5 Practical and affordable ways to show your employees appreciation.

No Cost or Low-cost Ways to Show Your Appreciation of Your Employees.

Below are five ways you can engage and show appreciation for your employees that are either low or no cost but are powerful.

According to a survey undertaken by Bupa, nearly half of UK employees admit to not going above or beyond in their work. Forty-six per cent stated that they would not be acknowledged or rewarded if they did.
The survey suggests that only 1 in 10 employees are working to their full potential. Demotivated and disengaged staff can seriously hold back your business and impact your growth plans.

How can you engage your employees and help keep them motivated? Retention of staff is paramount, building knowledge and skills within your teams helps in customer satisfaction.

1) Just Say “Thank You”

It’s simple but highly effective. One good leader developed the thank you further; they often explained what completing a task meant to them. Bringing your motivations and feelings into showing your gratitude makes things more personal and powerful.

2) Handwritten note

Often we use email to pass a thank you on; however, email can be very impersonal. A handwritten note expressing your thanks and gratitude makes things personal.

3) Making the tea

OK, if you’re from the USA, then coffee is acceptable too. Making the team a drink and even providing something nice to eat can show you’re appreciation and is a good way of saying thanks at the end of a project or hard team effort.

4) Catching Up Outside of Work

When I was a senior manager at a medical device company, the management team would go out for a curry once a month. It provided an opportunity to get to know one another and helped build a stronger working relationship. Years later we still meet up, even though many of us have moved on work wise. Even Covid hasn’t stopped up us and, thanks to Zoom, we still stay in touch.

5) The Fish and Chip van

After the yearly stock take, with many employees coming on a Saturday to take part we would say thank you by providing pizza. However, many employees weren’t that keen the dough-based delights of the Naples snack.

We started to bring in a Fish and Chip van instead; this went down better as it served to subconscious points. Firstly it was food that appealed to all, and the uptake was high. Secondly, the perception was that the company had spent a reasonable amount on the thank you. Later we brought in ice cream vans in the summer and burger vans for a change.

Conclusion

In the current climate, it is important for us to ensure we engage with our employees. More engaged staff will be better placed to deal with the reality of the post-pandemic world—a world where we will be asking for and expecting more of our employees.

Job losses mean we will need to do more with less, increase our efficiencies and build stronger teams. Saying thank you is just a straightforward way to to show your employees that you appreciate them.

Want to know how we can help you and your business grow and develop, then click here!

Has Covid Finished off the High Street?

A typical old town somewher in the UK
A typical old town

It doesn’t take me to say that during the Covid pandemic shopping habits have changed. Retail sales for July have, according to Rauters (Davey, 2020) matched the figures for June 2019. According to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, non-food sales saw a 48.2% increase for online sales for June 2020 over last year. However, Barclays (Partington, 2020) stated that non-essential high street spending fell by 22.3% and more than half of shoppers refusing to frequent shops..

The government scheme “Eat Out to Help” designed to boost and support the struggling hospitality industry have, Davey states, seen an increase in high street footfall of around 3.8%. The same article then goes on to state that most of this footfall occurs after 06:00 p.m

The Impact of the Internet and Covid-19

Spend on online shopping declined during August of 2019, seeing sales of around 1.33 billion. Since Coronavirus sales have jumped to an unprecedented 2.34 billion (Statista, 2020). It has even been claimed that Covid-19 has accelerated online shopping by up to ten years.

Online food shopping has increased by 105.9% for June 2020 compared to a year ago – though this would be expected given the circumstances. As shoppers get more comfortable buying online and hesitant to return to physical stores, internet shopping is likely to become the new norm.

As stated earlier, attempts to attract more diners seems to be working to some extent; however, many restaurants and cafes require the revenues that lunchtime trade brings in. Nowhere is this more true than in our major cities and, with more companies looking at working from home, coupled with reduced footfall and rising unemployment, you have an ailing hospitality industry which is likely to see many casualties.

