Turning a large or small business into a bigger one is never easy. But our new technological reality can give you powerful examples and ideas of sustainable business growth strategies with existing opportunities for a strong competitive advantage.
You might be amazed by the great variety of sources and types of strategies to help you grow your company.
From financial to sales and marketing business growth models and examples, you have numerous ways to significantly improve your performance or even to make the next breakthrough expansion.
On this page:
- 17 ideas of strategies of business growth (with real-world examples)
- Infographics in PDF
First, let’s explain what is a growth strategy in business.
It is clear that the final goal is to make greater sales and revenue. However, a successful growth strategy is much more than this.
It allows you to gain a sustainable competitive advantage, helps you to communicate the value of your products, keeps your teams working towards goals, allows you to reach new markets, and reduce the risks.
To be successful a growth strategy, you need to harness many sectors of your business such as marketing, finance, operations, and R&D.
A growth strategy usually starts by collecting ideas and accessing new opportunities.
Here we collected a list of powerful, advanced, and innovative ideas for business growth strategies to get you inspired:
1. Innovation Strategy
One of the eldest keys to any successful business is being able to come up with new or unique ideas to keep offers fresh.
Bringing those ideas to reality means you are creating innovation.
Today, every business claims to be super innovative and modern. So, you have a much greater task in trying to provide a product or service that will benefit customers with new values.
Now, making innovations is one of the most sustainable paths to growth because people constantly want more new solutions and products with super capabilities.
Innovations are just critical to success!
A successful innovation strategy can increase workplace productivity, make people remember your brand, help you unlock value, create a way for creative thinking in your organization, and make you stand out from the crowd.
Among the best world-famous examples of companies that never stop innovating are: Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Tesla, Nike, P&G, Hewlett Packard, Alibaba to name a few.
Let’s take Samsung – a global leader in technology, batteries, and chip design. Their innovations seem to be endless.
They have the first bendable OLED screen, the first ultrathin double-sided LCD, and etc. Samsung always displays outstanding design and engineering within a cutting-edge technology.
How To Innovate? Some Ways And Ideas:
- Be ready to invest money in research and development activities
- Observe customers and ask them for ideas
- Use difficulties and complaints as a starting point for innovations
- Watch the competition
- Ask your staff for ideas
- Recruit innovative people
- Don’t just do innovations, stand out there
- Innovate not only your products but your workplace also
2. Legendary Customer Service And Post Sales Care
Customers today are more likely than ever to require a good service. That’s why creating a customer care plan is one of the most powerful examples of competitive advantage today.
The possibility to create exceptional and memorable customer service is available to almost any business if it truly cares about their customers’ experience.
Unhappy customers won’t grow your organization. Quite the opposite.
Don’t just sell to customers. Offer them also outstanding post-sales customer care and support. View your organization as a constant way of delight for your customers.
Guide them on an enjoyable and a memorable customer journey.
For example, the online shoe retailer Zappos is delivering one of the best service experience. They respond to customer emails at an unbelievably fast speed. They don’t argue about returns.
And they even shop at other stores for customers when they want something particular that is not in Zappos stock.
How To Provide Outstanding Customer Service? Some Ways And Ideas:
- Give your customers a platform to express themselves (e.g. live chat on your website)
- Perform marketing intelligence to understand your customer’s preferences, experiences, and habits
- Build a reward scheme into your customer care strategy
- Always ask for feedback
- Show respect and listen carefully. Train your staff to do this.
- Respond as quickly as possible
- Always think that your customer is for life
To succeed in our business space where almost every market is crowded, the trick is not being first — it’s being unique as well as hard to copy.
If you can’t be unique, there’s no reason for customers to buy from you instead of your competitors.
To be unique you should find a way to be different and even much better than everyone else. Your business shouldn’t be a cliche.
A unique product provides features and benefits with unique value to customers.
For example, Tesla Motors is unique because it is not just selling cars but also offers new technologies. Choosing Tesla Motors involves choosing a new powerful technology.
