There are essentially four over-arching strategies for growing a business. No more, no less.
Here they are:
- Get more customers and clients.
- Get your customers/clients to buy more frequently.
- Get your customers/clients to spend more money per transaction.
- Keep your customers longer.
While there are only four primary strategies for growing a business, there are literally dozens of different techniques you can use to implement these four strategies…
Strategies are important because they give us something concrete. They endure while techniques may come and go.
But the techniques are equally important. Strategies tell us WHAT to do; techniques tell us HOW to do it.
With that in mind, I’ve provided a list of 32 techniques for growing a business, all categorized by one of the four strategies.
This way, you can skip to the strategy you want to implement in your business, and focus only on those techniques.
Strategy #1: Get more customers and clients.
When we talk about growing a business, this is by far the most common approach: get more customers and clients.
And while this is certainly an important step (you MUST start here if you have no customers or clients yet), it is also the most expensive way to grow a business. And it takes the most effort, too.
Here are 9 ways to get more customers and clients:
- Drive more traffic to your web site.
- Improve the effectiveness of your ads and sales letters.
- Find new/better places to advertise (pay-per-click ads on Google, Bing, Facebook; media buys on websites your target market visits frequently; direct mail; newspaper and magazine ads; TV infomercials; ezine ads; social media; etc).
- Create stronger offers that appeal to more people in your target market.
- Enlist the help of affiliates to reach more people.
- Ask for referrals.
- Down-sell prospects who reject your initial offer.
- Craft irresistible guarantees so your customers have little or no risk when they buy.
- Host a free teleseminar or webinar where you can demonstrate your expertise and ask for the sale.
Strategy #2: Get your customers/clients to buy more frequently.
Most entrepreneurs and business owners focus on getting the first sale, and then neglect to ever get a second.
This is unfortunate because you make much more profit on sales two, three, four, and so forth.
Here are 6 ways to get your customers and clients to buy from you more frequently:
- Create a customer mailing list; send them customers-only offers on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Send out promotional emails to your house list on a more frequent basis.
- Run time-limited or quantity-limited promotions and use scarcity to get customers to act now instead of later.
- Design a product funnel that automatically moves your clients from one purchase to the next.
- Start a monthly continuity program that automatically bills customers every month. (Print newsletter, membership site, etc.)
- Use autoresponder email sequences to automatically introduce your prospects to all of your products.
Strategy #3: Get your customers/clients to spend more money per transaction.
This is probably the simplest and easiest way to grow a business. But for some reason, many entrepreneurs avoid this strategy because they fear how their customers will react. They fear their customers don’t have more money to spend.
Here’s a suggestion: Get over your fear.
By implementing these techniques, you can easily grow your business 5% or more within the next few months.
A word of caution though… raising prices is not something you do willy-nilly. It helps to have a good reason for raising prices; it also helps to add more value to a product/service.
Here are 8 ways to get your customers and clients to spend more money per transaction:
- Increase your fees and prices.
- Add more value to your products and services.
- After a person buys one product, up-sell or cross-sell them another related product.
- Offer payment plans on your expensive products and services.
- Offer discounted annual or quarterly options on all your monthly continuity products. (Example: $30 a month or $299 a year.)
- Charge for shipping separately.
- Use phone sales to help close large ticket purchases.
- Do a product launch.
Strategy #4: Keep your customers longer.
This fourth strategy is often overlooked, but is highly effective.
If you can keep a customer or client for an extra month or two, or even an extra year, that could bring thousands of extra dollars to you — especially if you have a continuity program or a well-designed promotional calendar.
Here are 9 ways to encourage loyalty and keep your customers and clients for a longer period of time:
- Send out surprise bonus gifts with new purchases. (You may even consider giving away business promotional items that are branded with your business name so you stay in the top of your customers’ minds.)
- Create a follow-up sequence of communication designed to get customers and clients to actually use the product or service they’ve purchased. (This is based on “consumption theory”… the idea that customers who consume your product are most likely to continue using it.)
- Call your best customers and clients and thank them for their business.
- Deliver more value than you’ve promised to deliver. Go above and beyond.
- Ask your customers and clients for testimonials. (After a customer has publicly declared their support of you, they will automatically be more loyal to you and your business.)
- Create a loyalty program with incentives to encourage customer longevity. (For example, bonus gifts or free items that kick in after a certain level of purchases.)
- Publish the date when a person subscribes and/or becomes a customer. (Ex: Customer since 4/99.)
- Give your customers and clients public recognition in your newsletter, blog, or ezine.
So there you have it: 32 ways to grow a business.
Now the only thing left for you to do is pick one or two of them and actually implement them. Learning is good; doing is better.
BONUS TIP: How to Make Growth Happen Naturally
If you’re not currently measuring key metrics in your business, you should be.
That’s because of a thing called The Hawthorne Effect. It states that whatever you measure tends to improve.
So by simply measuring important numbers in your business, you are likely to experience improvement and growth in your business.
If at the same time you also focus on some of the key strategies and techniques listed above, then growth may happen even faster.
-Ryan M. Healy
P.S. For more proven business-building advice, consider joining The One-Hour Startup here.