How do you grow your business when all that you read and see in the news is, FISCAL cliff, Doom & Gloom, imminent financial apocalypse.

In todays business world too many businesses get stuck on the BIG sexy words that corporate businesses love to pedal.

Growth, Fiscal tightening, Gearing, Management re-structuring, No Bonuses!, Financial constraints. ( I am sure that you get the picture!)

My Strategy is plainly more simple (even boring) and encourages the businesses with whom I work, to concentrate on the things that you can control.

1) Retention of Existing Customers-

This is plainly the cheapest and most effective way of making your business grow. It is 3x cheaper to retain a customer than spend thousands of pounds/dollars on acquiring a new customer. Most businesses create offers that are for NEW customers- excluding those customers who have spent their hard earned cash in the past. Ensure that you Look after/ nurture/ maintaining dialogue & most important Create a REASON for your existing customer to return.

There are so many companies in the graveyard of Poor Customer retention. Your organisation must be Customer Centric, Balanced around Maximising Loyalty from your customers and Encouraging ALL resources to making the customer journey (from Online Interface for internet purchases to greetings and outstanding customer service on bricks & mortar stores.

2) Examine your Margins

To make money, you have to either Sell more product and take more money or Pay less for the goods that you purchase.

Ensure that you examine Every Product Line that you sell.

Have a close (sometimes painful) examination of your purchase costs as well as a specific overview of the 2 largest expenses that your business will undertake every month. Namely, Salaries, Bonuses & Cost of Sales (purchases to resell). If you are a manufacturer, look at production costs, line production costs, packaging, what do you outsource and what are you paying for it?

A close and Extensive review of the Margins of your business is a significant commitment. You may not like what you see, but that does not make it wrong to try.

3) Market, Market, Market

This is the most difficult discussion that most business owners have with me when they look to market/grow their businesses.

They comment ” Times are tough, so we have cut back the marketing budget”. When we discuss that decision and realise that the cessation of funding marketing is not the answer, but perhaps a redirection to make the money work smarter ,Our discussions then become constructive and meaningful.

Look at your marketing budget- What do you spend ? What works? What is ineffective? Are you embracing social media? Is your brand coherent and do customers understand your offering?

These are important marketing questions that must be addressed and planned into a marketing plan that has the global view of the business with a speedy ability to change track if necessary.