15 strategies to quickly grow your business

(This article was originally published on entrepreneur.com. It’s been edited for content and style.)

Let’s be honest. Scaling your business is difficult. It takes quite a bit of effort. In the beginning it means wearing different hats. It means dealing with sales and marketing. It means understanding taxes and corporate compliance. It means communicating with customers on a daily basis – and much more. At the end of the day, it takes its toll on you.

If you’re struggling to grow your business, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, it’s hard, but what’s the alternative? Suck a life, 9-to-5 job? Of course not. Okay, maybe you long for the security of a guaranteed salary, but at what mental or emotional cost?

The truth? If you stick with it, clear your head and put things in perspective, you can easily find ways to grow your business and make more money quickly. While there are likely to be hundreds of business growth strategies, the following 15 will take your business to the next level quickly and efficiently.

1. Build a sales funnel

The first way to grow your business quickly is to build a sales funnel. If you don’t have a sales funnel, you’re making a huge mistake. Sales funnels can help automate your business. It helps you scale and grow quickly and easily. Of course, there is some front-end work involved. Clear. But once those processes are in place, it’s a breeze from there.

Frasier says that every sales funnel must be carefully conceptualized before it is created. First of all, consider the different funnels. Whether it’s a free shipping offer or a high-ticket coaching funnel, it’s important to build your automated sales engine to quickly scale and grow your business.

2. Use a customer management system

Manually tracking trades is difficult. Nobody wants to do that. It gets too cumbersome as the company grows. If you want to scale up quickly, use a customer management system. There is plenty of choice. But it really depends on your type of work. There are numerous CMS systems, most of which integrate with other cloud-based services. Find out what works for you and use it.

3. Research the competition

When you go to market and you are really looking to get your offer to the masses, you need to research the competition. There are two platforms that we recommend. The first is Similar Web. The other, AdBeat. Both offer competitive intelligence. It’s your chance for x-rays on all landing pages, ad copy and other stages of the funnel.

It allows you to discover the online strategy of each advertiser. Find the ads that run the longest and emulate them. That’s the fastest way to scale any business. If it’s proven and it works for your competitors, it’s likely it will work for you too.

4. Create a customer loyalty program

Loyalty programs are great ways to increase sales. It costs up to three times more money to acquire new customers than to sell to an existing customer. Other sources pin this number four to ten times more. However you slice it, acquiring new customers is expensive.

Building a customer loyalty program will help you keep customers. It can also help you attract new ones. If there is a clear incentive to spend more money with you, it will pay off in the long run. Build an attractive loyalty program and make it accessible to your existing customers and watch sales skyrocket over time.

5. Identify New Opportunities

Analyze new opportunities in your business by better understanding your demographics. Understand everything from distribution channels to your direct competitors and even an analysis of foreign markets and other potential industries. There are probably dozens of new opportunities that you can take advantage of immediately with the right amount of analysis.

6. Build an Email List

One of the best and most effective ways to grow a business quickly is to build an email list. Obviously that means you need a lead magnet. Why else would people subscribe to your list? And with a lead magnet comes the need for a sales funnel. Look to companies like Aweber, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse, and others for building and managing your list.

7. Form strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships with the right companies can really make a world of difference. This allows you to quickly reach a large number of customers. Identifying those partnerships may be easier said than done. But watch out for companies that are complementary to yours. Contact them and suggest opportunities for collaboration.

8. Leverage Global Platforms

In the e-commerce business of selling products? Why not use Amazon’s FBA service? In the business of selling services? Why not use Upwork? Are you engaged in renting out holiday homes? Why not use AirBnB, InvitedHome, HomeAway or other global platforms? Find a platform that has reached saturation and use it to grow your business quickly.

9. License Agreements

Closing license agreements is a great way to grow your business without too much extra effort. Having a product that you can license to others and share the revenue from is an ideal way to grow quickly. By taking a popular or successful product and bringing it to a company with a large footprint, you can reach market saturation faster.

10. Consider a franchise model

If you have a successful business and you want to grow really fast, consider franchising it. While franchise costs are high and moving to a franchise model is complex and requires a lot of marketing knowledge, it can make all the difference if you’re really looking for rapid growth.

11. Diversify Your Offering Lineup

Look at diversifying your offerings. What additional products or services or information can you offer in your company? To grow you have to think about expansion. Identify new opportunities within your niche. Discover the pain points. What else can you sell to your customers. Where else can you add value in the exchange?

12. Build Passive Income Streams

Growing a business takes a lot of effort. If you’re dealing with paper-thin margins, consider building passive income streams. That way you don’t have to worry about keeping the lights on as it were. Passive income gives you the opportunity to make mistakes and not lose your shirt. It keeps you in business and provides a foundation to grow and market and scale quickly by giving you ample resources.

13. Acquiring Other Companies

Sometimes acquiring other companies is a very quick way to grow your own business. If you can find competitors or companies in other industries that would complement your own industry, you can use them as platforms to scale quickly. Look within your industry and even beyond to find potential for potential opportunities.

14. International Expansion

Can you expand internationally? Can you leverage your existing offerings and scale them internationally? What would it take to do business in Canada or Mexico or Europe? If you have a conversion offer, international expansion can be a quick way to grow. You do incur some costs, though. But the earning potential can be huge.

15. Create a webinar

Webinars are a great way to promote a product or service. It can also help you grow any business relatively quickly. Webinars provide an automated sales tool to literally market any product or service and quickly reach a wide audience. The webinar medium is great for engaging the audience to automatically drive after-sales sales.

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