The urge to grow your business is always bubbling close to the surface. You want to do everything within your power to accelerate growth and see positive changes in your organisation. Unfortunately, this can often lead to big risks being taken, which can make your business unstable.
In 2023, this is the opposite of what you want to do. Instead, there should be a focus on the development of sustainable levels of growth. We’re living in a difficult economic environment that doesn’t show signs of improving in the near future. Consequently, stability should be put first above everything else.
With that in mind, here are some of the top business growth strategies for 2023:
#1 Invest In Marketing
During an economic downturn, it is very tempting to look at your marketing budget as the first place for cuts. In reality, investing in your marketing provides you with both short and long-term benefits. A good marketing strategy can help you replace any lost clients or sales that came about thanks to the economic situation. As such, it’s not surprising that marketing budgets climbed to 9.5% of a company’s revenue in 2022, compared to 6.4% the previous year.
Investing in marketing also means you’re investing in your brand. It helps you solidify and create a brand image people can recognise and connect with. In the short term, this may encourage more customers to come along and give you a go. But, it also adds an element of long-term stability. When you have a strong brand image, you won’t be as badly affected by things like economic recessions or pandemics!
Now, it might be essential that you HAVE to cut your marketing budget just a tad. This is understandable, but make sure you figure out which areas are worth cutting back on. You can do this by using Analytics to assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Your analysis can pinpoint the channels with the best ROI, and those with the worst. Basically, you get lots of data from all of the marketing exploits that tell you if you’re generating leads, how many conversions you have, etc. Therefore, you can decrease your marketing expenditure in those channels that simply are not bringing anything to the table. In theory, you save money without really hampering your marketing strategy.
#2 Show Some Love To Your Existing Customer Base
Ironically, whenever companies think about growth, they focus on bringing in new customers. However, this shouldn’t be your sole focus. There are a couple of really interesting stats about customer retention that you should know:
- A 5% increase in customer retention translates to a 25% increase in revenue
- Retaining existing customers can increase profitability by 25%
As such, you should divert a lot of attention to maintaining and improving relationships with current customers. If you are constantly getting business from existing customers, it decreases the importance of finding new ones. During a tricky economic period where it’s hard to find new customers, this is exactly what you need for sustainable growth.
For long-term transactions – like in a B2B framework – you should provide extra value to your clients. This can be in additional work done for them, or you can offer expertise and help via content. The content can be on your website as a blog or on YouTube as videos. Either way, you’re offering something for free that clients can use to get more value from your services. Thus, it encourages them to stick by you.
For short-term transitions – like an eCommerce setting – the aim is to entice as many of them back as regularly as you can. You want to generate repeat purchases. According to data, repeat customers are likely to spend an average of 33% more per order as compared to others. Make sure you’re hitting them with offers and deals to get them to keep coming back. This will provide you with two key benefits:
- Keeps your revenue stream flowing
- Continues brand loyalty – encouraging customers to keep coming back means they feel loyal to your brand. The moment they get out of the habit of buying from you, they may start looking elsewhere
Establishing a loyal customer base means you are getting money coming in at all times. If there are periods when no new customers are popping up, it won’t be a huge issue. In fact, you could theoretically still grow and make more money because your existing customers keep paying you and buying things again and again.
#3 Stand Out From The Competition
In tricky economic conditions, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the competition. Everyone is desperate to make sales and generate as much business as possible. This creates an extremely competitive environment, more so than usual. It feels like there is almost more desperation from your rivals as they know the effects of not securing sales will be greater than they were.
With that in mind, you need to ask yourself the following:
Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition?
A Unique Selling Proposition – or USP – is something you offer that your rivals do not. There’s something special about your products or services that will intrigue the market and encourage them to pick you over the other options out there.
If you answer yes to this question, are you actually telling people about it properly? Ensure that people are well aware of your USP and what it means to them. That’s the key here; your USP should be all about the customer. It needs to be something they will find valuable, so make sure you demonstrate that.
If you answer no to this question, think about what you can highlight about yourself to stand out. There are a few different types of USPs you can consider. Is yours a feature of a product – like its price or quality? Is it benefit-based in the sense of giving the customer something that other similar products/services can’t? Or, is it positioning-based? Does it solve problems for the customer, etc?
Find your USP and then make sure everyone knows about it.
Do your products or services differ from the competition?
Are you actually offering something that your rivals aren’t? If not – and this can often be the case as it’s hard to develop a truly unique offering these days – how can you make yourself stand out?
Again, this partially revolves around finding a USP, but it can also focus on your brand. A great example of this is by looking at technology companies. For all intents and purposes, Apple and Samsung produce the same products. They both sell state-of-the-art smartphones and laptop computers. However, their branding is completely different. Apple is often able to stand out because it markets itself as a premium brand with innovative ideas. It’s all in the way it markets its products – even the names make the products stand out. A Macbook is basically a laptop, but it feels different because it’s called a Macbook. As such, it differentiates itself from similar products and makes the Apple brand stand out.
You don’t have to create completely unique products or services – but you do have to work on making them seem different from what’s already out there.
Are you constantly fighting for the same space on marketing channels?
It is really hard to stand out from the competition when everyone is fighting for space on the same marketing channels. You’ve all got TV ads running at peak times and you’ve all got strong Twitter presences. Can you think of alternate channels that might work for you?
Getting your business to stand out is easier when you’re on a channel that’s not saturated by similar companies presenting marketing materials for everyone to see. It’ll mean the audiences on these new channels see you and only you.
This goes back to the idea of analysing your marketing strategy. Try to identify new channels based on your target audience. Think about where you can reach them and how you can reach them in ways that your rivals are neglected. A little bit of competitive analysis can also be handy here as you see where their presence is lacking.
Are the deals you offer identical?
Do you and your biggest rivals offer the same deals? If so, can you alter your deals so they stand out more?
Sometimes, subtle changes can make a huge difference. Your rival offers a 10% off deal, so if you have a 15% one it looks better. Realistically, the impact on your bottom line won’t be that severe and it could help you drive repeat business and new customers.
Moreover, it’s often how you market and present the deals that matter the most. Focus on your wording and the little details that attract customers’ attention. You can have a similar deal to a competitor, but the way you’ve presented yours stands out more because you’ve focused on terms and details that the customer is interested in.
Overall, these ideas will help you develop good business growth strategies for 2023. Remember, it’s all about building sustainable growth, particularly in such topsy-turvy times. Don’t take dramatic risks in the current economic climate – sometimes, small changes are all that’s needed to have a positive impact.