The high street is expensive, fixed costs can be high, and you can lose money just opening your door for the day. High rates and rents all squeeze margins and between falling footfall and high costs sit the landlords.

Often landlords are getting pushed to reduce their rents or offer rent-free periods to give companies a chance of survival. If more retailers fail, then there is likely to be more unwanted properties coming onto the rental market. Inevitably this will hurt property prices.

Councils wishing to tackle congestion have squeezed the motorist out of the town centre. With parking fees being high and public transport not always convenient – try carrying a large package on a bus – push the motorist towards the out of town developments.

The British weather doesn’t help. Shoppers are less likely to make trips to our high streets in poor weather. Malls, with the cover they provide, seem a better bet on a cold winters day. Neither the mall nor out of town stores can compete with the comfort of your own home and shopping online.

So what is the answer?

So, what do we do with our high streets?

Fragmented ownership of land, attempts to reduce congestion and a commercial need for larger companies to expand, all work against developing a new model.

Developing high streets into community spaces would initially seem to be the answer. Having a mix of small independent stores, pubs, restaurants and cafes would be the current mode of thought. Utilising these same spaces for community activities and events could attract people back. Congestion could be addressed by encouraging greater use of bikes and pedestrian-only zones.

Remodelling shopping centres and malls for office space and housing seems to be a thing in the USA and could be one answer for our ever-increasing housing issue.

If shops are to make up any part of our high streets, then surely they need to be different than the offerings of current department stores?
To get footfall back, we need to entice shoppers. New shops need to offer new things, stuff you cannot easily buy elsewhere. Bespoke articles, craft made goods or locally grown and made foods.

Maybe, as some have proposed, it is time to allow our high streets to die and give in to the inevitable virtual shopping of the internet. After all, the internet can give space to both the small and large retailer, reduce overheads and costs and as technology develops, remove the need to touch or try on merchandise.

Let us know your thoughts and whether you have ideas to save our high streets?

Could factoring help your cash flow?

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Factoring – Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay  

Exploring factoring for cash flow and some of the myths that surround it.

Cash flow issues are one of the significant factors for businesses going insolvent. An economic downturn can leave your business struggling. In a time of survival you need to lessen your money worries and focus on your core activities. Factoring can be one way of helping you managing your cash flow.

There were 5.9 million (2019) businesses in the UK, of which 99.9% are SME’s (employing 250 people or less). According to an article in HR News (C. Evans, 2019), almost 1 in 7 small businesses have been left unable to pay employees. 38% of businesses have failed to pay debts. And owners have to turn away work estimated at £26k per business p.a., and all because of cash flow issue.

Bad debt and cash flow issues, according to some sources, can account for up to 87% of all business failures. In this article, we want to explore whether factoring can help cash flow. Whether that is to survive current economic events or help support growth in your business. The Cambridge dictionary defines factoring, thus,. Factoring can also be known as invoice finance or asset-based lending.

“A situation in which a company buys the right to collect payments and debt owed to another company and charges for doing this”

How does factoring work

It works by company A (the client) selling its sales ledger to company B (the factoring agent). Typically company B will pay company A 75% to 80% of the value of the sales ledger. Usually, this is done over a fixed term period, typically 24-months.

Company B will manage the sales ledger for this agreed period. When an invoice is raised, company B will pay company A some of the outstanding amount – 75% to 80% – and then chase the end customer for payment. Once the end customer pays in full, company B pays the remaining amount to company A, less a commission.

The advantages of factoring

If turnover is vanity, profit is sanity; then cash is king. Business for many SME’s is all about cash flow, especially in the early years. Business to business terms are often 30 – 60 days, which in itself is long enough to wait for payment. However, you can easily find yourself waiting longer because your customer is also waiting for payment before they can pay you.

As a business owner, you may feel safer in terms of payment by securing work with more substantial companies but remain aware that larger companies can suffer cash flow issues just as quickly as medium and small companies.

