Thursday, December 10, 2015

Growing slowly from within

     You can grow a business quickly or slowly. Quick usually means going for funding. Slow growth takes place from within--by reaching out to new groups of customers.

     Enhancing appeal  Alice runs a pet supply store--no animals here, but everything a pet owner might want. She decided to add puppies--not for sale, but from local adoption agencies. She installed the puppies in her front window and she posted pictures of them on social media. She also took selfies and posted a deadline date (when the puppy was to be returned to the adoption agency). This created a sense of urgency and brought people into the store--buying all sorts of supplies, and sometimes going home with a puppy. Her business expanded.

     Enhancing experience  Joan's salon got a bump in calls when she invited holistic practitioners to offer introductory demonstrations and information about their services. Experts in nutrition, hypnotherapy and massage created buzz for the salon, not only among regulars but new activities brought in referrals as well.

     Enhancing services  Bill's landscaping service got a big bump in sales when he added to the services he offered. For years, he concentrated on maintaining lawns and trimming shrubbery. In winter, he concentrated on snow removal. But he needed more jobs--he needed to appeal to more people. When he began offering concrete work, curbing, brick and stone walkways, more clients called. When he added building fences and gates to his list of services, Bill expanded again.

     Growing a business takes time if you grow it from within. You can add related services and you can get creative with promotions. But avoid being in as hurry. Let your business settle into the community, become a part of people's lives, attract attention and referrals.