loyalty through improved customer retention can boost sales. 

Focusing on client retention prevents your company from spending money on things that aren't a sure investment because it costs five times as much to acquire new consumers as it does to keep existing ones. 

You can do the following to improve client retention:

Putting the needs of your consumers first: If you don't treat them well, they won't want to support your company. Making certain to address their issues and provide them with the greatest experience possible demonstrates your value as a client.

the application of a customer relationship management (CRM) system CRM solutions assist your company in managing relationships with both current and potential clients. They aid in the upkeep of consumer data and the detection of sales possibilities. The fact that the data is centralized and accessible to you and other employees who require it is one of the main advantages.

Making a customer loyalty program: These programs thank your current clients for their continued support of your company. They can also aid in bringing back lost clients or bringing in new ones.

Launching an email campaign can help you keep your firm at the forefront of clients' minds. It's also a terrific way to move clients through your sales funnel, both current and potential.

Engaging with clients on social media: Clients may contact your company on social media with a query or to express comments, concerns, or pain points. It demonstrates that you regard their opinions and take their worries seriously when you take the time to answer and interact with them.

Observe your word: Nobody enjoys being ignored. If you promise a consumer you'll get back to them with further details or call them later, keep your word. Customers may have a negative view of your company if you don't.

4. Participate in Networking Events

You may build your business and draw in new clients by increasing the visibility of your brand. Attending networking events is a useful strategy for achieving this. Look into local professional associations, and don't be hesitant to show up at a few events to promote your company.

You can take part in these activities by:

meeting other company owners at the event
constructing a booth to advertise your business
In my capacity as a business expert

5. Practice Corporate Social Responsibility

Many clients seek out companies whose ideals are similar to their own. By practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR), you acknowledge the effects your company has on all facets of the community. Allowing the public to see what your company is doing to make a difference can benefit your bottom line.

Following are some instances of how your company can engage in CSR:

Going green: There are more advantages to running a green business than just lower utility expenditures. It demonstrates to the public your commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of your company. Go green and make adjustments to lessen your carbon footprint, such as pursuing energy-efficient projects or earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Community service: Encourage your staff to volunteer in the areas where they reside and work. These kinds of initiatives, such as volunteering at a food bank or maintaining public places, demonstrate your company's commitment to the community and its residents.

Finding methods to improve your technique or the materials you use to make items that are more ecologically friendly is one way to produce sustainable goods.

6. Form Strategic Partnerships

You may be able to reach a larger consumer base or match growth with strategic objectives in your business strategy by forming a strategic relationship with another company. Starbucks' strategic alliance with other well-known national retailers like Barnes & Noble or Target is one case in point. The arrangement expands the coffee chain's market penetration and earnings by placing it in numerous retail locations around the nation.

You might even establish a strategic alliance with a supplier to aid in the growth of your company. Whatever kind of connection you create, it's critical to effectively manage vendor partnerships and business relationships.

7. Consider Franchising Your Small Business

A typical expansion method for small enterprises is company franchising. This implies that you provide a separate owner the rights to your company. After that, they launch and run their own franchise of your company. Franchises are offered by numerous well-known businesses, including Marriott hotels, Starbucks, and McDonald's. An expansion of your company's franchise network results in more locations, which boosts sales.

Are you able to franchise your firm before you agree to sell the rights to it? For some industries, like fast food restaurants or gyms, the franchising method is more suitable.

8. Diversify Your Product or Service Offerings

You've been successful in getting clients to purchase your main good or service. After all, that is what initially motivated you to expand your small firm. Offering various goods or services might now assist you in attracting new clients. This is possible by:

Finding market niches for novel goods or services Conduct market research to determine whether there is anything fresh you can sell to your existing consumers.

Finding new ways to sell your current products: This includes packages or subscriptions.

9. Extend to New Markets

The moment is one company that expanded by broadening its product line. The company's first offerings included smartphone lenses to enhance photography. The business has now increased the range of products it offers by adding apps and lens-compatible accessories.

utilizing international platforms to market your goods and services online
the potential for opening new sites for your firm

access to more clients and companies

Expand your company's reach and give it a chance to gain more market share.

10. Measure What Works and Refine as You Go

While there are many tactics you can employ to expand your small business, it's critical that you track which ones are effective. You could need to adjust your plan, for instance, if you develop a customer loyalty program only to discover that it doesn't increase client retention. Perhaps it involves getting a CRM and regularly communicating with your clients, or it involves communicating with them via email or social media.

You will need to take calculated risks if you want to grow your small business. You should take a look at your business plan and create precise and reasonable predictions about how you believe various methods will impact your company. The secret to running a successful business is keeping track of your development and updating as necessary.