Business Growth – Are You Choosing the Best Way?

One of the best and least expensive approaches to business growth is through your current customer base. It is far easier to sell more to customers who are already buying from you. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on marketing because the relationship is already established.

What you do need to do is to find creative ways to sell them more of what they are already purchasing from you or introduce them to other products or services in your range.

Study your existing customers’ profiles to gain insight into the type of customers you attract and use that information to find more of the same. Look for potentials whose needs are similar and who tend to make purchases in the same way. You should see quick and significant growth to your business with both of the above approaches.

Business growth could come through investigating new markets for your existing products or services. For example, you may manufacture a piece of technology that is sought after by the transport industry.

With research, you may find that it would be equally useful for the aerospace industry, albeit for a slightly different purpose.

Developing new products or services could be the key to business growth. They could be in addition to what you already offer or to replace existing ones that are becoming uncompetitive or obsolete. You should offer these to your existing customers first. In this way you can test and fine-tune your approach before going large-scale.

If your business is small, business growth through diversification is not really for you. It is a high risk approach. It should only be considered if:

o You cannot meet your goals for business growth through the other approaches

o You have the capital to invest and the resources to carry the work through

Mastermind Your Small Business Success

Mastermind Your Small Business Success

Although it had been a dream of my husband’s for decades, the thought of starting a business on my own was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. After some careful thought and discussion, my husband Gerard and I cashed in our NY chips and moved to Maine in 2003 to birth Gerard’s “baby”, his jewelry store, Porte4.

For all of you self-employed, small business owners reading this, you know what I mean about the exhilarating / terrifying contrasting emotions that occur in the course of running your own business don’t you? In fact, the exhilaration can turn to terror in the blink of an eye, feeling like the two emotions are inseparable.

But get here, we did and I found the resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs overwhelming. If you are thinking about starting a business, want to buy a business or want to grow the business you already have, there’s no shortage of information here: SCORE, SBA, ASBDC [http://www.asbdc-us.com], http://www.Business.Gov, Small Business Assistance Center at http://www.sbacnetwork.org. These are just a few; the list goes on & on. Two other great sources of information are Entrepreneur.com and the small business section on About.com ( http://www.about.com/business). Happy researching!!

Gathering the information wasn’t the problem. What I found the most difficult was converting all the information I found into usable and practical ‘how-to’ data. It was data overload and I needed to talk to someone about the real-world of starting the business, not the academics of it. Things like:

  • How do you balance the needs of everyone: customers, employees, family, self?
  • When and how do you make the decision to hire your first employee?
  • …and then how do you recruit and keep great people?
  • What is the right mix for marketing your small business? – Multi-media advertising, PR, speaking, event sponsorship, direct and e-mailing; networking; community involvement …Argh!
  • Growth Strategies – How do you balance the need for growth & innovation yet keep the core of your business steady and strong?
  • Well? Who can you turn to for help in making critical decisions? Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to someone on a regular basis who 1) you could trust and 2) could give you feedback based on their experience?

    Consider joining a small business mastermind forum. Mastermind forums or peer advisory groups provide small business owners and entrepreneurs a confidential environment to share with each other, helping each other by leveraging each other’s experience and knowledge, and so much more.

    The benefits of a good group will FAR exceed the investment.
    Among them are:

  • Reduce Costs: Small business owners often don’t have the budget to “re-invent the wheel”. By learning what other businesses have successfully done, you can save time and money.
  • Avoid Mistakes: Solving business problems on your own can result in costly delays and errors. Learning what others have done can help keep you moving forward.
  • Find New Ideas: Get outside your own paradigm and see through the eyes of other business owners. They may give you a perspective that leads you to a far greater outcome than you could have achieved on your own.
  • Improve Performance: When you look for best practices outside your own business, a wonderful thing happens. You raise the bar of performance and set new standards of excellence to propel your company forward.
  • There are a number of executive / CEO forum groups you can consider. Most are franchised and target the executives of larger companies (those with $10 million in sales or more). From personal experience I know the challenges small business owners and solo-preneurs have are every bit as plentiful and just as frustrating and complex as those of larger organizations. However, the smaller the business the more the professional can benefit from participating in a small business mastermind forum.

    Larger organizations have their boards of directors and big budgets. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should have their own advisory support. Grow your small business success through a small business mastermind group.

    Until next time, BE BOLD, Do Bold Business. Remember, it all starts with a Vision.

    Small Business Online? Using Affiliate Programs to Make Money Online

    Small businesses online are the future of the economy and will most likely play a large part in getting it out of the current recession. With the world going virtual and more of the economy shifting to the internet, each new online small business creates more competition and the possibility of helping the economy get out of the current recession. The shape of the financial world is changing and the ‘nobodies’ of yesteryear are leveling the playing field online.

    What exactly is a small business online? Is it the cottage industry of the past or is it the local businesses that go online to create a ‘store front’ on the internet? The answer is neither. An online small business, today, includes the hundreds of thousands of web owners who have blogs, forums, and websites and make money online using their talents, providing their services, and using the various affiliate programs to capture a share of the market.

    Online Marketers-? While the traditional small business owner provided only a service; today, a small business owner can market various services and make money online. The service providers have realized the competition online is simply too much. No one company can easily capture a large slice of the market., which is why the service providers work with many affiliate programs simultaneously, providing lucrative percentages to individuals and companies who act as ‘resellers’. This way they are able to capture a large portion of the market without geographical limitations or increasing overheads.

    Through becoming an online marketer, any person can become a ‘small business’ owner and create a small business online.

    The virtual world provides tens of thousands of opportunities online. Some are scams, some are genuine; and while every article read online has to be taken with a grain of salt, if you read enough and research enough, the best affiliate programs in the business will get your attention. There are names like ClickBank and Commission Junction, which will be repeated over and over again, proving within the realm of fantasy, some reality remains to make money online.

    There is no guarantee of success and there are too many variables in the whole scheme of things to allow even the best financial wizards to create predictors of success. Yet, there is so much scope, so much vision, and simply so much opportunity for growth that anyone who does not take advantage lacks the foresight to capitalize.