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Diversify your small business for growth

Johannesburg, 14 May 2021
Read time 3min 00sec

Traditionally, businesses diversify in order to grow, which we all agree with. Survival mode is temporary, while the pandemic’s impact on human behaviour could actually be long lasting. It’s time to rethink the way we do business during and after the pandemic. 

Try these five tips to diversify for growth in the year ahead:

1. Diversify your products/services

Bring in change. The current state of affairs requires companies to pivot their business model so as to be more sensitive to a lockdown society’s wants, fears, needs, etc. But this is a similar requirement that ‘growth’ asks of businesses in general. So instead of seeing it negatively as a means to only survive this wave, see it as a positive, and pivot to improve sales! 

Consider selling online or delivering products to homes, if you haven’t been doing this already. If you bring a service to someone's home, ie, a plumbing service, be vocal about your health protocols to ensure peace of mind, but also start selling products that would make sense for you to sell, ie, drain cleaner, antiseptic bathroom or home cleaner. 

2. Diversify your audience

Just because you’ve spent years marketing a particular product or service to a specific audience, doesn’t mean you need to focus new products or services solely on this audience too. Grow your audience, and thereby grow your profits. 

It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in.

Mackenzi Lee 

Are you a florist who specialises in weddings? Then start arranging for other events too, or why not target the corporate market by doing spectacular arrangements for company reception areas? Do you have a shop in a local mall? Take your business online and increase your local delivery area to include other suburbs.

3. Diversify your marketing messages

In tougher times, people tend to focus more on those ‘must-haves’ rather than 'nice to haves’. Should your shop or business sell more of the latter, then it is time to diversify your marketing approach. People might not need what you sell but they still want and deserve a treat, so tell them why they should indulge themselves with your products and services. 

Consider ramping up your marketing efforts to be more authentic, and to be more vocal about what you stand for, and why your customers should continue to buy from you. Bring in a loyalty programme, offer freebies, run promotions, etc, to keep customers returning.  

4. Digitise your business

If you haven’t started making use of software or ticketing systems to streamline internal and external productivity, start rethinking this immediately. Digitising your business operations enhances communication between staff members and customers, automates certain mundane tasks (saving time and effort) and eliminates errors. 

Get a Web site, if you haven’t already. Consider a program like Microsoft Teams for internal communication and video conferencing, Asana for project management, Quickbooks for accounting, VOIP for voice calls, etc. is a South African domain name Registrar and Web site hosting provider offering value-added products and services like Site Builder, a DIY Web site builder to help its customers get online quickly, efficiently and, most of all, maintain a professional image.   

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