Actionable Growth Strategies for Small Businesses in India

You have launched your small business; you call the shots and see your business going in the right direction. But, at some point, as a business owner, you encounter this question, How do I grow my business? How do you rise above the crowd and become the market leader in your niche? Growth continues to be the buzzword in the world of business. And this blog provides you, the ambitious entrepreneur, with a localised strategy for growth. I will try to keep it less generic and instead focus on strategies that are relevant to the Indian market.

Observe Your Community

Avoid assuming anything when conducting local market research. You could run focus groups, hand out flyers, or even conduct surveys. Research what the customer wants, analyse their spending patterns and other statistics like age, income, population size, etc. You can learn from the businesses that are already successful in your business by analysing how they cater to their customers.

Try and identify what they are doing right and the gaps they leave. For example, if you are in the food business and you notice that there is a growing population of people who are health-conscious, you could change your offerings accordingly.

Invest in Your People

Never underestimate the impact of knowledgeable employees. I would say, train your employees and offer them training programmes that cover different aspects of your business. Go ahead and teach them basic sales strategies. If you are not able to provide them with in-house training programmes, partner with training centres in your locality.

When each of your employees embraces an ownership culture, your business becomes empowered. Assign them responsibilities, provide and take constructive feedback, and reward every initiative from them. Happiness and employee empowerment lead to excellent customer service, which is essential in today’s competitive market.

One well-known Indian fashion and lifestyle company, Fabindia, places a high value on employee empowerment and training. They spend a lot of money educating their employees about the fine craftsmanship and long history that go into making their goods. This gives them the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer service and instills a feeling of pride and ownership in the staff, which makes the shopping experience for customers more enjoyable.

Optimize Your Operations

Efficiency is critical to the success of any business. Here’s how you can streamline your operations. 

Supply Chain Management: Forge strong relationships with local vendors and suppliers. Strike deals on bulk purchases and create efficient lines of communication to guarantee on-time delivery. To maximise stock levels and prevent product shortages, investigate digital inventory management solutions.

Embrace Technology: Automate repetitive tasks with the help of technology. Take into account online accounting software for more efficient financial management, point-of-sale systems for quicker billing, and even delivery management apps for more efficient logistics.

Bigbasket, the top online grocery store in India, is a prime example of how technology can streamline processes. Their tech-driven platform enables customers to order groceries from the comfort of their homes, and they make use of a strong network of local suppliers. Timely deliveries are guaranteed by their efficient supply chain, which makes them a popular option for working urban families.

8 Strategies for Growth

An entrepreneur once told me, “I asked my son to run the family business.” The son refused to do so. He refused because he had seen my struggles for the past fifteen years and knew that I was struggling. He never saw the company grow. If your business is not growing, it is of no use to you or those around you.”

These words are full of truth. Disinterest grows from stagnation. You must welcome growth if you want to keep your company exciting for everyone—employees, customers, and yourself alike. Here are eight key strategies to consider:

Market Penetration:  Let’s say you have a product or service and there is a market for it. Market penetration is the process of reaching a wider audience within the same industry with the same good or service. This can be accomplished with the aid of aggressive marketing campaigns, loyalty programmes, or the launch of new product bundles.

Consider a small spice shop that sells a wide range of high-quality spices but primarily serves individual customers who buy them for home cooking. To increase sales and market penetration, the spice shop owner could use strategies like bulk discounts, gift baskets, cooking demonstrations, or online ordering.

Product/Service Modification: Another strategy is to sell your goods or services by making minor adjustments in response to changing client demands. Think about introducing new, more compact, and more reasonably priced versions of your current products, or offering upgrades.

For example, to cater to a growing number of health-conscious customers, a local bakery could offer healthy snack options like sugar-free muffins or multigrain cookies in addition to their regular menu.

New Product/Service: Do not be scared to try new things! Create completely new goods or services to expand your clientele and enhance your current lineup.

An example of this would be a clothing store that would grow beyond just selling clothes to include personal styling consultations and tailoring services.

New Geographical Area: After you have made a name for yourself locally, think about branching out into other cities or areas. You can expand your consumer base and reach a larger market by doing this.

For instance, a well-known restaurant chain in Bhopal might expand by opening franchises in Indore or Gwalior, two more major Indian cities.

Segment Invasion: Find a new market segment that has requirements that your present products could fill. By doing this, you can increase your reach without having to totally redesign your good or service.

For instance, a company that serves well-established businesses might target startups that need varying degrees of support by providing a customised version of their services.

Diversification: This is a strategy that involves introducing entirely new products or services to a completely different customer segment. While it carries a higher risk, it also has the potential for significant growth.

Example: To expand into a new market niche, a producer of office furniture might start producing furniture for homes.

Strategic Alliance: It can be advantageous to collaborate with companies that offer complementary services. By utilising one another’s advantages, you can expand your consumer base.

For example, a vintage clothing store and a reputable tailor who specialises in alterations could collaborate to provide customers looking for a perfect fit on pre-owned items with on-site tailoring services.

Mergers and acquisitions: In this strategy, you merge with a competitor or acquire another company in your industry. This can be an effective way to increase market share and gain access to new resources.

For example, two local grocery chains might combine to form a bigger, more competitive company with more purchasing power and a greater range of products.

Long-term success requires a growth mindset

Remember, growth is a journey, not a destination. You can grow your small business into a thriving national brand by using these growth strategies, staying up to date with customer needs, and conducting ongoing market analysis. Try new things, be open to change, and most of all, never put out the flames of growth!

This is only the start of a blog. Watch this space for more posts where we will delve into each growth strategy in more detail, look into more Indian company success stories, and give you the know-how and resources you need to take over the Indian market!