The Easiest Way to Grow a Business
The easiest way to grow a business is to be in a growing market.
If the market is growing, more new people are showing up than leaving. The growth is outpacing the attrition.
Even if you don’t have the greatest product… even if your marketing is sub-par… even if you make some mistakes… chances are you’ll still grow.
Because as the market grows, every competitor usually gets at least some of the new customers and clients entering the market.
It’s organic growth.
On the flip side, one sure way to be in a shrinking business is to be in a shrinking market.
You could have the best product… the best marketing… the best customer service… and all that wouldn’t matter.
You’d still struggle just to stay even.
In a shrinking market, most businesses focus on cost-cutting to increase their profit margins. That way they at least have a chance of maintaining profits while revenue shrinks.
One business I’d hate to be in right now: newspapers.
From the April 9, 2010, issue of The Week magazine, citing the NY Times:
Last year  was one of the worst ever for the newspaper business. Advertising revenues fell 27.2 percent, or more than $10 billion, from 2008, which at the time was billed as the worst year for newspapers since the Great Depression.
For most newspapers, this means they needed to somehow make up 27.2 percent of their annual advertising revenue — just to stay even!
One business I’d love to be in right now (assuming I had the skills): iPhone app development.
On January 22, 2011, Apple announced that “more than 10 billion iPhone and iPad apps have now been downloaded from the App Store.”
The app market has grown faster and bigger than just about any other market in human history. (One of my past clients is doing VERY well in this market. There’s far more demand for app developers than there is supply.)
Want to start a business?
Here’s a tip: Make sure you’re going into a market that’s on the upswing. It’s the easiest way to grow a business that I know of.
-Ryan M. Healy