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Sme Organic Growth (1)

Three ideas for organic growth

Growing your business can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. Developing your existing customers is a good place to start. We’ve put together three areas which will deliver good results.

by Credit Passport

A finance injection or new customer acquisition will of course introduce valuable funds into your SME. But, before you seek out a loan or invest in costly new lead generation, ask yourself this question...Have you developed your existing customers as far as you can?

In fact, countless studies have shown that the biggest opportunity for SME growth is from organic relationships. After all, you’ve already spent significant giving them great customer service and decent product. They know and trust you as a provider so it’s not a massive leap to get them to spend more with you. Even if you’ve heard our words of wisdom below before, there is no harm in reviewing your performance and challenging your team (or yourself!) to see if you are making the most of the opportunities presented.

The team here at Credit Passport has put together three areas for you to consider if you want to develop business with your existing clients;


Reward customers/clients for their loyalty

The happier your clients, the more secure your business. Of course the quality of your delivery is the most important factor in this, if customers don’t get the service/product they pay for, they’re going to get frustrated and look elsewhere. But the benefits of a bit of schmoozing or client entertainment should not be underestimated. Whether it’s an incentives, special offer or a reward for loyalty, these little gestures go a long way to build enduring relationships with customers.

Of course if you’re running an online business or a product based operation, you won’t want to take every customer out to lunch. But a well timed offer code or discount for loyalty will keep you front of mind.

For the more service based SMEs, or those selling higher priced items, events and hospitality are an effective way to grow your relationships. Sports games, restaurants, theaters, gigs are all great ways to show that you care. But beyond the traditional entertainment approach, how else can you add value to your customers. Could you facilitate a networking event to help them grow their contacts book? Could you help them secure some media coverage with a well placed jointly-produced article. Or could you work with them 1:1 to introduce new product lines or services. Could you contribute to their chosen charity? Explore ideas with your team, particularly those who have lots of face to face time with customers.

The biggest opportunity for SME growth is from organic relationships

OPTIMISE your customer data

Data is king. There is no doubt about it. So if you haven’t yet implemented a robust customer relationship management platform (CRM) now is the time.  Even smaller SMEs will benefit from the core offering of many of the CRM systems that are available today. For the larger business, systems with more complex tools (such as automated empty basket email triggers) will help to drive sales without the need for any staff input.  A robust data management strategy will provide value and opportunities for growth. As the number of spreadsheets decrease from your server, you will be wondering why you hadn’t done this before!

From managing GDPR preferences to creating sales funnels and managing customer communications, a robust data management strategy will provide value and opportunities. In fact you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t done this before! For the SME, there are a host of options available with differing levels of support and tools. You’ll need to weigh the benefits of entry versus enterprise level subscriptions and also the number of users available to you. It’s tempting to go for the all singing or dancing CRM, but it might be sensible to consider entry-level tools if this is your first foray into this world in case it becomes overwhelming.


LISTEN to your market

No doubt you will already have a robust implementation plan in place to roll out new products and services over the coming months. Line extensions, new products and more profitable services will help to grow your business.  If you don’t already, take time to understand the challenges, pressures and needs of your clients - get to know what it is that they really want from a supplier. And then respond to these needs with products and services that support their growth. Consider regular face to face meeting with your large clients, distribute regular client surveys (with incentives to drive responses) or embed the principle of insight development with your client-facing staff.

This doesn’t have to be a scientific approach, just checking in and discussing the challenges they’re facing and actions you can take to support them will provide you with valuable insights. For example offering better payment terms you could secure larger orders. Introduce new lines which are currently fulfilled elsewhere to give you an exclusive supplier status. Ask if they’re tendering out bigger contracts? A good business credit score will help increase your chances of winning blue chip clients by demonstrating your stability and resilience. So think big and be confident.

To find out more about what a business credit score is and how it can help to grow your business and win more customers, read up on, or get your business credit score for free here.

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