As we all know, growing business nowadays is complex and far-fetched! Global economy faces hard times with a slow growth and inflation following multiple subsequent crises such as COVID19 pandemic, lockdown and Russian Ukrainian war.
That’s why businesses should be more efficient and maximize benefit of every penny they spend on growth.
In this article, I am revealing some secrets that will help you to a great extent in growing your business when bootstrapping!
1- Pull rather than a push strategy
The best way to generate sales is when you find customers knocking on your door asking for your service because:
- They heard honest feedback from a friend
- You helped them one day with a free consultation
- They have seen samples of your work and achievements on corresponding social media or in relevant third-party magazines or portals.
- They attended your free webinar and learned a lot from you.
- They found your website on organic google search results, went through it, and content persuaded them to work with you.
Pull marketing is when you draw customers to you rather than approaching them – which is called push marketing – via LinkedIn messages or cold calling!
Although it feels more effective to hit a daily number of sales messages or cold calls than working on SEO, putting a piece of content on your website, or making a free interview with a magazine, trust me, it is not. Now customers are approached and spammed daily and they do not like that way of communication even if you have the best product or service in the world.
I am not telling you to stop approaching customers for good; I am just asking you to pay more attention to the pull strategy.
2- Perfect positioning is key to success
If you are marketing your product or service to everyone, the chances are that no one would see your product as the best fit for them.
As per the Cambridge dictionary: positioning is the way that customers think about, or the way that a company wants customers to think about, a product concerning comparable products or similar products.
Let me tell you how to do this in two easy clear steps:
1- Analyze best fitting customers – in terms of:
- Highest profitability
- Easy communication
2- Tailor your strategy accordingly – for example:
- Target them
- Speak their language
- Produce custom solutions for them
Note that you will stop accepting customers who are not matching the criteria you already determined. Don’t think that narrowing down the client base will make you lose opportunities. That is not true!
Sales will skyrocket because you will be more focused, and more organized in aligning your resources. Eventually, you’ll be more recognized by selected target customers and you will be known as the “Go-to” for them.
Note that your target customer segment should be substantial. Do not go too focused, or you will end up selling too little.
To conclude: If you go too focused or too broad, you will end up selling too little.
3- Know your black horse and focus
Some managers and business owners think of products and services as their kids. They fall in love with them, they want them all to succeed and flourish. That’s not the best practice.
Remember when Steve Jobs returned to Apple when it was on the brink of failure in 1997; he just canceled 70% of Apple products back then and could turn it from a $1 billion loss to more than $300 million profit.
Just like positioning, first, you must analyze your products or services that generate the highest profit margin. Find services that you do seamlessly or are far from any competition, as you have the “know-how” and an outstandingly valuable experience that no other company in the market has. Then, focus on these services/products and drop the other red ocean services with very tough competition in the market and, of course, lower margin.
4- Retention is more important than opening
Many businesses focus on expansion while giving less attention to current clients’ satisfaction. It is just like having a tub that you want to fill with water, so you keep focusing on the tap to be open as much as possible, however, you let the tub drain from the bottom. How can we fill it? No way, so all you have to do is simply stop the drainage.
You must maintain the streaming revenue you gain via current clients. That happens by giving a good focus on client satisfaction. I suggest applying a model to ensure highest quality of service. I like the service quality RATER model, which stands for Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy, and Responsiveness.
To sum up, this point, give equal focus to current clients as you give to new leads.
5- Up-selling and cross-selling are more effortless than bringing new sales
Up-selling entails selling more (higher volume, upgrades) of products customers already are buying from the company, while cross-selling means selling products that the customer does not currently buy.
From experience, upselling is much easier than selling to new customers, and as per the book “Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business,” the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, while the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. That is logic as the current customer is already familiar with you and fully aware of your product or service quality, whereas a new one is still questioning and usually requires more effort to persuade.
Finally, I am not claiming that the above advice would guarantee to reach eight figures in annual sales, yet I guarantee that they will surely make a significant impact on your business growth if you follow them compliantly just like how they helped us.