5 Tips To Grow Your Business On A Budget

how to drive more business growth increase profit potency

As a business owner or manager, you realize that when you take risks there is a possibility that you may fail. That is the gamble real business professionals and entrepreneurs have to take. But the flip side of the coin is that you also have a chance to increase your revenue and overall business growth. Just don't lose all your money in the process, it's an expensive world out there for business owners. Here's how to drive more business growth and profit potency in any economy and on a budget. 

Top 5 Tips To Enlarge Your Business On A Budget

1. Venture Into New Markets

Many companies that have succeeded locally find it difficult to venture into new business markets especially if it is somewhere across the globe. Few business owners have the nerve to research and risk their investments in new markets or send their workers to initiate a production unit in another part of the world, yet this is the pinnacle of business growth. The fear is understandable because the risks involved are high, but the truth of the matter is that the higher the risk the higher the returns. This post is mostly directed to business owners and managers who have established themselves locally and have expanded their investments into new markets. The best way to do this is by plunging into it head on. 

When entering a new market, make sure you cause a commotion about your business brand potential and in the same time show how you consider the importance on the new market. This will make the customers see that you value them and that you have come to solve their problems. When starting up a new business venture in a fresh market, it means pumping in your investment even if it means breaking the norms of your business practices. Mainly due to the fact that, for a new business or organization visibility is paramount. 

With visibility then it would be possible to impact the marker hence make sales. As a business owner realize that when you take risks there is a possibility that you may fail. That is the gamble real business people have to take. But the flip side of the coin is that you also have a chance to increase you revenue thus business growth. 

2. Define Your Business Growth Strategy

Business growth is often assumed simply to be increasing annual sales and the size of your business. But it is much more than that. It is not just the concept of getting bigger. Many businesses view growth differently and it is important that you define the type of growth you are looking for. The message is that when your mind turns to business growth, resist the natural urge to think in terms of business growth meaning 'simply getting bigger'. You need to look beyond that. Business leaders need to have a clear view of what growth means to their individual businesses. Even if your business is thriving, chances are it's not as successful or productive as you'd like it to be. You may desire to increase your client base, sales revenue, profitability and income. You may want to grow your network, marketing, selling and presentation skills for the future. You may want to add key pieces to your business infrastructure that you could not previously afford. 

Pieces such as particular workforce positions and employees or specialized equipment that can open up new opportunities in the future. Your ability to persuade and influence others, your leadership capabilities and emotional intelligence are all factors in determining how you would like to grow. Rapid business growth can also be about meeting certain goals that have nothing to do with overall sales or size. What kind of work-life balance are you trying to achieve? Often a business's efforts to grow are wasted. This can be because they are not directed at building competitiveness or are short-term in their perspective, and fail to capture the benefits of compounding by building on what has gone before. Now that may seem a strange thing to say, because surely growing a business is always good and simply means getting bigger and bigger and bigger but it is not just about bigger. 

Determining how you would like to grow means defining the strategy that will help your business to go, from markets and products to channels and market intelligence. Growth is of vital importance to all businesses. But you need to determine what type of growth it is you are looking for? The idea of business growth actually comprises many different ideas and concepts that you should constantly consider. Growth and your personal goals are intertwined whether you realize it or not. They are very much the same thing and need to be considered in that light. Because one will ultimately help define the other when pushing for business growth and profit potency. 

Become laser-focused on your ideal customers ... the people you WANT to do business with ... not the pain in your behind customers, but the juicy ones who appreciate you, pay well and refer you to their networks. 

Be able to clearly articulate your value proposition and hearing people say “We absolutely MUST have what you've got!” Have a system for building relationships with new prospects daily, staying in touch until they say YES! over and over again. 

Grow your repeat business with customers who chase you for your post sale offering, refer their friends, family and business contacts, and keep you top of mind as the expert in your industry. Walk away with a complete understanding of where your business has been going wrong, and know the instantly-implementable strategies to turn it all around for your company.

3. Increase Energy And Potency While Preventing Burnout

It's hard to drive more business growth and profits when you are feeling sluggish and impotent. Owning or running a business can be very stressful and there are negative side effects from that in terms of energy loss, depression, and reduced virility. You can't grow a business to a bigger size when you feel lethargic and unable to find an outlet for your stress. 