Factoring can take the stress out of cash flow management, and you receive payment in a timely fashion. The factoring agents pursue payment from your customers, removing a lot of administrative work, allowing you time to run your business and not chasing debts.

The disadvantages of factoring

Factoring agents often want clients with multiple customers and are not suitable for a small clientele – one or two customers. There is often a negative association with companies using factoring agents, it is assumed that a company is in financial difficulties if it uses factoring.

However, the opposite is also true; a company using a factoring agency is often on top of its cash flow, therefore, in a stronger position.

Using factoring does mean that you give up some or all of your credit control. After building strong relationships with customers, you will be putting your reputation in the hands of others.

Be aware that many factoring agencies have extra cost that may not show up in initial quotations. These additional fees or disbursements can make factoring expensive. It is worth shopping around and finding out if additional charges apply. It can be better to pay an initial higher fee and no extra costs than vice versa.

Myths surrounding factoring

Your company is in trouble if it uses factoring?

As explained above, this isn’t necessarily the case. A growing business needs good cash flow as much as an ailing one. Factoring can make sense when you need to concentrate your efforts on your growth or survival and not debt recovery.

Factoring is expensive and you should use an overdraft instead?

An overdraft is usually linked to the capital within the business and often needs regular renegotiation. If the bank doesn’t cap your overdraft, then it is possible to overspend and incur unforeseen costs as a result. Managing an overdraft, alongside all the other requirements of running your business, means you can often overlook your spending. It isn’t hard to go over your limit.

Factoring, is about your sales ledger, which can often be higher than capital within your business. As your business grows, factoring won’t require renegotiating.


Shopping around and compare quotes could mean you paying around that you will same as an overdraft. The other beauty about factoring is that you do not have to put up collateral, unlike many bank overdrafts.

Do factoring agents control all of my sales ledgers?

Yes, this can be the case. However, some factoring agents allow you to select which invoices to factor and will enable you to keep others yourself. If you have particularly valuable customers, they pay on time and in full, then you may be able to retain these yourself. If you are considering factoring, ask any company you approach whether they consider this to be an option.

Factoring is a short term solution.

Not always, would be my response. Some companies use factoring to overcome initial needs such as business survival, other use it long term. It can take the bother of managing your sales ledgers and allow you to focus on what matters.

In 2016 we came across a small company specialising in welding. You would not deem either partner of the company as business savvy; however, they were great welders. After getting into cash flow issues they considered closing the company down. After a long conversation, it was agreed to use a factoring agency. Doing so removed stress from their lives and they could concentrate on their passion for welding. Even four years later, they still use factoring because of its convenience.

Will factoring agencies hound and harass my customer?

The quick answer is no; they won’t. Factoring agents do not want to harm your business. The fewer invoices you raise, the less they make, so they want you to keep good relations with clients as it means more business for them.

Customers have issues if you factor their invoices?

This isn’t the case, more and more companies are using factoring. I predict growth in this market after the economic impact of Covid-19 takes hold. As long as you ensure you are using a reputable company, then it isn’t usually an issue, especially if you are open about it with your customers.

Factoring a conclusion

There are alternatives to ensuring cash flow is maintained; you can chase your customers hard, put penalties on for late payments or discounts for early settlements. However, experience tells me these don’t always work, especially so if your customers are experiencing late payment issues. You don’t want to do is jeopardises your business because of cash flow and factoring can be one alternative worth exploring.

Harry Southan, 20/07/2020.

Email harry.southan@leziate.co.uk

12 tips to surviving a recession

We are all aware that we will probably enter a recession as a consequence of the Covid-19 lockdowns. The economic predictions have been varied, from bouncing back to the worst global recession since the late 1920s.

The Bank of England policy report for May 2020 declares that the UK economy shrank by 3% in the first quarter of 2020, and a subsequent 25% in the three months to June. Technically, this counts as a recession.

