Scaling a business is no small feat for any SME owner. It means shifting from a start-up, lean mindset to a growth one. Once a business starts breaking even and you have covered your fixed costs, it’s time to expand. So, where do you start?
Here are a few tips, Founder and CEO of Startwise-Velly Bosega, implemented in expanding his SME, positioning it for growth and turning it into a multi-figure success:
1. Identify the opportunities
By keeping an eye on the trends both locally and internationally, you can quickly identify the gaps in your industry and how your service or product can fill it. This mindset allows you to diversify your product range and broaden your reach to audiences. Velly grew Adclick Africa by bringing in and introducing the first DSP in South Africa. It was a trend he had watched evolve overseas and recognized the need for it locally.
2. Focus on customer retention
According to SEMRush, “The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% – 70%, whereas selling to a new customer is only 5% – 20%.” Ensure customer retention is top of mind when you are mapping out your customer journey. Based on these stats, you can see that the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than upselling to your existing customers. Which takes us onto the next point…
3. Request referrals
Ask your existing customers for referrals. In a digital world, customers rely on what other people say about your brand and how they rate your products. Establish your credibility in the market by building and marketing your good reviews.
4. Manage your cash flow
Review your business finances and ensure that the balance between your debtors and creditors is even. If you don’t have a sound foundation, you won’t have sufficient cash to invest in further ventures. Assess your sales team and start weighing your fixed costs of employees versus using outsourced resources. You can connect with experts in their fields with Startwise at the fraction of the cost of employing them full time.
5. Watch your competition
Compare your messaging and positioning to that of your competitors. You can see what marketing strategies are working by looking at what ads your competitors have been running for a long time. Ensure your marketing efforts are driving traffic to your online store and generating leads for your business. And if you are ready, acquire a competitor if their products complement yours.
6. Pivot your business
Remain agile enough to make fast decisions in an ever-changing digitized world. As your customer demands change, you need to adapt to ensure you remain relevant. This can be your marketing strategy, service or product offering and even demographics. When Bosega bought SME South Africa it was a well-established publishing house. He pivoted the business, moving online completely and further evolved it to a full-service tech offering for SME’s.
Talk to an expert about a growth strategy at Startwise
Adopting a growth mindset to expand your business can raise several questions like;
- How rapidly do I expand?
- Is it time to engage with a sales force?
- Do I need more technology and automated systems in my business?
- How can I adjust my marketing efforts and maximize my ROI?
- Or even as basic as Is this a good idea?
- And is there a better approach?