Tesla creates and dominates the market for luxury, long-range electric automobiles. However, this market is different from the market for less expensive electric vehicles as well as from the market for luxury gas-powered vehicles. It is a unique proposal.
How your business operates defines how unique it is.
How To Make Your Business Unique:
You can create uniqueness in many aspects of your business:
- In the quality of your work
- In the prices
- In the delivery process
- In a personal connection with your customers
- In superlative support, and etc.
For many leading companies offering simple products is one of the key ways to grow and to do better than their competitors. Google’s search engine, Apple’s white earbuds, and WhatsApp messenger are just a few of the products that provide great and world-famous simplicity.
Today, less is more. Simple products or processes save people time, efforts, and nerves.In our noisy and dynamic life, people are desperate for automated and super simple products that require very little attention. Click To Tweet
Making simple products that make the customer’s life easier is one of the modern business growth strategies that work effectively.
Aldi, the world-famous German-based grocer provides a straightforward shopping experience without confusing customers with complex promotions – this is central to Aldi‘s simplicity.
The company puts efforts into understanding what size variants their audience wants and offers only the range that their customers really need.
The ability to save customers’ time and money while shopping is a vigorous competitive advantage as thus the customers can spend more time and money with friends and family.
How To Provide Simplicity? Ways And Ideas:
- Invest in cutting-edge technology
- Make use of automation
- Achieve simple product design
- Create a user-friendly interface
5. Talent Acquisition And Management
There’s one thing that all the top companies in every industry have: talent.
The best companies have the best employees. Thereby those companies can deliver the best products and services.
No matter which sector you are working in, you should see people as your most valuable asset.
Talented passioned persons committed to their career are the applicants you want to hire.
SAS employer-of-choice and talent management strategy are breathtaking with outstanding results. They have been on 60 Minutes for excellent employee practices more times than any other company.
They are famous with a great range and variety of benefits that bring in an industry-leading turnover rate.
Tips And Ways For Talent Management
- Find, hire, and train talents
- Create an attractive culture for talents to retain them
- Use talent forecasting and talent management systems
- Create a rewarding system for high-performing employees
- Develop the job description and key roles
- Provide opportunities for the staff
- Help for self-motivation
- Provide a workplace where employees are free to express their ideas
6. Business Intelligence
This is one of the most powerful, innovative, and sustainable business growth strategies nowadays.
In recent years, data analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) has become a key advantage for all businesses that want to reach the next level.
BI is a process based on technology that allows you to analyze data and turn it into actionable information you can use for successful data-driven decision-making.
Today, BI is critical for business success as it allows you to understand customer behavior, to spot buying patterns and sales trends, optimize processes, and even predict sales, and financial results.
There are many BI and data mining examples.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (the famous American restaurant chain with more than 2400 locations globally) switched to a BI software that allows them to gain a centralized view of all restaurant operations.
Before that, their disparate data sources didn’t allow teams to see a unified view of restaurants. With the new BI solution, they are able to track operational effectiveness on a national scale.
As a result, the speed of report delivery has tripled and saved thousands of hours. Moreover, now Chipotle can obtain understandings to the next level.
How To Implement And Leverage BI? Ways And Ideas:
- Employ a Chief Data Officer (CDO) and specialists with the right data scientist skills and qualifications
- Choose the right software tools for your business such as customer intelligence tools, BI reporting tools, etc.
- Define ways to collect data
- Implement data management best practices in your organization
- Use the services of the top data mining companies
- Clean your existing data
- Develop a “Data Dictionary”
7. Content Marketing
This is one of the most exciting, powerful, and sustainable business growth strategies you can create today.
An unimaginable number of consumers are looking online for products, services, and solutions every second. And if you could position your business in front of them, then you’d have a tremendous competitive edge.
How to put your business in front of online customers? With a strong content marketing strategy!