We have all seen headlines declaring jobs losses, companies closing down and stories of business owners struggling against the odds. Whether we bounce back or the recession deepens, as business owners, we need strategies for survival.

Usually one would recommend that any SME has around 2-3 months operating costs as a reserve in the bank; however, Covid-19 has seen many businesses burn through their contingency and coming out of lockdown with little in reserve.

Although people are returning to the high streets, consumer confidence isn’t responding in the same manner as pre lock-down. Restaurants are complaining that they do not see enough diners, retailers are reporting more people turning to the internet than before, the estimation is that Covid-19 has accelerated the take up of online shopping by almost 10-years. So, if you’re an SME business owner, what actions can you take to reduce the impact of a recession?

1. Ensure you get paid on-time

Cashflow is one of the critical measures of any business. Recession usually places strain on customers, suppliers and your own business. Many SME’s fail to survive a recession, not because of lack of customers or orders, but because they hit a cash crisis.

Ask yourself this question, how many customers do you need to be late in their payment before you hit a critical point of survival?

To encourage your customer, you could offer them a discount for early payment or the opposite and apply a charge for late payment. Whichever method you choose, ensure that the invoice makes it clear.

However; there is an alternative to both of the above and that is factoring. Factoring involves selling your accounts receivable to a third party. Doing so means you get paid a per cent of the value of the accounts receivable, usually between 75% to 80% of the invoice totals and the third party chases the invoice amount from your customers.

There are a lot of negative beliefs about factoring, most of which are nonsense and I will write a post covering more of this subject soon.

2. Decrease costs

If you mention a cost reduction initiative, most people would usually equate this to redundancies; however, this is not necessarily the case.
As a business grows and develops, so too does it processes, the way you run the business.

These processes often grow organically and develop what we describe as fat, unnecessary steps, double entering of data and information, double handling of goods or products, etc.

Lean is a concept developed at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in the late 1950s and looks at reducing the waste or fat within processes, whether physical or digital, meaning you do more for less. It can look at reducing your costs, help you become more responsive, reduce your inventory and increase your quality.

You may think that Lean is something only for larger businesses, and they certainly look for hiring Lean experts during times of recession, but some of the best Lean companies are SMEs. There is a multitude of literature about Lean, so gaining knowledge and driving your initiative is not impossible. Alternatively, look at hiring a consultant and though the thoughts of the cost involved can put you off, carry on reading this article, and I will address that.

3. Focus on your core products/services

1896 and Vilfredo Pareto (an Italian economist), noted approximately 80 per cent of the land was owned by 20 per cent of the population. Since then, this ratio has been applied to many things but is common where quality is concerned.

However, it is often true of sales. Approximately 80 per cent of sales come from 20 per cent of products and services. The 80 per cent of products or services that only generate around 20 per cent of your sales revenue cost you to maintain.

Think about whether you should go forward with these products or services or can you ditch them in favour of the 20 per cent that makes you money?

Focusing on the 20 per cent means you can reduce inventory, concentrate your marketing on what really sells and make your processing easier.

4. Inventory

Many businesses have hundreds of thousands of pounds locked up in stock. Shoes in warehouses clothing in shops or piles of roofing slates in a yard, if they ain’t selling, then they are dead money.

Do not sit on dead money; find a way of releasing some or all of the value of slow-moving stock. Maybe a competitor can make use of it, discount it through an offseason sale, or if it is particularly old, can you sell it for scrap?

5. Quality

Customer expectations are higher now than ever and you must deliver quality. Data, data, data is the key to understanding quality and defining the Voice of the Customer (VoC). Through identifying the VoC you can gain an understanding of what your customers want and how your products or services fulfil that.

