Steve Kaplan's Blog

April 11, 2011

Growth Strategies: keep it simple

Filed under: Steve Insight — stevekaplan @ 11:48 am

When thinking about growth, many businesspeople equate “complicated” with “powerful.” This is a beginner’s mistake. Over the years, I’ve heard, seen and studied many plans for growth, and the best plans are usually the simplest ones. Complexity in planning is often unnecessary, sometimes even counterproductive.

In my direct experience- which includes tons of business growth and, yes, a few disasters as well- there are two, and only two, possible growth strategies:

1. Vertical Growth. Focusing on your current customers and getting them to buy new products or services.

2.  Horizontal Growth. Finding new customers to buy existing products and services.

Below is a bit more information about each strategy. If you want to learn more about these strategies, check out Be the Elephant, here.

Vertical Growth Strategy: these tactics will help you identify new offerings for your business:

1. Sell more of the same products or services to existing customers. Consider hiring more salespeople or changing your sales policy or commision structure to motiavate your sales team.

2.  Extend your line to offer current customers a new product or service that either complements or upgrades a product or service you’ve already been offering.

3.  Develop entirely new products or services to appeal to your existing customers’ demographic and psychographic profiles.

Horizontal Growth Strategy: These are two manu options available. Keep in mind: you must be prepared to modify your product line to suit your new target customer’s needs.

1. Expand the geographic reach of your business, but sell the same product. In other words, you’re looking for the same sort of people, but in a new neighborhood, state or region.

2. Sell to different types of customers in the same geographical area.

That’s all for now.




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