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5 Essential Growth Strategies for Business Owners

Many business leaders hit a certain stage of growth and start to get too comfortable where they are and settle in. Or, they work hard, reach a plateau, and can’t seem to break through to the next level. They may see fast initial growth that starts to level off once the novelty of their brand wears off and press dies down. Either way, they want to get themselves to the next highest revenue tier, but they can’t seem to make the leap.

Wherever you are in your growth journey, you need to think tactically in order to launch your business to new heights. You need a big picture strategy, as well as detailed plans, and the right partners to help you pull it off. You’ll need to focus on expansion from different angles, from marketing to infrastructure to customer centricity to securing funds. Here are a few key approaches to consider as you grow your brand upwards and outwards.

1. Develop the Perfect Content Strategy

In today’s online world, authoritative content rules: customers favor brands who drive thought leadership and deliver valuable, newsworthy posts and emails. Search engines are changing, too, and becoming a discoverable brand is no longer just about creative keyword usage. To land on the search engine results page, your content needs to be answering the types of questions your target customers might be Googling.

A great content strategy starts with an informative blog, built around helpful pillar pages and engaging posts. It can also include garnering press about your business or revamping your social media pages and stories. The important point is to cover relevant topics and become a top resource for your ideal customer. If you’re stuck, a growth marketing agency can help your brand formulate the right strategy to win over your target market segment.

2. Embrace Customers’ Values

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Clients increasingly say they prefer brands who share and operate by their most important values. For younger generations, that’s often things like the environment and workers’ rights, while older generations worry about data and privacy. Consider your target audience and the core values that might be most important to a majority of them. To accelerate growth, speak up about any sustainability practices, generous wages, or cybersecurity protocols.

Whatever you do, though, be authentic! Don’t claim to be doing something you’re not, just because you think your customers will like it. Most people can see through false claims or insincere attempts to match up with their values. Instead, do what you can to implement genuine positive changes, however small, to your policies and practices. Then, let your customers know exactly what you’re doing to really live up to your values — and theirs.

3. Personalize the Client Experience

More and more companies are turning to personalization engines to deliver a more customer-centric experience. A majority of customers expect or even demand personalization, and it can make a huge difference in revenue. In times past, a brand could sell a product or service on the basis of its appeal and usefulness. But now, a customer expects hospitality; they want your brand to remember them and cater to their specific needs.

Personalized experiences run the gamut from individualized landing pages and segmented emails to product recommendations, like style and makeup suggestions. In more aggressive approaches, agents have detailed records of all your past purchases and interactions in front of them, to shape conversations. To win at personalization, get the details right without being creepy. Use data to predict favorite colors and styles, but not personal details like whether they might be pregnant.

4. Diversify Revenue Streams

To amp up your growth, consider other ways to bring income into your business besides your traditional sales model. That could mean adding new sales channels, expanding overseas, or adding new products and services to your portfolio. You could also consider additional revenue models like adding a wholesale arm to your business or starting a subscription service. For example, if you sell makeup, you could expand into curated monthly boxes of assorted products.

Additional customer-generated income isn’t the only way to increase revenue and improve your business’ cash flow. Other potential revenue streams can include income from investments, real estate, or partnerships with other companies. However you earn new funds, consider how you can invest them in the further growth of your business. How can you use the additional income to fuel even more new growth, such as launching a new product or moving into a new region?

5. Seek Additional Funding

Sometimes, sales and alternative revenue streams still don’t bring in the capital you need to grow your business. Growth can get costly, when you consider what it takes to upgrade your tech stack, add new products, purchase real estate, and more. At a certain point, you might need to seek additional funding from investors, banks, and other types of financing partners. You could consider seeking venture capital, an angel investor, crowdfunding, or a business loan.

When it comes to business funding, there are infinite options, depending on what requirements you meet. Traditional bank loans will require more documentation and credit history, while online startup lenders are more interested in sales potential. VCs, crowdfunders, and angel investors may not expect you to pay them back, but they want more direct involvement in the business. The type of financing you seek will depend heavily on your individual business needs, so keep that in mind.

Growing at Your Own Pace

As the saying goes, growth isn’t always linear, and for every business, it could look a little different. Some years or quarters, you may show losses on paper, when you’re actually investing in a much bigger future. The key thing to remember is that strategic thinking goes a lot farther than always reacting with your gut. Have a detailed plan for where you want to see your business grow, and start lining up the right tech and talent to make it happen.

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