The story goes that in the early days, Dell computers used a consumer panel to see how easily they assembled their computers. Dell wanted to see how easily the average consumer could connect the monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse. To Dell’s shock, one customer found getting the items out of the box difficult, turned the opened box upside down and emptied the content on to the floor. Imagine glass, plastic and wire scattered everywhere, but Dell learnt one lesson, they needed to make the packaging more consumer-friendly.

Whether this story is true or not, there is a lesson for us all, through understanding the VoC you can improve your products/services and therefore it’s appeal to end-users.

6. Marketing

Too often, marketing budgets are reduced during a recession, though this has never made sense to me. A recession means that there are less customer, spending less money. You need those customers and not have them go to your competitors, but how can you get them if they do not know you exist or what you offer because you are not marketing yourself?

Marketing is more important during a recession than at any other time, but this doesn’t mean you should go out and blow your reserve capital on a massive campaign.

Think about how you can target your typical customer more; get to understand the return on your marketing investment at every stage of the process and try and look at how you can leverage new forms of marketing. If your online marketing consists of just a website, ask yourself how you can use social media to promote you and your business? If you have already mastered social media, are you following or commenting on other companies blogs that could benefit you? Don’t just follow people on LinkedIn because you see them as an influencer, but ask yourself who should you connect with that can help you reach your target customer?

7. USP

When you started your business, you probably spent some time reflecting on what makes your products or services different from your competitors.
When was the last time you thought about this, chances are not enough?. Too many SMEs are busy running their business to spend time reflecting on their USP. After all, your USP was established on day one and still useful today.

Well, “yes” it probably still is, but what if it isn’t because your business has moved on and charged? You may have new USPs besides your original, or you may need to adopt new ones.

Even if your USP is still valid, reviewing and seeing whether you can highlight new possibilities can help you better define your offerings to your customers or enable you to differentiate yourself to your competitors.

8. Become agile

There is a lot spoken about agile, especially where Project Management is concerned, but here, I am talking about the ability to change quickly to market needs and customer demands.

A small engineering company may be able to gain new customers by having an agile approach to rapid prototyping. We have all seen articles in the Newspapers and LinkedIn about companies quickly changing course and manufacturing ventilators or face masks rapidly, this is agile and could be a boon to your business or even your new normal.

However, to become agile, you need to develop a series of processes that allows it to happen. Get the framework wrong, and it could rapidly backfire and do as much damage to your business than it brings, after all, few customers will stay with a supposed agile company that doesn’t deliver.

9. Empower your workforce

Empowerment of your workforce is critical, both in daily business and for an agile framework. Giving people key deliverables, ownership of delivery, and the right tools to get on with the job can free you up to do more marketing, networking and sales.

I find it difficult when I come across companies that employ highly qualified and skilled people and then choose to over-manage them or even micromanage.

Think about how many tech companies operate; they trust their staff.
They have to trust the programmers to write the code. Allow graphic designers space and time to be creative and the marketing team to develop a promotional strategy. I have oversimplified things here, but I think you will get my drift.

Dissolving some responsibilities can pay dividends to both your time and health. Empower those around you and see just how much your employees can fly.

10. Strategic Alliance

Can you partner with other companies that, together, you can offer complementary services or goods, share marketing or leverage R&D costs and resources?

You may have heard of large companies making strategic alliances, but it can work for SMEs too. A property developer might develop a strategic partnership with a mortgage broker, especially as it might help people struggling to raise a mortgage. Likewise, a bakery might align itself with a sandwich delivery firm to offer cakes alongside cheese and ham sarnies. An approach like this could increase sales for the bakery and profits for the delivery company.

11. Engage the services of a consultant or coach

Yes, I do have a vested interest in this; however, haring consultants or a coach can help you with some of the tactics written here, not just formulating them, but help you and your business adopt and integrate them.

Consultants can bring new thinking to your business or help turn things around when projects and deliverables get stuck. A good coach can help you formulate your thoughts and focus on those things you may be struggling with or finding alien.

If you are going to employ a consultant, ensure they have a good track record, can demonstrate deliverables. Check how they charge, daily rates are excellent but do they commit to cost reductions that will be around x3 your investment?

