Skip to content

6 Strategies for Small Business Growth

Written by

Last editedAug 20213 min read

How can you grow your business from a start-up financial model to a flourishing company? There are numerous advantages to growth, from greater financial security to funding for product development and innovation.

Before we delve into some of the most effective business growth strategies below, it’s helpful to stop and think about the various ways that a business can grow. The first step is always to identify your goals, whether they involve bringing in more clients or expanding into new markets. Keeping those goals in mind, you can apply the following business growth strategies.

1. Alternative channels

One of the first ways to drive growth is by expanding the number of channels you use to reach your audience. You might have an excellent product, but if only a select group can access it your sales will remain flat. Examples of some alternative marketing channels include:

  • Selling products online using your own ecommerce website

  • Selling products via a third-party website like eBay or Amazon

  • Creating a mobile app

  • Using social media to sell products or services

  • Expanding into offline sales channels like markets and trade fairs

Using a multi-channel marketing strategy is one of the most efficient business growth strategies. It takes your original start-up financial model and expands it into new venues. From pop-up shops to subscription service models, there are more ways than ever to grow your clientele.

2. Market penetration

Another fundamental way to drive growth is through market penetration. This term is used in business to describe increasing your market share, or the percentage of sales generated. Within the market penetration category, you could include actions such as the following:

  • Providing limited time offers

  • Reducing prices through sales

  • Enticing wholesalers with trade discounts

  • Offering a discount code to new customers

It’s a good idea to do some research into the competition before you formulate your market penetration strategy. Which marketing channels are they already using? What pricing strategies do they employ for similar products? It might also be helpful to meet with a business growth consultant for ideas tailored to your industry.

3. Diversification

If you’ve ever spent time in a business growth hub, you’re probably heard the buzzword ‘diversification’. What does this mean for small businesses? If your business is overly focused on a single customer or product, your growth will be limited. Diversification simply means finding new avenues to expand your reach, whether it’s in new markets or product development. Here are a few ways to diversify your business:

  • Create a new product unrelated to what you currently offer

  • Create new innovations for existing products

  • Update features when existing technologies go out of date

Diversification is considered by business growth consultants to be one of the most high-risk options, but it can also yield high returns. You will need to develop a fresh marketing strategy to accompany your new, diversified product line, but the rewards could be well worth it.

4. Brand differentiation

Perhaps it’s not your products that you need to focus on, but your brand identity. How does your brand stand out from the competition? If you’re offering products or services in a crowded market, you’ll need to think of ways to differentiate your company. Here are a few areas to highlight in your marketing strategy for growth:

  • The quality of your products

  • Your brand’s story

  • Your core values

  • Your use of technology

Whichever point of differentiation you choose, make sure that it’s consistently worked into all of your advertising and marketing materials. You should come up with a unique selling point that resonates with your target audience. This can drive up perceived value, encouraging customers to pay more for your brand association.

5. Market segmentation

While some business growth strategies focus on expanding into new markets, market segmentation takes a deep dive into your existing market. How does this drive growth? By conducting research into your market and its needs, you can identify underserved niches within the larger market. This allows you to create more effective marketing materials to attract a target audience. With market segmentation you should:

  • Analyse your target audience

  • Break a larger market into smaller segments

  • Focus on filling an underserved need

  • Stake your branding to that niche

It may seem counterintuitive for growth to focus on a smaller demographic but catering effectively to a direct audience can grow your market share.

6. Mergers and acquisitions

Finally, one of the easiest ways to instantly grow your business is by merging with another. When you’re just starting out, you may want to have some time to grow on your own. Yet over time when you’re ready to take the next step, it might be time to look for smaller companies that you might acquire. With an acquisition, you purchase a minimum of 51% of the smaller company’s shares to exert control. With a merger, you find a business on equal footing and merge together with a new name. This turns both companies into a new and improved business growth hub.

From mergers to market penetration, there are many different options out there to choose from. The first step is always to define your most pressing goals, and then choose the best strategy to see them through.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

Sign upLearn More

Try a better way to collect payments, with GoCardless. It's free to get started.

Try a better way to collect payments

Learn moreSign up