5 Growth Strategies for Service Businesses in Today's Market

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Jan 19 2023 read

Lots of worthy business goals aren’t related to growth. You may aim to improve client relationships, hone service delivery or develop more pointed messaging. But if your ambitions are to grow your business, you’ll need specific targets and thoughtful tactics.

There's no better time than now to pivot and get your team headed down a more direct path. Draw inspiration from the following growth strategies to create a tailored plan.

1. Transition Clients to Recurring Contracts

You may have some repeat business in the form of one-off projects, but how many of your clients pay you on a subscription basis? 

Recurring work acts as a form of insulation, generating predictable revenue and increasing your business value. In a down economy, establish a layer of security by giving your best-fit clients incentives for moving to ongoing contracts.

How to turn one-time projects into recurring work:

  • Create a loyalty program with new or supplemental services as rewards
  • Think of your clients as partners, and rework team training to reflect this value
  • Offer consistent high-quality services and support to encourage referrals

➡️ See this strategy in action: Read how Tegrita increased client commitments by 90%.

2. Hone Your Target Market

You may have dormant opportunities for growth that you haven’t noticed. If you’ve been going after the same target market since day one, it could be time to expand your view. By slightly adjusting where you look, you could reach a new type of client — one who’s more responsive to your approach and experiences more profound results.

To get started, it can help to ask yourself, “What questions do prospects ask today that they didn’t when I founded the business?”

Key elements of a great market strategy:

  • In-depth customer research
  • Messaging differentiation by channel
  • Clear goals and regular reevaluation

➡️ Here’s how scientific communications agency HDMZ plans to double in size by 2026.

3. Expand Your Services

As the world and your industry changes, new demand arises, some of which you may be able to meet by slightly shifting your array of services. If you’ve considered offering a new type of service before, taking that leap now could be a catalyst for your firm’s growth.

If it’s implemented wisely, diversification can make your brand feel more relevant to a new audience and attract repeat business from the people who already trust you.

3 questions to ask when brainstorming a service refresh:

  • What offerings are your current clients asking for?
  • Which supplemental services do you sometimes provide free of charge?
  • What unused skills does your team have?

➡️ LeapIT doubled in size after the business started charging for its ad-hoc support services.

4. Take a Calculated Risk

Many entrepreneurial success stories have their origin in a challenging economic period. Those who dare to do things differently can create opportunities the competition doesn’t see. If you’re ready for growth, you may need to be prepared to shake up your industry or local market.

Keep in mind that the right risks may be disguised as cutbacks. You may need to consolidate your technology or even break up with some clients to reach your goals faster.

Examples of businesses succeeding by doing things differently:

➡️ Not sure where to start? Find out if you’re underutilizing your software.

5. Optimize Utilization and Performance

While the concept of business growth may make you think of expansion and building a larger presence, your efforts don’t have to be focused outward to make an impact. Sometimes, the smartest way to grow is to focus on internal efficiency.

There’s likely room for improvement in your sales process, project planning, task assignment, team scheduling, client communication and other key workflows. To detect inefficiencies, it’s also important to start tracking your team’s time and tasks, at a minimum.

Top 3 metrics for improving performance-based growth:

➡️ Learn how Gamcorp increased its utilization rate by 143% in just a few months.

What Could Hinder Your Growth Strategies?

All of the above will only be as effective as your team's ability to implement them. Before you dive head-first into any growth strategies, consider whether your team is vulnerable to the silent productivity paradox.



About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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