Your hard work is paying off. The profits are up, and things are looking good, so what's the problem? Well, many businesses can still falter after a promising start. The key to sustaining success is knowing how to maintain it. No one wants to be a one-hit-wonder when they could be a platinum album selling megastar. But as all musicians know, the second album can be tricky. The same is true for any business. Knowing what to do with your success is invaluable if you want the business to continue to grow.
It goes without saying that almost every business needs returning customers. Think about all those offers you get into the inbox for 10% discounts or one-day deals. That is all about luring customers back to your business. If you have built up a client list, don't be afraid to contact them with a new product range or a particularly appealing offer. One ingenious method to retain and expand your clientele is by offering discounts for referring a friend to your business, thus transforming your customers into your best salespeople. According to Neilsen's global survey, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other types of marketing. So the more you can build up your brand in the mind of a customer with good service and repeat business, the more likely you will get their friends and family becoming a client too.
Diversifying your business can be tricky, but you can reap big rewards if you navigate it well. You only need to look at the Telecom industry to see how businesses can start in a niche market and diversify to dominate an entire field. For example, Amazon started as a website that just sold books; now, it owns satellites. The key to diversifying is knowing your strength, whether logistics, innovative design, or great branding, and utilizing it to pivot into new ventures.
There are many ways to expand your business. You can expand through your geographic reach opening stores in new territories, or you can shift platforms. For instance, if you run a market stall, perhaps you can open an online shop. Alternatively, if your services are mostly online, would having a shop front allow you to reach more customers? Another aspect of the expansion is through increasing your product range. It can be done in all sorts of ways. You could expand by targeting the same audience with a different product, so if you sell baby clothes, for example, could you also sell baby nappies or teething toys? Another approach is to offer a similar product to a different target audience (e.g., If you sell berets for women, could you expand into selling them for men or children). The critical thing to remember is that expansion needs to be targeted.
You need to pick a strategy and focus on it. If you attempt to expand in all directions, you will soon become overstretched, and your brand could become muddied.