Five really simple ways to grow your business this year

If you’re considering new growth strategies, you may feel overwhelmed by too many options. Should you open a new location? Acquire another company? Introduce a new product or service?

If you’re considering new growth strategies, you may feel overwhelmed by too many options. Should you open a new location? Acquire another company? Introduce a new product or service?

Some business owners spend so much time mulling over the best way to kick-start growth that they fail to take meaningful action.

Don’t get bogged down in the research and planning stage. A few small tweaks – like these five simple tips below – may be all you need to take your business to the next level.

1. Listen carefully to your customers to discover revenue opportunities

If you want to win over more customers – and encourage them to buy more – take the time to understand what they want. Of course, different customer segments will have unique needs, and what your customers want can change. So make a consistent effort to keep in touch with your customers by:

  • Calling several times a year to ask about their experience with your products or services.[i]
  • Inviting feedback when a customer is in store, by email and/or online survey.
  • Monitoring online company review websites and social media mentions.

Then, take what you know and take action to give your customers the experiences and products they want.

2. Form strategic partnerships

Working with a non-competing business that shares the same customer profile can help your company grow quickly by exchanging leads and marketing to each other’s customers.

For optimal growth, look for partners with an established customer base and a well-known brand. Seek out a good match at your local Chamber of Commerce, in-person networking events, through an online search, or by putting the word out to your contacts.

  • When working with prospect and customer information, be sure your activities are compliant with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and that you and your partners have consent to share customer information with each other.

3. Enter a licensing agreement

For companies with a well-known brand, licensing your intellectual property – such as your brand name or logo – in exchange for fees and royalties can mean additional income at very little cost.

For example, you may find a company in a faraway town that wants to license your brand for use in their similar business.

Be sure to consult with a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property (IP) rights when you’re ready to draft an agreement. The Canada Business Network offers some helpful information to get started licensing your IP.

4. Gather competitor intelligence

Observing what your competitors do well – and what they aren’t doing – can reveal some excellent growth opportunities.

You might, for example, discover an underserved market you can approach in a new way, or find an opportunity to develop a niche product.

An easy way to stay up to date on what your competitors are up to is to act like their customer. Tune in on social media, sign up for their company newsletter, and shop at their stores. Then analyze your data to find the best way to attract their customers to your business.

5. Start selling online

Branching out to e-commerce opens up your revenue-building potential by allowing your business to sell to customers anywhere in the world. Take a look at your products and services to see which ones may be marketable online.

With this strategy, you may need to upgrade your website and decide how you’ll process online payments.

Lastly, you may discover additional methods to grow your business revenue by reading up on the latest trends and ideas found in business publications. Read articles online or buy a popular business magazine to find fresh inspiration.

Talk with Scotiabank small business experts

At Scotiabank[1], our advisors understand business owners.  We’re ready to help you – just as we’ve helped thousands of business owners like you to achieve their goals.

Get more business advice, access helpful resources and learn about available financing solutions by speaking with a Scotiabank Small Business Advisor today.

Helpful tips

  • As you weigh the pros and cons of new growth strategies, a Scotia Small Business Advisor can help you to explore financing options and share valuable resources.

(Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  You know your business best – so be sure to implement what works for you and contact professional advisors as necessary.)

[1] Scotiabank is a trade name of The Bank of Nova Scotia.

[i] Be sure to investigate and comply with applicable laws and regulations as they apply to communications with existing or potential customers.