Time flies: We’re halfway through the year! Would you like to double your business growth before 2018 is over? It’s more achievable than you might think if you follow these 3 steps.

1. Get Better Leads

Getting more leads may seem like the secret to doubling your business growth. After all, if you get twice as many leads, shouldn’t that mean twice as many sales? Not necessarily. For instance, if your marketing agency targets midsize businesses as clients, getting lots of leads from small businesses won’t do you much good.

The real secret to doubling your business is focusing on attracting leads that fit your target customer profile. These leads are more likely to convert to customers, making them more valuable and more profitable.

Here’s how to start getting better leads:

  • Study your best customers. Your best customers aren’t necessarily those who spend the most money; they’re the ones who are most profitable. What do your best customers have in common? This might include location, gender, age, income and marital status for consumers, or location, size, industry and revenues for business customers.
  • Identify how you got your best customers. How did they learn about your business? What types of marketing attracted them? What calls to action convinced them to contact you? For instance, you might find that most of your best customers learned about you through content marketing, social media, or pay-per-click advertising.
  • Create a profile of those customers. Use that information you collected about who and how to develop a profile of your ideal target customer/s (you may have more than one kind of target customer), the best marketing and advertising methods for reaching them, and the most effective calls to action for converting them.

Customer relationship management or marketing automation software can help you manage your leads for better results. VB Insight reports that 80% of companies  that use marketing automation software generate more leads; 77% of those convert more leads.

2. Get your existing customers to buy more

Did you know the probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer?

Your existing customers offer an amazing opportunity to grow your business.

Here are some ways to grow your revenue with the customers you already have:

  • Start a customer loyalty program to incentivize customers for buying more often or making bigger purchases.
  • Proactively upsell customers by suggesting more expensive items they can purchase. Bundle products and/or services to get customers to spend more money.
  • Add value with “extras” that enable you to charge more. Same-day delivery, extended warranties, or priority customer service are examples of ways to add value.
  • Set up a subscription program where customers automatically receive products every month. Offering a slight discount over purchasing month-to-month can encourage sign-ups.
  • Cross-sell customers on related products or services.
  • Add new distribution channels. Can you start selling products online? For example, customers may buy more often if they can place orders easily on your website instead of talking to a salesperson.
  • Automate a marketing campaign that reaches out to customers with news about new products, services or special offers of interest to them.
Customer retention
Conducting customer research and focus groups are great ways to invest in customer retention

3. Invest in customer retention

Keeping your existing customers satisfied is a simple way to grow your business. According to Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can generate between 25% and 95% more profit.

Start by delivering outstanding customer service. If your confident that you’re doing that, stay in touch with your customers to see how they feel about your business. Customer feedback is incredibly valuable so take advantage of it and ask for it often. Conduct in-person focus groups, send out customer surveys, and touch base with your customers regularly.

If you’re an SMB2B (a small business selling to other businesses), stay on top of what’s going on at your customers’ companies. Monitor news and social media chatter to get insights into what they need.

Finally, let your existing customers know how you can help them. Keep them updated on new products or services, new capabilities and developments in your business that can make their lives easier.

Money matters

As you use these tactics to grow your business, keep an eye on your cash flow, and managing it carefully and efficiently.

As your business grows, things will almost certainly change. More sales might require more cash outlay for staff, materials or inventory. Set up a source of cash you can use to fund growth or handle the unexpected. Consider getting a business line of credit now so you’ll be prepared, no matter what the future holds.

Best of luck to you and your business in the second half of 2018!

Rieva is a small-business contributor for Fundbox and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. She has spent 30+ years covering, consulting, and speaking to small businesses owners and entrepreneurs.