These 3 critical keys are guaranteed to grow your business

business growth business tips entrepreneurs sales and marketing strategy

In our exclusive interview with accomplished entrepreneur Sarah Dusek, co-founder of Under Canvas, a revolutionary luxury glamping hospitality provider near renowned US national parks, she shares invaluable insights into powerful strategies to grow your business.

Under her guidance, this company not only secured a spot on the esteemed Inc. 5000 list in 2017 but also spearheaded ecological development and sustainable tourism, setting a new industry benchmark. She eventually sold Under Canvas for over $100 million, clearly showing her understanding of building a valuable business.

1. Clearly Define Your Growth Strategy

Business growth starts with setting your sights on where you want to get to. So regardless of if you are now a small business with an inconsistent income stream, or more of an established business with a constant revenue of over R1 million per annum, you need to identify and define the point you are next aiming to reach.

Once you have done this, you can clearly define the path it would take to get there by asking some key questions which will define the journey you take. These questions include the following:

  • How many customers would I need
  • How much would they be spending with me
  • Where might the customer come from?
  • Who are they?
  • What are they doing now?
  • What will it take for us to acquire them?
  • What will we need to spend?
  • Who will we need on the team to make that happen?

So, the path to growth is about getting really clear on if you know the goal, if you can express it in relation to where you are today, and then asking yourself where might those customers come from and how do I acquire them.

Avoid These 3 Common Marketing Mistakes Founders Make

The three common mistakes founders make in marketing include:

  • Not testing enough in marketing
  • Not investing enough in marketing
  • Handing over full control to 'experts' in Marketing

As a founder aiming to grow your business, it’s important to avoid these marketing mistakes.

2.1. Not Testing Enough in Marketing

Every business has a unique sweet spot in marketing, and this sweet spot is different for every business. Your mission is to uncover this sweet spot as fast as humanly possible. Once achieved, you can scale your marketing efforts based on this winning formula.

There are many different areas of advertising that can be explored, keep an open mind and don't get stuck on what you think is best. It is only through honestly exploring the results that you make true progress.

Some of the elements that can be tested include:

  • Different platforms, like Facebook, TikTok, Google ads, Instagram, etc
  • Different media types, like photos, gifs, video, livestream, etc
  • Different headlines
  • Different copy
  • Different target audiences

Be adventurous, but at the same time, be determined to find what works and eliminate what doesn't.

2.2. Not investing enough in marketing

It takes time, it takes effort and it takes money to acquire your customers. Every business that has a great product or a great service is worthy of a customer to buy it - but finding that customer carries a cost.
Entrepreneurs want to invest in marketing that works, but you often first need to be willing to pay for marketing that doesn't work to figure out what does. If you don't, you can't figure out what does work, and that's problematic.
The reality is that you probably need to spend more on marketing that you are comfortable with.

2.3. Handing over full control to 'experts' in Marketing

The final common critical mistake in marketing is the belief that marketing experts can fully handle your business's promotion. While experts excel in certain aspects, entrusting them completely may limit your success. No marketing agency can excel across every avenue, from PR, to digital, SEO, and more. The bottom line is that nobody is better at selling your product than you, and nobody will ever be as committed to figuring out what works than you.

You need to take final direction and responsibility for your marketing efforts, constantly analyzing findings and exploring results. It’s not about knowing marketing intricacies, but understanding data trends. You don't need to be a marketing guru; you need to be a perceptive observer.

So, embrace your role, drive your strategy, and as you iterate, your learning accelerates.

3. The Value of PR in Growing Your Business

PR is a compelling storytelling tool that allows you to set the narrative about your business. It is in essence a brand building tool for awareness. By leveraging PR, you have influence over your brand's narrative. PR resonates profoundly in our society because it is rooted in storytelling rather than mere transactions.

PR offers a distinct edge by creating awareness, engagement, and resonance with your audience. It helps you stand out amidst the noise. For instance, a tourism app can thrive through PR by articulating its story and purpose, sparking attention and adoption. People are more likely to buy from a brand they know and trust.

Use PR to:

  • Amplify your presence,
  • Share your origin story
  • Share your vision and unique solutions
  • Describe what makes you different


To summarise, Sarah shared with us 3 critical keys for busines growth.
These keys inlcude:

  1. Clearly Defining Your Growth Strategy
  2. Avoiding Common Marketing Mistakes 
  3. The Value of PR in Growing Your Business

The final, and perhaps most valuable thought on business growth from Sarah is that it is essential for you as the founder to remain passionate about your dreams and goals, while also being committed to execution.

Dreams are important, but turning them into reality requires hard work, learning, and constant adaptation. So start taking action today! And all the best as you endeavour to grow your business into a market leader.

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