How to Grow Your Business: Five Fundamental Practices

Today, we’re going to look at five underrated practices that are fundamental to sustainable business growth. These aren’t exclusively my ideas; they’re the practices that I’ve observed in my most successful clients. I’ve confronted the question of how to grow your business before, but today I want to fill in the gaps for you and make it as simple as possible.

1. Evaluate your existing customers and current market position.

First, take a comprehensive look at your existing market position. You want to appeal to a wide enough audience with plenty of opportunities for lead generation while providing unique product or service offerings that stand out.

I find these five questions yield helpful answers:

  • Who are your current customers, and how can you enhance customer retention?
  • What opportunities exist to increase brand awareness?
  • What strategies have been successful? Why?
  • Where do you stand in comparison to your competitors?
  • Why should consumers choose your products or services over those of other businesses?

The answers to these essential questions give you a great starting place for devising your business expansion plan.

2. Recognize when you’ve hit a plateau and take immediate action.

Here’s what you need to be doing if you want to grow your business:

  1. Get more business from clients you have now.
  2. Get new clients.

What happens if you can’t grow existing accounts for one reason or another? Do you keep swimming in the same professional networks, attract the same type of clients, and hope for the best? No, you don’t because shallow pockets stay shallow. You have to change your mindset and really internalize what is widely known but rarely acted on: increased interaction and connectivity mean that no matter what you offer, someone, somewhere, desperately needs it. So, how do we find this customer or client?

  • Look for need in tight-knit online or offline communities where word travels fast.
  • Re-position your service instead of changing your service.
  • Explore national and international markets.

For more information, see my article on how to find a niche for your business.

3. Start marketing now.

No growth strategy is complete without a marketing plan, but I think it’s valuable to move the discussion away from a generic term, marketing, and focus on specific and actionable steps you can take to get more business. So, let’s keep this simple. Here are a few questions that I’d like you to ask yourself, and then I’ll provide some context.

  • Do I know my ideal client?
  • Does my team know the business’ ideal client?
  • What problem does my business solve, and is that problem a consequential one?
  • Can I clearly articulate the value of my product in plain language?
  • Do I talk about my business in terms of its value or simply in terms of its activity?

That’s five questions. If you want to say “yes” to all five, it’s going to take you around two hundred hours of work.

Produce deliverables and results, not plans.

There are no shortcuts here. Someone in your organization will have to sit down and think through this. Then, that individual or group will have to take action, and I’m talking about concrete deliverables.

  • A quality website that shows why your business product is valuable, what problem it solves, and how it justifies its cost.
  • A shared understanding within your business of what you are doing, who you are doing it for, and why you are doing it.
  • At least 10% of your annual revenue allocated for advertising and marketing.

Here’s the reality: a “marketing plan” is just a plan and, more often than not, simply a statement of intent. I’ve seen hundreds of them, and the majority are boilerplate documents. One plan could be swapped for another, and no one would notice.

This year, take action. Instead of plans, ask for deliverables. Make it a habit to think about your business as a client rather than an owner. If you employ a capable individual who is accountable for marketing outcomes, then it’s not your responsibility to review steps and processes. That’s dithering. I want you to look at the results, not the promises.

By the end of Q3, come back to the questions here. Have we made progress?

4. Strengthen your internal team and external network.

To expand a business, you need a stable team.

Introducing new talent into your business isn’t just about filling positions; it’s about enhancing your business’s capabilities and fostering a culture that aligns with your goals. Strategic hiring is instrumental in this phase of business expansion. You want to ensure every new member contributes to your broader vision and helps propel your business forward.

Market competition doesn’t have to be zero-sum.

With each new business strategy comes new challenges and opportunities. By attending networking events and collaborating with peers, you can tap into strategic partnerships that will yield more customers and increase revenue for everyone involved.

5. Turn financial tasks into growth opportunities.

The backbone of any successful expansion is robust financial health. To set your business up for growth, use good financial practices like:

  • Regular financial reviews.
  • Effective cash flow management.
  • Strategic financial planning.
  • Smart resource allocation.
  • New investment ventures.

As you work through the steps above, remember that if you want to know how to grow your business, you’ll need a balance of strategic planning, decisive action, and market awareness.

I’m here to help.

Every CPA should offer business advisory services, but most CPAs do not. I do.

Schedule a discovery call to bring financial leadership and tax-efficient decision-making to your business—no CFO required.

Talk soon,
Jeremy A. Johnson, CPA

Meet the Author
Jeremy A. Johnson, CPA, is an expert in strategic tax planning, accounting, CFO services, and thought leadership.

Jeremy writes for small business owners who need actionable information on tax strategy, efficient accounting practices, and plans for long-term growth.

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