This is where work-life balance, hobbies, family, and vacation come in. Activities that increase energy and stamina like exercise or meditation also work wonders. Good nutrition and adequate sleep are essential and not optional. It's important to hustle hard, especially when starting out with your business, but you don't want to burn out. 

If your body and mind fail, your business will fail as well. 

4. Don't Forget About Data

What makes a company profitable? Fundamentally, it comes down to selling things at a greater cost than it takes to make them. No matter how smart or well-funded you are, at the end of the day, if you spend more than you make, you will eventually go out of business. Some of the most successful, innovative companies have figured out how to not only reduce the costs of what it takes to make their products, but in some cases, people will pay them to do it. 

For example, Nzambi Matee, a Kenyan entrepreneur who founded Gjenge Makers, has figured out how to take waste packaging and waste plastic, combine it with sand, and turn it into bricks that are 5 to 7 times stronger than regular bricks. Her costs? The sand and the labor to make the bricks. One of the principal components of her business is so valueless (plastic that can’t be recycled) that people pay HER to take their waste. Now that’s a business model set up to succeed - her company isn’t going to make bricks faster than the world makes waste plastic, so she basically has an infinite pipeline of raw materials to work with. 

You know what else we treat like a waste product? Data. Think about it for a second. How much of the data we collect is actually useful, is actually used? How much of it is just ignored or discarded? Every interaction a customer has with us generates data, and that data COULD be used to generate analysis, insights, and strategic decisions. But in most cases, it’s treated like a waste product. We toss it into giant databases that cost more and more to maintain, that pose huge security risks if the data isn’t stored properly, and that relatively little gets reused or recycled. Then we bring in analytics consulting companies to take our waste product and turn it into something useful. If we were more thoughtful about our data, we might change how we use it. We might choose to collect less of it, as we dug into it and figured out what data was useful and what data was noise. 

We might design systems that used more of the data that was valuable, delivering insights instead of just puking our data back to us in flashy dashboards that no one reads. We might find ways to reuse our data over and over again - a marketing insight is just as likely to be a sales insight and just as likely to be a customer service insight, if we’re truly thinking about the customer. 

Give some thought to how you use data. Give some thought about moving away from single-use data to reusing and repurposing data just like we try to do with consumer goods. If you really dig in, you’ll find that like Gjenge Makers, your data can be converted into something really valuable - and you’ll make a ton more money on it, especially if you’re acquiring your data for free as a waste product now. 

This week, let’s talk about datasets. If we want to understand people in aggregate, we need to have data to build understanding from. In a chat with my mentor today, she was suggesting that I spend more time thinking about data sources - where we get our data from, how we obtain it, and what we do with it. The good news is, we have more data available to us than ever before for modeling and understanding human behavior. The challenge is obtaining it and preparing it for analysis. How should we go about obtaining data? We have two basic choices here. 

First, we could collect it ourselves. From established sources like application programming interfaces (APIs) that permit the ingestion of data in bulk to scraping software that can download and interpret public-facing, readable content, we have no shortage of tools available to us if we’re technically inclined. Want to grab the latest fan fiction from Archive of Our Own? On Github, Radiolarian’s AO3 scraper can ingest any collection of stories you specify. Need some tweets? Twitter’s API comes to your rescue. If it’s readable by a human, it’s readable by a machine. Note that if you violate the terms of service for a site, you risk permanent exile from those sites, so it’s a general best practice to adhere carefully to the terms of service for any site you care about. Second, we could look to data collected by others. 

There are data-focused search engines out there, like Google Datasets Search, which provide links to datasets, as well as giant repositories like the United States government’s Data.gov, or the EU’s European Data Portal. There are great newsletters out there that share interesting data sets, like Jeremy Singer-Vine’s Data is Plural. And of course, there’s good ol’ regular Google search, where you take a term and append the word dataset to it. My only caution here is to inspect the data carefully to make sure it’s valid and from the source it says it’s from. Just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t make it reliable or truthful. In short, if you need data to work with, there’s probably a dataset out there for you - either one you build, or one you obtain. For laughs I Googled for a dataset for one of the world’s largest not-safe-for-work (NSFW) content sites and found a dataset on Kaggle (download link at the end of the newsletter if you want to see it for yourself) - the open data science competition site - with scraped data for 99,061 content providers, along with 47 metrics (numeric data) and dimensions (non-numeric data). Now, what in the world would you do with that data? 

