Growing a business is an exciting journey, but making the leap from a small start-up to a medium-sized company takes some courage, imagination and strategic thinking. In this guide we'll cover some ideas for how to expand a business while limiting any growing pains. But of course, we recognise that every company is different, and business expansion plans can vary. We'll explore:
- 5 ways to expand your business
- How to grow a business online
- How to grow a business on social media
- How Tyl could help the growth of your business
5 ways to grow a business
Growing a small business from scratch takes time and dedication, but with careful planning and timing, there are innovative ways you could scale-up. Here are some ideas:
- Develop new products or services - You might be a specialist in one area, but it's only by trying new things that you can test the waters and see how demand shapes up. A classic example: Netflix was founded in 1997 and used to mail DVDs to customers, but pivoted to video-on-demand to grow their business to incredible heights.
- Employ new staff- Without talent, there is no way to grow a business successfully, and sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate. Appointing new team members, and people who know what is required to grow a business, could bring fresh perspectives, ideas and skills to the table.
- Train existing staff - Sometimes, the answer to growing your business might be right under your nose. Not only do staff training opportunities help your people upskill; they help create loyalty, giving you a solid base to build upon, rather than a revolving door of employees.
- Secure additional funding - One of the most obvious ways to grow a business is to get investment from outside sources. This could involve selling shares, securing funds from government schemes, or taking out a loan. The extra backing could help you recruit new staff, expand your offering and ultimately, increase sales.
- Review your prices - Getting the right pricing strategy is crucial to any business expansion plan. Price too low and you may struggle to cover your costs, even if sales increase. Price too high and you may struggle to sell enough to make ends meet. As you get to know your customers and the needs of your local area, think about offering special deals, and do your homework to ensure that your customers are getting good value, and that you're happy too.
How to grow a business online
Selling your products or services online could be a great way to expand a business. In the UK, e-commerce has grown hugely in recent years; in 2006 just 2.5% of total retail sales were made online, but in May 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this figure reached 32.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. But how do you grow a small business online if you've only ever traded offline?
- Set up a website. A professional website with an e-commerce function is your window to the world. You'll want it to be mobile-friendly so that customers can read about your products on the move.
- Choose your virtual terminal. If you can't track orders and ultimately get money in the bank, then all the good work of designing a website counts for nothing. Learn more about online payments through Tyl (fees apply).
- Update your website. Setting up your website is the easy part; now you've got to create quality content and ensure it's optimised based on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) best practice, which can increase your visibility online. If you're unsure what to do, you could hire digital professionals to help grow your business and spread the word.
- Embed your checkout feature. You'll want customers to be able to buy your products or services in just a few clicks, so put some thought as to where your shopping cart should appear on your website, and what it will look like.
- Get feedback. Share your website, find out what your customers think about it, and see how it compares to your competitors. With any luck, your online sales will begin to increase, and you can start growing your business.
How to grow a business on social media
These days, having an active social media presence is a crucial way of growing a business online. According to research by The UK Domain, 75% of small business owners use social media to promote their enterprise. But each platform comes with different features and advantages depending on which sector you're operating in. Here's a summary.
How to grow a business on Instagram
As of 2020, there are 27.25 million Instagram users in the UK, and 30.5% of these users are aged between 25 and 34, reports Statista. As a primarily visual social platform, Instagram is great for food and fashion businesses, but also arts and crafts, cosmetics, pet care, travel and more. By using paid or unpaid influencers, you could help your business reach its natural audience, while product reviewers, photographers and videographers could all help you grow your business on Instagram.
How to grow a business on Facebook
Facebook has been around since 2004, and as of December 2019, has more than 44.76 million UK users. Facebook users are generally older than those on Instagram; just 4.7% of people on Facebook are aged 13 to 17, according to Statista. With its massive reach, Facebook is a great platform for any business that hosts or attends events - from food festivals to product launches - and also provides an opportunity to engage with targeted audiences through Facebook ads.
How to grow a business on Twitter
Twitter has a comparatively smaller number of UK users than Facebook and Instagram - 15.25 million - but for many entrepreneurs, it's a great way to grow a business on social media. As a language-led platform, Twitter could help you build relationships with local people and potential influencers. A good strategy is to engage directly with those who might become advocates, rather than simply 'broadcast' news about your products and services.
How Tyl could help grow your business
We understand that growing a business is exciting, but it can involve bumps on the road too. At Tyl, not only do we want to provide businesses with the best card machines and ways to get paid over the phone, we want you to have the facts at your disposal so you're aware of ways to grow a business. Read more about the help and support Tyl could offer as your business goes from strength to strength (fees apply).