Is the coach you hire trained and qualified, many are not. There are no standards for governing bodies for coaching, and I have seen many YouTube adverts for unqualified people stating that they can train you to become a business/executive coach.

12. Build a cohesive strategy

Now we have looked at different tactics, it is time you decided on what would best work for you and with your management team develop a cohesive strategy.

Develop a road map for your business and wok it hard, but do not just loosely pick topics from this list and haphazardly apply them, because I will guarantee your chances of making them work for you are slim.

The myth that 70% of change initiatives fail?

You often hear this percentage being banded around, especially by consultants, but is it true?

If it is an accurate figure, then why are so many companies still chasing change for their organisation?

Those who perpetuate the 70% myth often quote “The Inconvenient Truth about Change Management,” (McKinsey, 2009) which incorrectly references previous work. Virtually all figures quoted on or around the success or failure of change initiatives are merely estimates, including the early worked referenced in McKinsey’s paper. McKinsey did survey 1,546 executives asking them if their change initiatives were complete or mostly complete. Only 30% of the executives agreed that their initiatives were full; however, this doesn’t mean that incomplete efforts were unsuccessful. The same research found that 10% thought their programs were entirely or mostly ineffective. If we take it that 10% of the executives surveyed believed that their change programmes failed, then the success rate must be higher than the 30% that we are led to believe.

Perception

Perception often plays a significant part in how change is viewed. Do executives have a higher expectation of the outcomes of any change initiative, which leads to them to believe the change failed if it doesn’t deliver immediate results?

Overselling of benefits of any change programme at an early stage can set these expectations and, if the programme does not deliver all the benefits, then it can often be deemed a failure, this can mean that any benefits gained are ignored for the belief the programme failed.

Lean doesn’t work

It was brought home to me the other day when a client made the statement that “Lean does not work” and quoted that “the experts state that 70 per cent of Lean initiatives fail”. How to correct your client without them loosing face?

However, many companies have been succesful at implementing Lean change within their organisations but like a lot of things in our world, we would rather talk about the failures more than spotting the successes. Again, perception plays a part, often executives tell me that they want to be like Toyota, forgetting the fact that Toyota have been building their Lean system since the late 1950’s. No Lean system is going to give you Toyota overnight and Lean, like many change initiatives, need to be built on after the consultant/change agent has left.

A programme to deliver change may be measurable but the long-term effect of change is not so easy to put a number on. Often a companies culture is changed enough to build on early successes though it may also be the opposite and early success forgotten as things return to a previous state. Is successful change about training people on the use of tools and methods or is it challenging the culture, the way we interact, behave, and think. 

Before embarking on any change programme think about your culture and whether changing that should be your first step.

6 Tips For Growing Your Business

6 Tips For Growing Your Business

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Growing your business

Growth is essential for all companies if they are to survive. Daily you come across large companies with thousands of employees and million-pound turnovers, but do you ever stop and ask yourself how they got started?
Many of those multi-million-pound companies started in the same place as you and have slowly grown over time. They often didn't have marketing departments, business development executives, nor advertising budgets. Instead, they rose from drive, passion, and tenacity.

 

You may hear stories of technology companies making million-dollar deals before they have even launched a product, but for most of us growing our companies takes hard work. Trying to grow your business is often a significant drain on your resources, whether that be time or money, and this is why you must have a strategy for growth.

 

While you were writing your business plan, you probably dedicated a section to marketing and how you were going to get customers. However, most business plans exist to raise capital and often get ignored once the business is up and running. They are often too big and clumsy to read when faced with the day-to-day of being an entrepreneur.

 

A simple approach can be to use a dry whiteboard, write down any of the 6 points below that you feel are pertinent to you. Devise solutions and use it as a daily/weekly reminder, checking in at least once a week with them to ensure you remain on target.