At its core, it’s just marketing data; the dataset contains both rankings and the view counts of providers’ content, along with 45 other columns of data. If you’re learning how to build data science and machine learning models to understand what content does best, this is a great dataset to do that with. It even contains protected class data like age, gender, and ethnicity, so you can build models and test them for bias and unintended discriminatory outcomes. The key takeaway is that if you’re looking for data to learn from, to train and hone your marketing analytics skills on, there are millions of datasets to do that with. With just a bit of searching, you should be able to locate data on just about anything as a starting point for improving your analytics skills. 

Don't ever forget about data in business if you want to grow your company!

5. Double Up On Diversity

In the past we worked with a company based in Atlanta. It had just acquired a company and we were brought in with the rest of my team to integrate into the larger parent organization. On my first visit to the parent company headquarters, I noticed something strange. Atlanta back then was about 55% Black by population, yet on the staff of this company of a hundred employees, there wasn’t a single African American employee. When I asked the human resources manager why that was the case, they said there weren’t any viable candidates that were more diverse. They’d even been issued a mandate from their board to improve their diversity but struggled to find any POC candidates. 

Fast forward and it was time to hire for someone on our new team. This wasn’t a data science role; we were hiring for a straightforward digital marketing manager, one of the easiest roles to hire for in terms of available talent pool. The HR manager offered to let me use the HRIS to pull from a pool of available candidates, but I decided to go for the general cattle call instead in all the job boards, etc. to see what came in. We were inundated with over 100 resumes. This was the tail end of the Great Recession, so there were still a lot of people looking. I took the 100+ resumes and did a first pass to remove any resume that didn’t have a LinkedIn profile on it. Why? Basics of digital marketing: if you can’t market yourself, you can’t market for a company. That cut down the pool by about half. Of the half that remained, I did something that the HR person thought was supremely weird: I printed them all out, got a pair of scissors, and cut off any personally identifying information about the candidates. No name, no contact info, no address, no hobbies, just work experience and education. I handed out photocopied stacks of the redacted resumes to my team and told them to pull out the five resumes that looked the best, in order, and we’d interview the top candidates that everyone chose. After a few days of people sorting through their piles of paper, we got the candidates filtered and I re-matched the names to the resumes. Remember how the HR manager said there were no viable candidates that weren’t white? There wasn’t a single caucasian candidate in the pile, it was all people of color. We had 15% of Middle Eastern descent, 25% Latinx, and 50% Black. In the end, after interviews, we ended up hiring one of the folks who was Iranian-American. 

So what happened? Did the company suddenly become less racist? Sort of. What happened was that our ability to be racist - consciously or unconsciously - was hindered by a system change. When we talk about systemic racism - or sexism, or ageism, or any other discrimination - we spend a lot of time properly talking about the -ism. What we don’t spend a lot of time on is the systemic part of the phrase. We have systems that reinforce existing biases, whether we know it or not. In the case above, we had a hiring system that permitted conscious and unconscious discrimination based on how someone’s name sounded, or the activities they participated in. If we break the systems that reinforce our biases, it makes it much harder for us to behave in a biased manner - and if we do, it becomes a fully conscious choice, instead of a semi-conscious or subconscious choice. 

To break the legacy of discrimination, we must break our existing systems themselves, removing opportunities for us to bring our personal biases to the table. We should absolutely continue to crusade for fairness as people, as individuals, but we should also be requiring fairness be built into every process and system in our institutions, actively looking for way to remove opportunities for bias to creep in. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: look carefully at every system you have responsibility for that involves choosing people in some fashion - from ad targeting to email segmentation to hiring to performance reviews - and ask yourself whether that system is doing enough to prevent biases of any kind from infiltrating your company. 

Don't hire for height, appearance, social skills (unless that's a core aspect of their role), personality, or any other bogus reasons. Just hire the best qualified candidate for the role to help grow your company.

Get Going And Growing

Don't waste any more time feeling limp against stiff competition from other top companies and unforeseen expenses. It's time to get going and get growing today with your business on any budget.

Marketing Masterminds Media Network Newest Posts: