Most companies have the ambition to grow and this generally means creating more sales and generating new revenue streams.
But there are a couple of key questions you need to ask before embarking on the process: Does the business have the potential to grow and how is it going to create this growth?
The first part of the process is very simple yet often overlooked. So, before anything else, take a step back and put some thought into it.
Then consider the following:
Identify Your Potential Market: Ask yourself - is the company focused enough on the right markets? Are there alternatives that you have not considered? How big is your present market share and what is the potential? What are your competitors doing? How can you get more out of the present market? Or are there new markets you can develop?
Be Forward Thinking: How does your product or service compare to the competition, are you doing or offering anything different? If not, what can you do that sets you apart from the competition? A successful company continually innovates, ensuring that its offering is ahead of the market curve. Don’t be a follower be a leader!
Have you got the correct price point: Dropping price is usually a guaranteed way of generating more revenue, however how do you protect your margin? Without a sensible margin, you will put your business at risk. Sometimes the only way to move stock and capture new customers is to discount, but that's a short-term revenue fix. Instead, if price is an obstacle, can you adjust your processes or your product itself to become more competitive? Can you source new materials or suppliers?
Add Value: Another sure-fire way to lure old and new clients is to offer them a great value deal. You may be able to offer promotions like free delivery or additional benefits with purchases. You also might find that these promotions deliver more sales to your current customers as they end up buying more than just the promoted product. However, make sure these additional services don’t have a major impact on your margin.
Alternative Routes to Market: Many businesses get bogged down with the “we’ve always done it this way” attitude. This is where you need to really “think outside of the box” which is a classic phrase but it really does work.
If you have answered the questions above, you know that you have a great product which is at the front edge of the market and it delivers great value, you just need to get the word out.
This is ultimately the trick and there is no one rule fits all here I’m afraid, it is different in every instance.
But have a think about it, can you partner up with another company to offer your product into their market? Can you package the opportunity in a different manner? Can you add products to your range that your current base will be interested in? Can you license the product? There are no hard and fast rules here, so get creative.
Here’s a simple example – A company selling machinery was struggling to justify sales to their customers as their product had a price tag of £50,000, and their customers could not assimilate this with a return on investment. They decided to offer the product on finance (which they organised via a third party) and straight away customers understood the proposition as looking at £1,650 per month they immediately understood the ROI.
Listen to Your Customers: One of the best ways of selling more products or establishing new revenue streams is to talk to your customers. Ask them what they think, what they want, or how you can improve your product or service? Once you understand your customers, you can really develop a robust route to market.
Have a plan: Whether you're expanding an existing revenue stream to capture a greater share of the market or embarking on an all-new direction, it's essential to have a plan. The plan can change but having it in black and white will enable you to manage the process better, understand the outcomes or lack of them, and remind you of your agreed actions. A plan is a critical part of the process.
Some of the above may sound pretty obvious and many businesses will have parts of them in place. However, the vast majority will not have a fully thought out a process, researched their market and developed their true USPs.
Here at the Growth Hub we meet with all kinds and sizes of business, and the lack of a business plan is often apparent, but we can help businesses formulate a plan of action.