Whilst mergers and acquisitions do matter to company growth, it's easy to overlook the power and potential of organic growth. It may take more time and require more effort, but you could be missing out if you don't nurture organic growth.
Here are 10 tips to increase your business using organic growth initiatives.
- Upsell or cross-sell to customers
- Referrals or offer promotions to existing customers
- Showcase your product at events
- Invest in your website
- Use social media
- Keep your customers happy
- Improve customer services and support
- Know your competition
- Reinvest in your company
- Know the goal and don’t forget who you are
What's an organic growth strategy?
Before we get into the tips, let's quickly cover the basics - such as what is organic growth in business? If you're already clued up on organic growth, jump to the tips by clicking here.
Organic growth in a business relates to the expansion from within by using the business' own resources and capabilities. This growth occurs naturally as a result of maximising output and sales internally. Because of this, organic growth is often the best indicator of a business’s performance.
In a recent McKinsey & Company Survey, there are three strategies of organic growth:
- Invest in products or services that have created growth in the past
- Create new products and services
- Perform on core commercial capabilities
This will help you to work within your means, so you don’t overstretch your resources.
McKinsey & Company found one of the key commonalties of high organic growth companies is having a clearly defined brand and a very distinct organisational culture. In other words, be unique and make your company personality fit your own so that in day-to-day operations, you're always embracing who you are at the core.
The benefits of organic growth
Organic growth builds on your existing strengths, brands and customers and allows growth at a slower, steadier, less disruptive rate. It can often present less risk to businesses than other types of growth.
- Easier to control and manage
- Easier to finance through internal profits and investments
- Less disruptive on staff, operations and productivity
10 organic growth methods you can't ignore
1. Upsell or cross-sell to customers
Focusing on your existing clients can help ensure the future of your business. That's why one of the best ways to grow your business is to sell more products to your existing customers. If you can offer your customer broader solutions, to essentially drive growth, it will differentiate you from the competition.
This might include upgrades, add-ons or new products altogether.
A good way to get your customers to try your new products is to offer it for free as a short trial period or free sample. This lets your customers test your new products without having to commit to any capital outlay and, if the product is good, they'll then make a purchase.
2. Referrals or offer promotions to existing customers
Never underestimate referrals as an organic growth method. Get friends, family and customers to refer potential clients to you. You could even offer an incentive for each referral – such as a prize draw entry or discounts.
3. Showcase your product at events
Don’t assume that your customers know everything about you. So, showcase your other offerings at client events. These social gatherings, where your clients can relax, are a great way to bring other ideas or offerings to their attention.
Done right, social time spent with clients can create loyalty and goodwill, and encourage introductions and referrals.
Industry events are also a great avenue to grow your business. Even if you can only attend a few, they're a great place to get updates on the state of the industry, meet potential new business partners and check out the competition.
Tip: Could you speak at an event? This can boost your brand as an industry thought leader.
4. Invest in your website
Your website is the best advertisement for your business; it's where your potential customers go when they want to learn more about you.
In this digital age, you must keep up with the demands of your customers, so make sure you provide an accessible, user-friendly and informative website.
Tip: Look at your website through the eyes of a customer. What will they want to know? How do they want to be spoken to? What sort of online experience are they expecting?
5. Use social media
Identify which social media platforms your target audience is using and build a presence there. Keep your content regular, varied, interesting and relevant.
However, don’t over-send – you want to be known for providing good content that resonates with your audience, not over-selling.
6. Keep existing customers happy
Don’t lose the customers that you already have. This may sound obvious, but it costs a lot more to make a new customer than to keep an existing one. So, focus on your customer needs to keep them engaged.
In other words, make sure that they're happy.
Have a good Account Management system at your company. Call customers back quickly if they call you and keep in touch as often as they want you to. This doesn't always have to be sales-related contact – send them useful tips and information too.
Every customer counts so make them feel special and uniquely catered for during every contact you make. It's all about providing your customers with additional value. So when you're communicating with your customers, ask yourself how you can help them in other ways than you already have.
Tip: The modern economy is all about experience – from the initial contact to after-sales. If you're going to know exactly what your customers want, you need their feedback. So, use surveys to capture feedback, implement changes based on that and build a network of trust.
7. Improve customer services and support
Listen carefully every time you talk to your customers – they may give away clues to possible opportunities for you. They may be unhappy with the service they are getting from a supplier for a product/service that your company could provide.
You can also find out what your company might be doing badly too. So, always try to improve customer service and support. As we mentioned in the point above, use surveys to learn how your customers are genuinely feeling and implement changes to show you've taken their feedback onboard.
8. Know your competition
Looking at your competitors is an excellent way to grow organically. So, find out who your competitors are and what they offer that you don’t.
- What do you do better than them?
- What are their unique selling points?
- How do you differ?
- What markets are they moving into?
- Who are they hiring?
- What new customers are they winning?
You want to stand out from the crowd but you also want to keep an eye on what they are doing.
9. Reinvest in your company
Reinvesting profits is a sensible way to grow organically. This method can reduce the need for external investors or financial backing or loans. You must use funds wisely, however, to develop key areas of your business.
Reinvest your profits in either improvements or developments to your products or in your staff with either training or new employees. Always cultivate the right conditions whilst keeping a close eye on costs. Ensure new employees are committed to your business and can support the business as it expands.
10. Know the goal and don’t forget who you are
If you don’t know what you're chasing, you won’t know if you get there. So, make sure you stick to your goals and stay true to your business identity.
At first, the shift to organic growth may feel uncomfortable and shaky for established and more traditional companies. If this happens:
- Return to your mission statement – the 'Why' and the 'How' you serve your customers.
- Locate a problem and solve it – delve into a niche with little or no demand yet. It’s still a problem so will you be the first company to provide the solution?
- Find a problem worth solving that inspires you and your team and this will propel you to create an unparalleled advantage for your company. The right problem will help you focus on creating a product or solution that will generate demand where none currently exists.
Inspired to take the first step towards business innovation?
Organic growth is an area you can't ignore when growing your business. Ready to discover a few others? Our business innovation guide covers the role of technology as well, plus tips on how you can get your team's buy-in.
Check it out via the button below.
Alternatively, if you'd like to speak to an expert, we have a whole team of consultants who are experienced in innovating businesses and facilitating growth. Get in touch with us here.