Content marketing allows you to attract, engage, and delight customers by delivering valuable content. It has many types and forms such as blog, social media posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, how-to-guides, webinars, email marketing, and etc.
Content marketing is able to drive your sales by giving your customers what they need while they are actively searching for it online.
So many businesses take their marketing campaigns to the next level by providing quality blog posts, vigorous social media messages, engaging videos, exciting webinars, etc.
For example, Charmin (the toilet paper brand) has a unique and one of the best content marketing examples. Charmin created an app for their customers called Sit or Squat. They built a robust social media campaign around this app to populate it.
With the app, users can review and rate each public restroom on cleanliness. Thus, people can check the nearest toilets around them to see if they are clean or not.
It allows consumers to take part in the content experience themselves.
The content is creative and comical. It shows you how to create awesome content that gets to the heart of your customer’s challenges and provide a simple and effective solution.
Tips For Successful Content Marketing
Creating a sustainable content marketing strategy involves activities such as:
- Define the best content channels for your business
- Define the best content types and forms
- Hire content marketing experts
- Create a content calendar
- Set an outstanding blog with valuable and helpful content
- Create case studies
- Use content marketing software, etc.
8. Craftsmanship As A Strategy
Believe it or not, craftsmanship still matters in our digital world and become to gain sustainable power. Craftsmanship is in demand more than ever.Now, it seems like everything we purchase is mass-produced. Thereby, people are hungry for craft or something truly unique. Faster isn’t always better. Click To Tweet
In addition, today’s generation is starving for authentic – be it searching for organic foods, handmade goods, or celebrating artistry.
If you choose to create a craftsmanship strategy, you should devote your business to a tradition of excellence – to offering creative, unique, and even breathtaking products.
Harley-Davidson (motorcycles) is one of the most popular examples of how a craftsmanship strategy work as providing an exceptional and sustainable competitive advantage works.
Today, nearly every person recognizes the classic chopper style of a Harley.
Ways To Boost Your Craftsmanship Strategy
- Create something that is perceived as being special, unique, unusual or exceptional
- Achieve perfection through the mastery of detail
- Offer products that evoke a feeling of intimacy and harmony
- Set quality as your top priority
- Give your products a genuine, unconventional, and original appeal
- Showcase your products’ craftsmanship online
9. The Strategy Of Speed and Time
As technology speeds almost every aspect of our lives, It seems that we customers are addicted to instant gratification.
We want an immediate connection, immediate satisfaction and require everything to be delivered now.
The instant-gratification culture is here to stay and you can use it to build a sustainable business growth strategy.
In business, speed can be of different types such as speed to market, speedy delivery, or speedy service. You just need to do something faster than the competition.
Amazon Prime, UberEATS, and Jimmy John’s are just a few examples of companies that gain a powerful competitive advantage via making the speed their major priority.
How To Provide Speed? Ways And Ideas:
A Speed strategy might require activities such as:
- Shorten your production and your time-to-market
- Implement shorter life cycles
- Use faster and cheaper production technologies
- Utilize new delivery channels, etc.
It is human nature to always search for reliability. The thing we like most is the reliable one.
Every day we demand reliable cars that save money on repairs, reliable cell phone service to stay connected, reliable vendors who deliver on time, reliable restaurants with quality food, and etc.
Serving customers reliably is one of the ever modern competitive advantages and keys to business growth strategies.
We all know the results of dealing with unreliable companies. They cost us time, money, stress, and frustration.
For example, Toyota and Lexus are so popular for their reliability that they go on a kind of another realm compared to the competition.
Toyota maintains its product updates simple, without trying to do complicated things at once with the new models. More complexity sometimes means less reliability.
How To Make Your Business Reliable? Ways And Ideas:
- Build and inspire reliable teams
- Create reliable services and products
- Ensure fast response to business emails or customer phone calls
- Invest in manufacturing high-quality products
- Commit to achieving the highest level of safety
With the rise of new technologies, customers are always on demand for improved products that make their life more happy, easy, interesting or adventurous. And providing these products requires creativity.
