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Growing and Developing Your Side Hustle

Hustling on the side is increasing popular and chances are you are either interested in starting one, or have recently started!

If you're searching for ways to expand your business, before you rush out and try to come up with new goods, services, or capacity, check to see if there are any gold nuggets hidden inside your current operations. Find out which of the four growth strategies is relevant to you.

Focus on Your Best Customers

It’s often accepted that it’s easier to sell more to your existing customers than to find new ones. They may know you personally, understand the way your business works, how to order and unless something goes dramatically wrong, are unlikely to switch to someone new.

Sell more to your existing customers by:

  • Calling customers to re-order. It’s proactive and often leads to more sales

  • List your best customers (those who pay on time, order in large volumes, buy high margin items) and set up a regular promotion cycle (direct contact, e-newsletters, special offers, discounts for buying in bulk, early notification of new products or services)

Develop a Growth Marketing Plan

The most obvious ‘new’ customers are those that look a lot like your existing good customers, as they should have similar needs and therefore need less convincing. Identify where these potential customers may be and develop a plan to get in front of them.

A few options include:

  • Finding new contacts within your networks

  • Adding content customers need to your website to build leads

  • Posting in the social media channels your customers visit

  • Optimising your website for search engines to increase traffic

  • Buying online advertising

Find New Ways to Sell

Changing the way you do business can sometimes provide possibilities for development, especially if the way people buy changes. There are a growing number of sales channels accessible to a company, including internet sales and third-party sites like Amazon. Some businesses sell monthly subscriptions to users, others license their intellectual property or joint venture with complementary businesses to sell on their behalf.

If you feel you’re missing out on sales not because of what you do but how customers want to transact, it’s probably time to change.

Tighten up Cash Flow

This last strategy isn’t about trying to find more growth revenue, it’s about re-discovering the cash that’s fallen under the couch in the TV room. Improving your existing systems and creating efficiencies will often drive extra profit to the bottom line, reducing the effort to get new revenue. This is even more important if it’s getting harder and harder to increase sales growth (or it’s declining).

Look to fix the cash slippage cracks by:

  • Conducting regular (and unannounced) inventory audits to identify wastage or theft

  • Adopting your industry software to streamline processes (every industry tends to have specialist software)

  • Using accounting software such as Quickbooks, Sage, Xero, or Wave to track daily cash flow

  • Requesting deposits or progress payments to reduce money owed

  • Using credit scoring systems and setting appropriate credit limits to minimise any losses

  • Implementing compulsory credit checks to reduce the chance of bad debts

  • Having strong systems to reduce fraud

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