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How to grow a business beyond the bare sustenance level? If this question strikes your mind often then we have some tried and tested hacks that can help you grow your business. Though there is no secret sauce for a successful business, but these tips can surely save you from initial bumps and bruises. Follow these simple hacks that will surely help you succeed in your business.

Here are some tips that can help you grow your business beyond the sustenance level:

1. Focus on your Business Strategy-Can you reach your travel destination without a map? I can hear a big NO. Similarly, creating a strategic direction for your company is of paramount importance. Also, do your best to stick to this created strategy. An article published in BusinessKnowHow.com very rightly stated that 'It is not unusual for a mediocre product with good marketing to outperform a good product with poor marketing.' So, you will need a business road map that can chart a direction for your business's growth.

During the initial face, it is challenging to carve out a niche in the marketplace, and at times you need to roll with the changes. However, keep yourself focused and seize the incredible opportunities that come your way.

Image Source: Business Consultancy
Image Source: Business Consultancy

2. Dive deep in your existing Market-When we think about growing business, first thought that comes to mind is, acquiring new customers. However, acquiring new customers are important but don't forget to retain your existing customers. You can easily get more and more business from your existing customers as compared to a brand-new ones. So, make your sure to put in time and effort to turn your existing customers into repeat customers. Take a dig at the statistics:

According to a study conducted by Adobe, conversion rates from repeat customers is higher. As per the Adobe study, if a customer makes a purchase with your store two times before, is 9x more likely to convert than a new or first- time shopper.

• As per Marketing Metrics a book written by Paul Farris, a repeat customer has a 70% to 60% chance of converting.

• Another great news, as per Adobe, your repeat customers spend 25% more per transaction as compared to average shopper

3. Know the Difference between Customer Acquisition Cost & Customer Lifetime Value- To grow your business, you need to analyze CAC and CLV. Here, CAC refers to the cost of sales and marketing for acquiring a customer and CLV is the profit you derive out of a future relationship with the customers. There is a close relationship between CAC and CLV and these two define growth of your business.

For Example, if your Customer Lifetime Value per customer is approximately Rs 500/- and your cost of sales and marketing is approximately Rs 300/- then you are in losses. In order to be successful in your business, your CAC needs to be less than your CLV else it will be difficult for you to survive for long. The difference in CAC and CLV measures the amount of profit you make; it may keep fluctuating or changing over the time. But paying attention to both these numbers is critical to the success of any business.

4. Develop a culture of Referrals- One of the easiest ways to extend your customer reach is by asking for referrals from your existing customers. Well, it is easier said than done, after every successful sale or job you do, you need to actively seek referrals. You can ask your happy customers to share a contact who can be interested in your service or product. With a referred prospect, your task is comparatively easy, as he/she will be more likely to be ready to listen to you, trust you, and ultimately buy from you. Thus, with referrals, you can gradually increase your customer base. Take a look at this great example of Referral Program to get a better idea.

Example: In Airbnb.com, a user can invite friends to book their first trip, and whenever they get it booked through airbnb then both the referrer and referee get $25. So, this double-sided referral program gives happiness and value to both the parties. The majority of consumers are more interested in such deal as here both the parties can take advantage of the deal.

Image Source: Airbnb
Image Source: Airbnb

5. Innovate your Product or Service- How hard it is to continuously innovate? I agree, continuously innovating your product or service is not easy, but without it, your company may face a slow death. In short, either innovate or eventually die. To stay on top of the game, you have to continually evolve, innovate and push past the point of exhaustion. The secret of innovation is not to focus on your product rather 'knowing your customer's needs, problems, and coming up with a solution.Moreover, to keep your existing customers happy, you can surprise them with some, exciting offers and gag gifts from time to time.

• Bonus Tips- If your customers complain about certain aspect of your product or services then this can turn into your starting point for innovation. So, when thinking of innovating your products, take feedback from your customers, this can give you plenty of ideas for incremental innovations. Frequently asked questions for feedback can be:

1) What do you like most about our product or service?

2) Is there anything you dislike about or product or services?

3) Would you like to refer us to your friends?

Also, see how customers use your products. For Instance- Heinz is one excellent example of the same. They noticed how their customers were using their sauce bottles and discovered; they use to store them upside down. So, they brought this innovation in their product and designed an upside down sauce bottle. Impressive isn't it?

6. Build a Loyal Employee Base- Have you heard the phrase 'One man alone had the dream, but it took a team of supporters to reach the goal. Same goes for any business, to reach your business goal, you need a well- trained employee base that helps you grow your business. If your staff is loyal and talented, they will enable you a smooth sail even during difficult times and will stand up strong against the competition. Inspire loyalty by giving employees individual attention, appreciation, and rewards in the form of incentives, or t shirt with company logo design.

As per a recent study from Demand Metric, organizations that have over 50% employee engagement rates have retained over 80% of their customers. So we can conclude on the note:

Employee Engagement = Customer Engagement + Customer Retention

7. Learn from your Competition-'Your competitors are your best teachers'. Every business has a set of competitors, if you haven't found your competitors yet then; probably you need to check your business track. Keep a close eye on your competitors and analyze what they are doing and how they are doing. For this, you can always rely on an SEO Audit Tool to get a deeper insight.The idea here is not to copy rather learn and feel inspired. You can learn many valuable things from your competitors such as:

• Pricing- Keeping your competitor's pricing structure in mind gives you a fair idea of how much businesses charge for comparable services and products.

• Marketing Strategy- Analyze your competitor's marketing strategy and figure out how they market their products & services. Signing up for their newsletter, email list, is also a good option. You can check social networks, forums and review sites to get an idea of their reputation in the market and how customers speak of your competition. Moreover, you can also make use of any thoughtfully designed rank tracking tool to identify the status of your competitor's website on the search engines.

• Learn from Errors- Every company makes few errors. Well, errors give you good learning opportunities . So, just learn from them and avoid them in your business.

Last Word- Well, there is no hard and fast rule that can give you assured success in the business. Whatever business you start, you probably won't experience growth right away. However, a right combination of strategic logic and creative thinking can give you a good start.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
I generally write on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, small business.

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