Having a creativity-oriented company culture can fuel your business success and reshape your company.
Zappos (the famous shoes e-commerce business) is a great example of a company that has an outstanding creative corporate culture.
Zappos is known for its happiness at work corporate culture. The core values of Zappos are very inspiring. Here are 2 of them: “Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit” and “Pursue Growth and Learning”.
Also, the employees evolve in a fun working environment that strongly encourage their creativity.
Ways To Build And Maintain Creativity:
- Invest in identifying, measuring, and maintaining human organizational creativity
- Identify your most creative employees and inspire them
- Nurture and reward the creative efforts in your company
- Ensure a supportive culture for creativeness
- Encourage your staff to be open to opportunities
- Empower your team to solve customer problems
12. Competitive Market Research And Competitive Intelligence
Competitor marketing research is the process of collecting and analyzing information about your current and potential competitors and market trends.
Now it’s easy to do! Even with the help of some free online competitor analysis tools, you can track everything your competitors do – from product to people to promotions.
It allows you to find out what is working for other businesses in your industry and to spot the market opportunities. Thus, you can make the most effective business growth strategies and gain competitive advantages.
Competitive market research combined with marketing intelligence will give you insight into improving multiple aspects of your overall business results.
Also, they provide you with info about the industry you’re in — its highlights, new players and old established companies, innovations and disasters.
The leading companies cleverly harvest the benefits of someone else’s successes or failures. Google carefully pays attention to the mistakes in Yahoo’s UI.
Uber exploited the public enthusiasm for Lyft. Apple redefined the mobile market — a category which Motorola pioneered.
How To Do Competitive Maret Research?
- Use powerful web competitive intelligence tools
- Identify areas to spy on your competitors such as their products, employees, marketing campaigns, SEO strategies, etc.
- Evaluate the content on the competitor website such as blog posts, white papers, eBooks, videos, podcasts, press releases, case studies, etc.
- Research social media posts of your competitors
- Become a customer of your competitor and purchase competitor products
- Survey competitor customers
- Ask your new customers who they used before, and why they turned to you
13. Go Green Strategy
Consumers all over the world are becoming more and more passionate about protecting the planet. A going green business strategy shows your customers you don’t put profits ahead of the environment.
Today clients are ready to pay more for products and services that support the green cause.
If you go green, everything your company does should reflect its sustainability values. You cannot claim to be sustainable while doing some unsustainable activities.
On its website, The Body Shop clearly identifies its values.
They are against animal testing; defend human rights; protect the planet, and The Body Shop lives up to these values.
Its message helps the company stand out from the crowd.
Some Ways To Go Green:
- Make green thinking a part of your company culture
- Do business with green vendors
- Get some relevant certificates like Leaping Bunny Certification, etc.
- Host a fundraising event
- Make your office more environmentally friendly
14. Leverage Global Platforms
Are you an e-commerce business that sells products online? If yes, why not use Amazon’s FBA service to extend your potential audience and to reach global customers?
Or maybe you are in the business of renting vacation homes? Then you can use and leverage platforms like Airbnb, InvitedHome, HomeAway to help you grow your business.
Leveraging global, proven, and world-famous platforms is one of the quickest business growth strategies you can use easily without many efforts or investments.
Find a platform relevant to your business and industry and use it to grow your business effortlessly. Today online platforms have tremendous power because they connect buyers with businesses, unlock new supply and demand streams and allow you to gain valuable market insights.
How To Leverage Global Platforms?
- Decide which platform fits your business the best – Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Uber, Upwork, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.
- Create marketing strategies, messages, and efforts relevant to the platform
- Analyze the performance and results on each platform
- Read and follow best practices and guides on how to use the platform successfully
15. Create Strategic Partnerships
Do you know why small as well as large businesses create long-lasting strategic partnerships with other companies? It is not only because “two heads are better than one”.
