Small businesses are growing at an almost unprecedented rate, with many now being considered to be ‘high growth small businesses’, or HGSBs. These businesses are classified as those with more than 20% annual growth over a three-year period. HGSBs are understood to be the key to a strong economic future, holding the potential to boost skills, productivity, and employment, according to recent forecasting by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Research suggests that small businesses are feeling optimistic about opportunities for future growth, so let’s take a look at just a few of the ways that SMEs are beginning to accelerate their business growth:
1. Greater Investments in Marketing
A study by market research agency B2B International shows that nearly half of all small businesses are expecting to increase their market budget in the near future, suggesting that SMEs are investing more in promotion and advertising, and placing more focus on acquiring new customers. This is something that has often been secondary to customer retention due to the higher costs associated with acquisitions.
Following on from greater investments in marketing, B2B businesses are also thinking about exactly what it is that they’re promoting. The same study found that less than half of SMEs have identified their unique selling point (USP), even though branding is cited as one of the top priorities for businesses. SMEs can accelerate business growth by showing a full and more thorough understanding of their products/services.
3. Increased Customer Analysis
We are beginning to see a shift in focus from products/services themselves to how these products/services could solve problems by placing customers in a more central role in the growth process. Despite the increasingly important role of new acquisitions, customer retention is still vital, and SMEs are spending more time analysing their client base and mapping the B2B buying journey.
With a rapid rise in the number of small businesses, SMEs are subject to more competition than ever before. This competition is sparking the need for new technologies, updated processes, and tailored methods and techniques to gain a competitive advantage. Tactics that are being used include competitive benchmarking, a greater understanding of key performance indicators, and new marketing methods.
5. Technological Transformation
Making the leap from more traditional processes to using advanced technologies is perhaps the most prominent way in which small businesses are accelerating growth. These technologies hold the potential to revolutionise standard processes, allowing businesses to become more effective and efficient, boosting productivity whilst minimising outgoings and creating new opportunities for growth.
Growing Your Small Business
It is important to understand that there are many prerequisites to accelerating business growth, and it is essential for organisations to properly plan the ways in which they hope to develop, and generate a strategy for achieving these goals. Research confirms that 1 in 3 small businesses want to grow, but don’t know how, while 27% are failing to secure finance to carry out their plans. Approach small business growth as a long-term aim, making sure all the pieces are in place to fully succeed.