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What are some effective ways to grow a small business quickly?

Starting a small business takes a certain set of skills. Developing that business takes another. Rapid expansion won’t happen overnight, but here are five quick tips for moving your business forward and accelerating your growth:

Build a sales funnel. What steps do your prospects take before becoming a customer? A sales funnel plots the journey of a potential customer from the moment they discover your brand to when they make a purchase. Your job is to design a marketing and sales program that guides them through this process. Once conceptualized, your sales funnel can be automated for wide-scale use.

Incentivize loyal customers. It costs roughly three times more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing one. That’s why customer loyalty programs are key to profitable growth. Special offers, rewards programs and other incentives can help retain customers, build commitment and increase profitability. You can even use certain point-of-sale systems, such as Clover, to help with your customer loyalty.

Develop strategic partners. Look for companies whose products and services complement your own. If you operate a bakery, for example, consider partners in event planning or restaurants that might sell your goods as desserts. Be creative and propose ways to work together where both sides benefit.

Buy another company. One of the fastest ways to expand your product line or enter a new geographic market is through acquisition. Companies both inside and outside your industry may help fill gaps and allow you to scale up quickly. Your banker should be able to talk you through a variety of financing options.

Seek licensing opportunities. Do you have a novel product idea that others might be interested in marketing or manufacturing? One way to grow is by licensing your product, allowing you to take a share of the revenue. This approach can be especially valuable if your licensees have the resources, customer base and structure to bring your product to market quickly.

The Bottom Line:
There are many ways to scale up a business. Find the ones that best fit your business model, products and goals.

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