How to grow a business without going broke

6 min read
Cathy Ngo

Many business owners wonder how they can grow a business sustainably so they won't have to eat two-minute noodles every day (hello, start-up days). Just how can we improve our services and projects, adopt better processes and bring things up a notch without going bust?

The good news is there are business strategies to help you grow a business.

We'll explore these in this blog.

Editor’s note: Amp up your email, Facebook and Instagram promotions with GoDaddy’s Digital Marketing Suite.

Check out these business growth strategies

So, you're ready to grow? Great! Let's have a look at a few business growth strategies you could try.

Acquire more customers

There are a few ways to get more customers.

1. First, understand your customers. Interview your customers to find out their pain points, their daily struggles and specifically what drives them to purchase with you instead of your competitors.

If you're in B2B (i.e. you sell to businesses), along with understanding their challenges, also ask about their business goals and how you can be of service to that. Once you have all this information, create a customer avatar or persona so you can direct all your marketing efforts towards this.

2. Pinpoint your point of difference. To survive and thrive in this noisy world, businesses need to set themselves apart from their competitors. It could be in the form of branding or the unique features of your products compared to others on the market.

3. Try affiliate marketing. This involves selling your product or service through a third-party. The referrer will get a small commission from you in exchange for the leads and sales they send your way. This can be a clever way to advertise and grow your reach with the help of other businesses and bloggers. Tools like CJ Affiliate are a great starting point.

4. Expand your online presence: This can be best done by posting content consistently, which will help will help your current and potential customers stay interested and engaged with your brand.

Improve your efficiency

Man sits behind table with computers.

How fast and efficiently your business operates will make a big difference to your bottom line. Here are a few ways to improve your business processes:

Consider outsourcing

If you get too bogged down on administrative tasks like managing your social media or bookkeeping, consider outsourcing any or all of them to free up your time to work 'on' the business — instead of 'in' the business.

Process efficiency

This is how long it takes to get the product or service to your customer. The best way to make process improvements is to list all the steps involved in processing a sale in your business. See if there are any steps you can eliminate or combine. Read this post for more.

It's important to know when it’s the right time to grow your business using the strategies listed above. You'll need to be comfortable taking a step back in order to take a few steps forward.

How to know when it's time to grow

Just about every business wants to grow. But it's all about timing — too soon, and you can risk being knee-deep in debt. Too late, and you may lose your first mover advantage.

There are a few clues to help you determine the right time. Ask yourself these three questions:

Do your customers want more of your products and services?

Review your sales data and see if there are any trends.

If there is a consistent increase in demand, then it's probably time to grow.

If there are sudden spikes here and there, it may be risky to grow. Analyse the spikes and look for patterns.

It's also worthwhile to survey your customers to gauge their level of satisfaction and appetite for new products. If your customers say they want more of your product and services, that's a clear sign that it's time to grow.

Is your market or industry growing?

Close-up of hand holding pen on growth charts.

The top growing industries in Australia are:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Healthcare
  3. Energy
  4. Food
  5. Tech

You'll need to research what’s projected in your industry in the next five to 10 years to see if it is worthwhile expanding or otherwise pivoting to a new offering.

How is your cash flow looking?

This may seem obvious, but you'll need to be financially equipped to grow a business. Before you make any major decisions, there should be a steady stream of income and flow of customers. We recommend consulting your accountant to see if the numbers make sense. Steady profits mean you'll be able to grow sustainably.

Not a numbers person? Learn how to determine your cash flow here.

How to sustain business growth

Once growth is achieved, the next major hurdle is to make sure this is sustained.

In an ideal scenario, profits would keep going up year after year.

However, with increasing competition, limited resources and changing markets, it requires business owners to consistently be on their toes.

Man setting up coffee shop sign on sidewalk

Businesses that have been able to sustain growth have a few attributes in common.

  • They know their 'why.' They're driven by a sense of purpose, and they know exactly what their values are and the direction they are heading. Everyone from the shop floor assistant to the business owner, knows actually what the purpose is and the core values.
  • They have a strong brand. A brand isn't just all the visual stuff like logos and websites — a strong brand forges an emotional bond between a business and its customers. This creates customer loyalty and satisfied customers, both of which helps with your cash flow and overall sustainability of your business.
  • A commitment to efficiency. We mentioned earlier about the importance of efficiency in your operations. The easiest way to cut inefficiency is to periodically review your operational plans, improving how and where you allocate resources.This will help remove sources of waste, error and potential delays that can move your business towards sustainable growth.

Is it time to grow your business?

Growing a business should be exciting — but timing is everything. Knowing when to grow involves detailed research into your industry and market, having a consistent cash flow and demand for your products and services.

Growing a business involves acquiring more customers through various marketing channels and establishing a strong brand. The businesses that have sustainable growth are always the ones who prioritise efficiency and making sure there are no delays or any wastage.

We wish you all the best in your business growth journey!

The information contained in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice from GoDaddy on any subject matter.