Growing any business is a huge challenge. After all, there are so many areas that may require attention to create the foundation for growth.
Business growth could easily be restricted or sabotaged through poor management, recruitment, policies, procedures or systems. Depending on the number of areas and the severity, the knock-on effect is incorrect assumptions, which ultimately leads to poor decisions.
Before you spend too much time and energy planning to grow your business, take stock of what you already have. Here’s just a select few questions for you to get you started…
· Is your offering good enough to attract new customers and keep them?
· Do you have the skills on the front line to engage well with a prospect?
· How would you rate your customer service?
· What three improvements could you introduce this month?
Are your systems ready for growth? This is an important question in any business and yet it is rarely considered. What would happen if you suddenly had an increase in customers? Would your staff and systems cope? If you’re unsure, then take a moment to reflect on this a little longer and question specifically why you are doubtful.
Growing your B2B business
Most business owners recognise that excellent B2B marketing skills and strategies are a must to generate steady acceleration in sales. Marketing is the engine or heart in a business. Without this pumping every day, you may as well put your business on a life support machine. It’s that important. Sadly there are too many business owners who are suffering now because they haven’t taken marketing seriously. It amazes me that so many business owners do not understand this simple, but true concept, and yet they wonder why they struggle to generate sufficient sales to survive. Sadly, many businesses fail and the biggest reason is scarcity of sales.
There are three ways to grow your business:
1. Increase the number of customers
2. Increase the average value per order
3. Increase the frequency of purchase
Each of these contains numerous marketing strategies and tactics. Of course, most business owners concentrate their efforts on growing their customer base. This is fine and recommended. However, there needs to be some forward planning to understand the impact on the business and the cost of the additional resources required to scale this up.
For the moment, let’s focus on strategies that are generally overlooked and yet play an important role in growing your sales.
Increasing the average order value is a classic business growth and marketing strategy. Most of us are familiar with this strategy and have been willing victims of it. Let’s take a look at two examples…
Have you eaten at McDonalds? When you order a burger, what does the sales assistant always ask? “would you like fries or a drink with that?” They immediately offer you additional products. Note, these are offered at the time of sale. Mentally, you have already committed to a purchase so you are open to suggestion and recommendation.
Have you purchased from Amazon? They recommend other products when you view the item from your initial search. Interesting isn’t it!
Adding just one product increases the average order value of a transaction. What would happen if you could create a value pack of items, all with a lower value but good profit margin? This is just one of many variations you could test in your marketing.
Increasing the frequency of purchase is another great business growth and marketing strategy. Your success with this strategy depends on your products or services. However, there are always reasons for offers and add-ons that attract your customer to purchase again. Using an earlier example, how often does Amazon market products to you that are similar to those you have just purchased or recently viewed? How often have you noticed Amazon adverts suddenly appearing on other websites you visit advertising these products? It’s very clever.
What’s your version of this? What offers can you create to tempt a customer into buying again?
There are some industries such as commercial carpet cleaning, furnishings & textiles and health & wellness, where you can condition your customer to buying more often. This must be established through an excellent education process.
You heard earlier that most businesses concentrate their efforts on attracting new customers. This is still very important, but think for a minute about how you go about this; do you segment your marketing based on the types of customers you attract? My guess is only a small percentage of you do, most apply a “one size fits all” marketing approach.
If you analysed your data base of customers, what are the commonalities of your top 20%?
As a rule of thumb, 20% of your customers account for 80% of your revenue. Mmm, the old 80:20 rule. It’s a rule that generally rings true although some would argue the ratio has moved and it’s closer to 90:10.
Without spending time discussing the variances of the numbers, let’s focus on this 20% figure. What do these customers have in common? When you identify these commonalities, it then becomes easier to find more customers who are similar? If so, and knowing their value to your business, would you market differently to them? Of course you would. After all, you probably know this type of customer better, understand their needs and therefore would use different words, different pitches to attract them. I urge you to analyse your top 20% of customers as the rewards could be amazing.
Here’s the real power behind B2B marketing strategies
Most businesses focus on using just one of these strategies in their marketing. With good execution, a 10% increase is achievable, although if you adopt EACH strategy it’s possible to grow substantially more and faster too.
If you achieve 10% growth across the board, how much do you think your business would actually grow? The result is very exciting – take a look…
|Original Number||After 10% Increase|
|Number of customers||100||110|
|Average Order Value||100||110|
|Frequency of purchase (per annum)||2||2.2|
Growth = 33.1%!
These 3 growth strategies are ideal for most businesses. There are so many tactics that can be applied to create significant increases in sales. It’s possible to move from arithmetic, through geometric into exponential growth using these principles and many others.
Why not complete this exercise with the numbers from your business? How much growth are you able to engineer by introducing better ways to market your business?
If you would like to discuss how we can help you apply these strategies and match the best tactics to your business then simply get in touch for an initial chat.