We reveal the three ways you can grow your business in uncertain times and why a vast majority of small business owners are already confident they’ll achieve their growth ambitions.
GDPR and Brexit. The topics that never leave the headlines may have caused a time of socioeconomic and political uncertainty in the UK, but one thing’s for sure; they’re going to be game changers for businesses.
You’d think this would be enough to make small business owners uneasy about the future but, according to research, 80% of respondents said they expect a level of growth for their business this year.
So, why are small businesses so confident they’ll grow? Well, between November 2017 and February 2018, UK businesses grew at the fastest rate in two years. It’s an “if they did, why can’t we?” situation. If the evidence is there, there’s no reason why these small businesses can’t follow suit and see their growth plans through.
What’s more, digital technology is advancing faster than ever, with the digital tools needed for growth becoming more and more accessible. With this in mind, here are three ways you can grow your business in uncertain times.
Ecommerce: Grow your online presence
Every business should be expanding their services to the online space. After all, ecommerce is evolving at a rapid pace, with global sales expected to hit £3.2 trillion in 2021. To boost your own sales, you need to start thinking about joining the 90% of SMEs expecting to sell online by the end of 2018, and keeping up with the latest online trends – from mobile commerce to social media.
This is exactly what Cyndy Lessing did when founding her online-only business, SoSensational – an image consultancy for women over fifty. She started her business venture with no digital experience yet, nine years on, she has not only created a strong digital presence for her business but, for her customers too – a demographic that’s not known for being digitally savvy. With her continuing success, Cyndy is a model for how ecommerce can help a business grow.
Product innovation: Grow your target market
Whether it’s developing a new product like, a Smart Home device or improving the performance of an existing service like, a mobile-friendly website – product innovation doesn’t mean your budget has to suffer. In fact, pushing your product offering just that extra mile could lead to a number of rewards such as, customer satisfaction and financial growth.
One of the most prolific business sectors for product innovation is Fintech. For example, mobile-only bank Monzo recently partnered with CreditLadder – the platform adding renters’ monthly payments to their credit history. This partnership proves that by developing a new service from your original product, you can tap into new markets and offer more to existing clients.
International expansion: Grow your customer base
There are a lot of ways to grow your business abroad. But, instead of setting up shop across seas, why not try exporting? It’s the ideal solution for any small business wanting to reach customers outside of the UK in an easy and cost-efficient way. And, the good news is, with international prospects on the rise, 2018 is the year to take action.
Every year The Sunday Times ranks Britain’s fastest-growing international sales in its SME Export Track 100. This year, two Midlands-based companies topped the table. Student discount provider, UNiDAYS, grew overseas sales to £3.3 million in 2017. And, after finding new markets in the US, Middle East and Singapore, software development company, Mercato, grew to £2.9 million in 2016. Both companies prove that there’s a world of business opportunities waiting to be explored. To start your journey, read our guide to exporting.
With so many small businesses preparing for growth and for a rewarding year, it’s time you found the confidence to do the same. Ecommerce, product innovation and international expansion aren’t distant dreams; with digital technology at the heart of your business, they could be your reality and your drivers of success.
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