With the boom we saw in the US economy in 2018, many small business owners are probably looking to 2019 to be the year they accelerate business growth. While the White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett has said economic growth in 2019 will surpass predictions, not all the financial analysts agree. Many believe the economy will slow down in the new year and fall short of the three percent growth the White House is predicting. If that’s the case, business owners may have to think outside the box if they want to grow their business and make it stand out among its competitors in the upcoming year. What worked well during an upswing in the economy may not be as effective when it begins to take a downward turn. While these ideas may not appropriate for every business, they could be worth considering for some.
Scale Down Your Selection
This may sound silly since we’re talking about stimulating business growth. After all, look at the online retail giant Amazon. You can find almost anything you could possibly want to buy and there is a multitude of product styles and options to choose from. However, such a vast selection can cause some consumers to become overwhelmed and not make a purchase at all.
There have been various studies on what is known as the “paradox of choice”, a concept explored in a book of the same name by the psychologist, Barry Schwartz. In 2000, joint research was conducted by Stamford and Columbia Universities that found that when given too many choices, many people simply chose not to make a purchase.
During the years that followed, there have been both supporting and conflicting studies. Most recently, a study by Stanford Graduate School of Business marketing professor Itamar Simonson revealed that while people do like larger selections, it depends on where they are in their decision-making. For the person who is still at the point of deciding if they even want to make a purchase, a larger selection can have a positive impact. However, the person who has definitely decided to make a purchase will be more receptive to a smaller selection.
What does all this mean for business owners looking to grow their companies in the new year? Instead of expanding their product or services offerings, some small businesses may want to consider limiting their offerings to their best sellers. Focusing on what they do best could be the key to business growth in an uncertain economy.
While slimming down product or service offerings may be the right choice for some businesses, others may want to look at adding more value to what they are currently offering. New products or services are often meant to grab the attention of potential customers. When looking to add value, listen and evaluate what existing customers are asking for. What do they want that you’re not providing?
Once you’ve analyzed your customers’ needs and expectations, dig a little deeper. What do they want that your competitors aren’t providing? It could be better quality, faster delivery, expert assistance or streamlined services. Whatever it is, this is your sweet spot and incorporating it into your current offerings will not only grow your business, it will set you apart from your competition. This may involve some big changes to operations, branding, and company culture but they will be well worth the investment.
Shift Market Focus
It’s easy to stick with what you know, but to sustain business growth in the new year, many businesses will have to look beyond their existing audience. That’s not to say you should abandon them, just find a way to increase their numbers. Is there a demographic you’ve overlooked in your marketing that could benefit from what your business offers? Do you need to offer something else to lure them in?
Doing what you’ve always done isn’t the way to fuel growth. We can all name brands that became insanely popular and then completely disappeared. For a business to become and remain successful, it must constantly adapt to changes in the market, and the current perception of a market leader. Look at your business and its offerings from the customer’s perspective, and adapt to address their changing needs. It’s equally important to remain aware of your competitors’ intentions and capabilities.
Financing Business Growth
Growing a business is a big investment that takes both time and money. If financing is holding your business back, Capflow Funding Group may be able to help. We specialize in factoring to businesses in need of short-term working capital. We also partner with other lenders to provide funds for businesses that require financial services other than ours. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your business.