8 Time-Tested Ways to Expand Your Business Without Imploding
July 5, 2018
As a business owner, one of the biggest steps you need to take after achieving some stability in your business is opening more doors for business growth. It can be a daunting task, especially if you have just finished taking control of strategic parts of your business like good talent recruitment & retention program, healthy cash-flow management, and effective or smooth business operation. Expanding into new markets and bringing in more products looks overwhelming.
You might be concerned with the uncertainties and financial risks. Don’t worry, because these eight steps will not only help you expand your business, but it will also allow you to take a step forward in creating your very own market domination plan. Just imagine what it would be like if you had solved the puzzle of getting more sales for your market or new product. Now onto the eight steps.
Why do you need to build a sales funnel? You might already have a sales funnel, but you are not aware of it. The process of lead-to-sale, for example, your visitors visiting your website, interacting with your sales staff, then buying your product is your sales funnel.
How you make your target audience aware of your business to, educate them through demos or live workshops, to how you offer deals, ultimately lead to a sale. All these things make an impact on how well you can retain buyers and convert leads. According to Forbes, many companies waste 71% of their online leads, where do these wasted leads go? To your competitors of course!
Getting lots of leads from a Sales Funnel is just a vanity statistics, what matters is SALES. What you need is a profit-making sales funnel blueprint that will:
Your sales funnel can be the machine to help you generate more leads. A properly built funnel blueprint will gather more prospects during the awareness stage. It will reach a bigger audience with different mediums like blogs, social media, webinars, and videos. Drawing in a steady stream of possible customers will double your chances of selling your product.
However, many of such Sales Funnels are actually LEAKY. They generate tons of wasted leads. You can easily re-engage with people who did not buy but showed interest in what you sell by re-targeting them on Facebook or Google, or even following up with emails, SMS and chat messaging. Re-engagement prevents your competitors from getting your potential leads because you interact with them and you keep the flow of communication open.
Become a sleuth, and do thorough research about your competitor. Armed with these weapons, it allows you to create a solution to whatever services your company is missing. Plus, you will be able to see your strengths by looking at services you have that your competitors don’t offer. You can learn new marketing techniques based on their sales techniques, and you will know which methods you should avoid.
The risks of being blindsided by the competition is real. If you are entering into a new market and you did not do a thorough research of were your competitors, and go head-on with your competitors’ strengths, you just get drawn into a battle you can’t win or win at a very high cost.
Instead, you discover in your research, that the competitor is weak in another area such as customer service, you could then make that your strategic advantage.
The truth is it’s very difficult to hire and keep talents especially if you are an SME. Michael Gerber, author of e-Myth, says in his book that “most of our employees are just going to be average or mediocre”. How do you get exceptional results with many mediocre hires? Another way to think about the problem is to attract, train and retain talents, pay them more, but hire LESS total headcount. This requires systems and processes that ensure the average employee can be 100% effective, while the stars in your company accelerate growth.
Building good processes like documented SOPs, a proper new employee onboarding, training system is essential to keep your ship sailing smoothly. While digital technology allows you to build systems that take away human lapses, and multiply the human effort in productivity.
One such system is Sales and Marketing Automation. Automating manual marketing and sales tasks make sure that you don’t lose sales due to human lapses and a lack of follow up. An example of such an activity is sending emails:
Sticking with the old methods of manual email sending, and other menial tasks will only slow you down. And if you wish to expand fast, you cannot afford to have lapses in follow up, just because the email tasks are manual and tedious. Your leads will only increase, and that demands better customer service (fast and personalized).
Read more about “3 Time-Consuming Tasks You can Get Rid of with Marketing Automation”
It is time to aim at a new market. When your company first launched, you catered your product to one specific persona, which worked very well. Perhaps, now it is time to target other personas?
Look at other potential customers who might be interested in your product. While your current product targets older men, e.g. professionals like doctors and lawyers, perhaps there is an angle to promote your products to young professionals as well. It allows you to get the more sales without having to create a new product.
A few tweaks to the marketing message and it becomes another revenue stream…. How great is that?
If you haven’t put attention into your digital presence, then it’s about time that you do so, before your competitor beats you to it. The digital world offers countless marketing opportunities, if only you know what to do and how to utilize it. What’s great about the digital medium is the ability to track, and measure the returns of your marketing campaigns. You can kill an unprofitable digital marketing campaign early, without committing a big advertising campaign and then see it bomb, in traditional media like TV or newspaper.
Your audience is now in the Information Age, where 3 in 4 buying decisions are made with some research online. If you want to reach a wider audience, then it is time to connect your business to the Digital world. And if you are already doing some Digital Marketing already, maybe it’s time to review your Digital Marketing plans, which you could discover more gaps and opportunities. For example, becoming more active where your audiences are on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram posts, or kickstart that Content Marketing strategy you have been putting off.
A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is to create the product or service and then sell it. What happens is a poor product-market fit. Instead of jumping straight into production, why not research carefully in the market, develop some prototypes and get them tested? In agile product development, you create what is called a minimum viable product, where you send it out into the market and have a feel of the demand before committing to production.
That way you do not lose time or money if the demand is way less than what you expected. Let the market tell you what they want instead of what you think they need.
Nurturing here can take two different meaning for you depending on where you use it. Nurturing your leads means that you re-engage with them to turn them into customers. Nurturing your existing customers, on the other hand, means building customer loyalty, and giving them rewards for purchasing from you or referring their friends to your services again.
It takes up to 7-13 touch points before a new customer buys. So if you do not have a way to stay engaged with the customer, they may just go to your competitor when they are ready to buy.
Do you know what’s the top reason why customers leave a brand? It’s Indifference. They feel that you do not care about them or they don’t feel “attached” to your brand. Do you have a customer welcome plan? Or a first 30-day “solve your problem” plan? This will create a stronger sense of belonging in the beginning. Then a series of follow up surveys at intervals to see if they are happy about your service.
By doing these two things paired with a killer customer service, you can be sure to prevent slip-ups and leaks in your sales funnel, and keep your customers coming back for more.
As a business trying to differentiate itself in the market, you should put more effort into establishing a recognizable brand. Sponsoring community events, or sports and making donations, builds your company up as a reputable and honourable business.
By sponsoring that chamber of commerce bowling competition, or that underprivileged kid’s soccer team, gives you visibility to the audience you wish to be seen. Of course, it should be done in line with the company’s vision and corporate values.
A quick research can reveal such opportunities which may not cost a lot. Another possibility is to build a conference around your subject matter, being the chief organizer gives you visibility and open up opportunities you never thought could happen.
Business growth does not happen by magic; it takes hard work, careful planning, perseverance, and the courage to take risks when everyone else is staying in their comfort zones. Save your time and grow your sales opportunities easily with CRM Singapore. Now, the question is, are you brave enough to try?