More than a decade ago I sat in a conference room and brainstormed on how to grow a business, how to expand audience. I was part of a vision team charged with developing a growth plan for a specific organization. The vision team included two employees, two vendors, two customers, a banker, an attorney, the president of the local BBB, and two respected business people. We met on four occasions and took a hard look at the business and opportunities that were being underutilized or missed.
We developed a plan, which included day-to-day operational recommendations and big picture guidance. The vision team offered three initiatives to expand audience.
- Grow geographically –The Company had proven systems based on procedures not personalities. We determined these systems would be successful when implemented correctly in other geographic areas. The prerequisites included a source of available labor, some skilled and some unskilled, affordable space, and a local economy that would fit the product. Secondary considerations included advertising costs in the marketplace and potential tax breaks. The organization now has several offices located throughout the country.
- Expand the customer profile – The Company had developed a targeted audience and primarily reached it through direct marketing. It was suggested it was time to expand that reach by A – B testing other advertising and marketing avenues. The suggestions included experimenting with PPC (pay per click), expanding the website to include CTA’s (Call to Action), and developing TV ads. All three were successfully implemented.
- Add products – At that the time the business (B2C) had thousands of loyal and satisfied customers for their two products. It was suggested to survey existing clients and learns what other problems the business might solve for them. Today the company has five divisions each with separate lines of products.
It Didn’t Happen Overnight
Don’t get me wrong, the organization didn’t tackle every recommendation at once, and not every suggestion was followed, nor was every initiative successful. But by methodically developing all three sources of growth the business was able to grow to be recognized as one of the top providers in its industry.
Set the Stage
Are you ready to grow your audience? I purposely didn’t mention the type of business in this post other than it’s a B2C, and there’s a reason. It doesn’t matter. Had I named the business many may have thought this approach was only for that industry. It’s not. It can work for any business in any industry.
What stage should your business be on? Where’s your vision for growth?