1. Unique Sales Proposition

Why are you different from your competitors?
Why should I use you or your business?

Being able to answer these two questions can help you develop your USP or unique sales proposition. Let's say you are a tradesperson, e.g., a plumber; do you compete on price alone or your ability to respond to a customer's leaking pipework quickly?

Without a USP or means to differentiate your business, you stand to be just another voice amongst many. It becomes harder to gain new business if you cannot stand out from your competitors. Once you have defined the USP, it can help form the message you want to drive to connect to your customers/clients.

2. Know Your Customers/Clients

What does your ideal customer/client look like, are you selling business-to-business, to the general public or a niche clientele base?

The cleaning of cars has become a multi-million-pound industry, from automated car washes, hand car washes through to valeting there are services provided for all budgets and levels of car ownership. Detailing takes car cleaning to the next level. It removes contaminants in the paintwork that is invisible to the naked eye. Engines are made spotless, and even wheels will are removed to clean their inner side. As you can imagine, detailing isn't cheap and trying to target every car owner with your marketing would prove expensive with poor returns on your investment.

Understanding the customer for such a service is vital. They would not be the average car owner or the DIY car enthusiast who would probably do their own. The target customer for such a service would likely be a wealthy, time-strapped individual, maybe one who has an expensive car that is used only at weekends or special occasions.

Defining your customer allows you to target that market or segment of a market easier.

3. Increase Your Customer Contact

Keeping engagement with your customers is essential if you want them to keep coming back. You should develop a tactic of engagement, whether that is through running competitions, a newsletter or blog, or developing a social media strategy.


Keeping your customers engaged with your brand and aware of existing or new products/services is a great way to generate loyalty.

4. Market Penetration

When talking about revenue streams, the 80/20 split may come into play; this is where 80 per cent of your revenue comes from 20 per cent of your goods/services sold.

You need to understand what products/services make up your revenue stream and their proportions in terms of sales. Your most critical selling items might not be the products/services you are most passionate about, but this exercise gives you an indicator of what your customers/clients want. This insight can help you create a precise marketing campaign around your core products/services, or help you explore how you promote your other revenue streams better.

Selling more into your existing customer base is common for many small businesses and is known as market penetration. Opportunities may present themselves to bundle products/services together, which you may consider selling at a discounted price to make them more attractive.

There may be new and alternative distribution channels. Many software companies look at selling their products through third-party businesses. If you are selling a new ERP system, you may choose to advertise directly to end-users, but finding an engaging these end-users can be time-consuming and costly. Alternatively, you could partner with companies specialising in manufacturing such as consultancies and leverage their points of contact to help promote your product.

5. Market Development

Market development is a term used to describe the opening up of new markets, whether that be through new product development, a further use for existing products, or moving into different regions or territories.
You might, through analysis of your revenue streams, find a new purpose for existing products. Repurposing a product can open new markets for you.


You may have existing products that can have a new lease of life if modified or upgraded. An example of this is Picquot Ware,  commonly used to make teapots, sugar bowls etc. Picqout Ware was originally made by a company called Burrage and Boyd from 1939 until recently. Burrage and Boyd originally made non-electric vacuum clears and wanted to find a use for the waste Aluminium created by its processes. They discovered that by combining the Aluminium with Maganese and utilising their casting and machining skills, they could create an entirely new set of products that would open a completely new market for them.

6. Measure your Effectiveness

I am a big believer in Key Performance Indicator as a way to understand your business and marketing is no exception. If you are spending money on growing your business, then you need to understand the return on your investment.

 

Measuring your expenditure throughout the sales funnel and your subsequent acquisition of customers regularly are vital to controlling costs and understanding what is working or not during your campaigns.

When developing a strategy for growth, consider this point. Can your business and systems adequately handle the new amount of business you intend to generate? Will you need to take on new staff or upgrade your systems to manage. If the answer is yes, then consider the cost before embarking on growth strategies.