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If you design and sell custom shirts, you know how fun and lucrative it can be. But if your business isn’t growing as quickly as you want it to or think that it should be despite your efforts, the following tips and growth strategies may help you reach your goals.

Optimize Your Operations

Before thinking of different growth strategies, take a look at how you do things now and make sure there aren’t inefficiencies in how you spend money, order and receive stock, or sell to your customers. For example, look into getting your custom shirts from R&P Prints Canada; they give free estimates, there are no setup fees, and they offer free delivery.

Also look at how many of your customers are returning customers. If people are only buying from you once, this could be an issue with quality. If you get a lot of complaints because your customers can’t reach you or resolve their issues, consider hiring someone and/or improving customer service. Returning customers reduce your cost of goods sold, and they spend more than new ones.

Four Common Growth Strategies

If you’re confident that your business is running efficiently and you’re not losing customers, these are the most common growth strategies:

  • Market Penetration. The goal of this strategy is to increase the sales of your current products or services to customers who buy your products but not necessarily from you. You can do this by attracting customers away from competitors, getting your own customers to buy more of your current products more often, or by doing both. Some of the most common ways to do this is by reducing your prices, increasing your marketing and advertising spend, changing the quality of your shirts or buying out one of your competitors.
  • Market Development. Developing a market means increasing the sales of your current products to new markets. It’s also known as market expansion, and it requires you to look at ways of selling your current products to a different demographic, selling wholesale, selling in a new city or area of the country or exporting to other countries.
  • Product Development. The idea is to sell new products to your existing market. Product development is mostly done by offering products that extend the life of your current products or are products customers will usually buy together with yours. You can try partnering with a company that offers those products, buying the rights to those products or developing and selling them yourself.
  • Diversification. This a fairly common growth strategy that can accelerate your growth and sales. Look into offering hats, bags or other accessories or designing shirts for a new demographic. Diversifying doesn’t always work, however, and many companies have tried adding new products that failed miserably. Before committing to any new products, poll your current customers do research the market.

The Bottom Line

Before you commit to any strategy, you’ll have to run all the numbers to ensure that taking it on won’t crash your business, and once a strategy is in place, review your numbers constantly to know if your growth has made you more profitable.

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