There are a million and one ways to grow a business. There’s digital and offline. There’s social media, email, paid search, content marketing, and SEO. And underneath each of these headings, there are thousands of ways to approach promotion. The question is, how do you grow in an organic fashion that gives you the most value in return for your time, energy, and effort?
What is Organic Growth?
To understand what organic growth is, you must first understand what it’s not.
Typically, when a business wants to grow, they take on loans and pay for traffic via advertising and partnerships. They essentially “pay to play.” That would be labeled as artificial growth. (Not that it’s fake, per se, but because it requires a steady influx of cash in order to continue growing.) The ideal goal is to grow in an organic fashion.
Organic growth is growth that occurs naturally and with little or no cost (outside of time and compensation for the team members involved). It’s typically much slower, but the results are sustainable. Even after you stop actively pursuing growth, it happens naturally as a result of the strong foundation that was put into place.
5 Tips for Organic Growth
Organic growth isn’t easy or quick. But if you really want to build a successful business that eventually feeds itself, this is the way to go. Here are a few tips you may find useful:
If you can manage it, the best tip for spurring organic growth is to offer your products or services for free (in the beginning). Whether it’s one week, one month, or even a year, offering your value for free gets people to buy in without having to put anything on the hook. You can grab some customers pretty quickly this way; you’ll just have to find a way to stay afloat until the revenue comes in.
This strategy only works if you’re supremely confident in the quality of your product or service. In other words, it needs to blow people away. That way, when you do decide to start charging, the majority of your customers stay on.
Hire Talented Salespeople
Few hires are more important in the early days of building a business than salespeople. Rather than hiring the cheapest ones you can find – or paying them 100 percent on commission – pony up as much as you can afford. These are the people who will carry your business forward. If they’re good, they’ll be worth every penny.
Get Your Website Ranking
To succeed with organic growth in 2020 and beyond, you must have a well-optimized website that ranks well. This will allow you to pick up free traffic from Google and the other search engines. How do you do that?
- Develop high quality content that adds value to your target audience.
- Build backlinks to your website.
- Invest in high quality SEO.
Getting your website to rank for the search terms you want takes time, but it’s a solid investment that will deliver value over and over again.
Upsell and Cross-Sell
It’s much more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than it is to go out and earn another one. And while it’s important to do both, the best organic growth occurs from upselling and cross-selling the customers you’re already doing business with. Look for ways to make this happen and you’ll reap the rewards.
Educate Your Audience
If you own a business, you’re ultimately in the “trust” game. To grow, you have to convince people to trust you with their time, money, privacy, etc. The number one way to accomplish this is by educating.
Many businesses are afraid they’ll give away too much information, but the truth is that you can’t give away enough. The more value you offer through blog posts, YouTube videos, and courses, the more people will trust you enough to buy from you.
Adding it All Up
Organic growth is slow, tedious, and will make you want to give up at times. But despite the friction, it’s well worth the investment of time and energy. Because, at the end of the day, nothing beats building a business with a solid foundation. No matter what happens in the years to come, you can rest assured that you’ll be around to see it through.