There are many other reasons. For example, strategic partnerships can give you access to additional resources such as software and a large social media following.
The alliance also grows your customer base and help you reach new markets, whether that is geographically or otherwise.
The partnership between Google and Luxottica is a spectacular example of this.
Tech giant Google and luxury eyewear business Luxottica partnered to build Google Glasses – a great new solution. Their alliance has allowed Google to reach the fashion market, and Luxottica the tech market.
How To Create Strategic Partnerships?
- Consider and estimate different types of partnership such as strategic marketing partnership, financial alliance, technology partnership and etc.
- Be clear on the value you want to receive and the value you can provide to your partner
- Understand why your potential partners want to connect
- Work from a shared vision and principles
- Aim for proactive communication
16. Reputation Management
A reputation can break or make a business. People depend on the opinions of others. Companies with a good reputation are trusted the most.
A positive reputation has enormous power. It allows a company to keep its best people, attract and retain customers, win higher trust, minimize the risk, and enter new markets easily.
We all know how easily a reputation can be changed today – online – with some customer comments, reviews or blog posts. Every day, people review businesses from 1 to 5 ratings and comment on social media posts.
So, managing a good reputation is one of the must-have business growth strategies. Your reputation management should be solid and strong.
Sony, the Japanese conglomerate manages its reputation greatly with strengths such as top-notch customer service; generous charitable activities that focus on the arts, culture, technology and the environment; and a trailblazing product range.
How To Maintain A Great Reputation?
There are many ways you can maintain a great reputation. For instance:
- Always be honest, reliable, act with integrity, meet deadlines, and accept responsibility for your actions
- Join professional groups and boards, go to industry events, speak at public events, give guest lectures
- Help customers reach their goals
- Provide top-notch customer service
- Be dedicated to charity
- Makes products with outstanding quality
- Create a blog with professional, helpful, valuable, and inspirational content
- Be active on Social Media
- Ask your customers to write reviews
- Publicly respond to customer complaints
- Use tools that monitor your reputation
- Create an outstanding website
17. Focus on Certifications And Awards
What certifications do you have that prove your skills? What awards do you have?
These questions are becoming more and more important nowadays. Why?
Because certifications and awards validate your business. They are a form of insurance of who you are and what you are doing.
Subsequently winning awards makes your company shine and provide benefits such as boosting your reputation, attracting new customers and new employees, improving company morale, and increasing customer loyalty.
There are many types of awards your business can win. They are in categories like service, ethics, growth, employment excellence, community service, leadership, products, etc.
Many leading companies have some of the most important and prestigious industry awards.
For example, a great part of the business growth strategies of IBM is winning a long list of awards and recognitions.
Being one of the most awarded companies worldwide, IBM manages the brand to be highly esteemed and valued by clients, employees, and the general public worldwide.
Tips To Win Business Awards?
- Be smart about which awards you want to win
- Identify your strengths and find some appropriate awards
- Follow all instructions and rules
- Provide the judges a solid proof of any claims you make
- Demonstrate that your product has great potential and that the business is sustainable
- Be confident
- Never duplicate
- Be different
Practically, there are a vast number of sustainable business growth strategies to choose from.
You just need to select the plan that best fits your unique company!
Once your organization define and plan its growth path, you are ready to succeed in our vigorous changing environment.
Of course, it is not easy to create long-term value with limited resources, but every long way starts with a simple step, an idea, and great motivation.
Although sustainable growth is one of the biggest challenges any business faces, never stop improving your capabilities, both as individuals and as organizations.
Thus soon or later, you will be rewarded.
What do you think? Which strategies for business growth work the best today?
Silvia Vylcheva has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing world – which gave her a wide business acumen and the ability to identify and understand different customer needs.
Silvia has a passion and knowledge in different business and marketing areas such as inbound methodology, data intelligence, competition research and more.