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Every business owner wants to scale. There’s nothing quite like seeing an organization grow from a start-up to an industry leader. Of course, there’s usually a lot of legwork involved in getting from the starting point to the pinnacle of success. But by following proven strategies for scaling, it’s possible to get there more quickly.

One of the biggest keys to success in any business is to do good research. By finding out what’s working for others in a given industry, it’s possible to construct a template to follow. Research is also one of the best ways to identify existing gaps in the marketplace. Understanding the landscape of an industry is the first step in making a successful foray into it. The most important cohort to research is any existing consumers a company already has. Understanding who buys and why can mean selling more in the future.

Partnering with related brands is another great way to get ahead. Customer research can be key, here, too. Knowing the consumer can mean knowing their other interests. If a product appeals to people who are also heavily invested in an activity like gaming, partnering with a company that makes games can be a great idea. Best of all, it can be a great way to put a related product in front of a new and very interested audience.

Lead magnets are incredibly important for any business. Getting people’s attention is the best way to get their contact information. Showing them some expertise up front means they’ll be more willing to let a business into their inbox. Directly contacting people whose trust has been earned is a proven way to convert leads into sales. Managing these customer relationships is best done with CRM software like SalesForce or Hubspot, rather than paper-based tracking tools.

Finally, one of the fastest ways to grow is by buying another company. This brings new locations, inventory and customers into the fold of the purchaser. It’s even one way of expanding into new industries. However, it can be a mixed blessing. Takeovers can be complicated. Making some employees redundant can damage morale. In cases where a former competitor has been purchased, retaining customers who’ve been loyal to that brand can sometimes prove challenging.