How QR Codes Can Improve Business Growth

Where do you see your business in, say, the next two or five years? Odds are, you visualize drastic growth in your market, operations, and workforce. After all, no entrepreneur wants to remain stagnant. 

However, envisioning growth and achieving it are two different things. The latter requires innovative strategies—a company’s ability to innovate and reach its target market effectively is what keeps them in the game.

Lucky for you, we know just what you need to stay and grow in the game—Quick Response Codes (QR Codes). They’re powerful marketing tools for small businesses that can bring you a lot closer to achieving the vision you have for your business. 

Curious how? Read on as we look at how QR Codes can support business growth. 

A look at the use of QR Codes in business today

Automotive parts manufacturer Denso Wave originally developed QR Codes to facilitate speedy and more efficient product scanning. Over time, QR Codes became a constant in supermarkets, the pharmaceutical industry, and more, thanks to their ability to streamline inventory management.

QR Codes became particularly popular after the development of the cell phone with a built-in QR Code scanner in 2002, as this meant more devices could decode embedded information. This happened again in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they facilitated contactless interactions between businesses and customers. 

Their square shape is cleverly designed to be read both horizontally and vertically, meaning that they can hold a vast amount of information. More and more types of businesses have begun to recognize that the value of QR Codes extends far beyond inventory management because of this capability to hold so much information of different types. 

In addition to their usefulness for internal processes, entrepreneurs have adopted QR Codes for small business marketing to strengthen campaign results and boost brand awareness. They enhance marketing campaigns and promote seamless business-customer interactions. 

What do QR Codes have to do with business growth?

Research suggests that very few companies will ever reach $250 million in annual revenue—only one-tenth of 1%! Using an innovative strategy can be the factor that sets you apart from your competition. The combination of the uniqueness of QR Codes and their versatility in marketing campaigns and other general business uses could be exactly what does the trick.

Boost brand awareness

QR Code idea on a billboard to save the date of a conference
An example of a custom QR Code on a print poster

Brand awareness is a big deal when it comes to sales. QR Codes can help with this by promoting color consistency in all your campaigns—color improves brand recognition by up to 80%.

QR Codes created with QR Code Generator make branding easy because they are customizable. You can add personal touches like a logo, custom QR Code frames, and a CTA (call to action). You will also have access to a professional-level color picker so that your brand colors match exactly. This is useful for your business’s marketing campaign and can be added to any print material.

Enhance marketing campaigns

A screenshot showing the different scan data available in QR Code Generator PRO
Demo version of QR Code tracking metrics available with QR Code Generator software

QR Codes reinforce and upgrade marketing campaigns on numerous platforms that can expedite business growth. Because you can customize QR Codes and link them to so many different types of information, you can use them, for example, to boost social media engagement, get more event attendance, share video and MP3 files, increase app downloads, offer coupons, place them on product packaging, gather customer feedback, and much more.

Furthermore, you can edit Dynamic QR Codes at any time without changing the QR Code as well as include crucial tracking information. These tracking metrics include the number of scans, location by city and country, time scanned, and the device used. This enables campaign comparisons and provides an understanding of which types of campaigns worked and which didn’t.

Strengthen internal processes

The front and back of a business card with a QR Card on one side that leads to contact information
vCard Plus QR Codes make business cards digital

Whether you want to add a QR Code to showcase updated office hours, digitize your business card, or add them to print materials, the technology behind QR Codes makes this possible. The opportunities for how they can support business growth are truly endless.

How to use QR Codes throughout the five stages of business growth

So, how does business growth actually work? There are five stages of business growth that most companies experience: existence, survival, success, take-off, and resource maturity. Many startups face similar obstacles, so understanding these five stages can help assess where problems stem from and how to solve them. Examples of how QR Codes support these stages of business growth are included below:

1. Existence

A work van with a large branded QR Code on the side that leads users to the company's landing page
QR Codes can be used to advertise from company vehicles

The existence stage is the initial process of creating a business. Here, business owners ask themselves: “Who is our target market, and can we sell enough products or services to make a profit?” “How much capital do we need to begin?” “Who are our competitors, and what strategies are they using?” “What makes us unique?”

At this stage, the business owner takes an all-encompassing supervisory role—or may even be working alone. There is little to no formal planning in regard to structure, and the intent of the business is to stay alive. The owner is the business. Business growth depends entirely on their actions and how well they can overcome the demands placed on their business, especially the management of startup capital. Those who keep up the pace move on to stage two.

QR Code use case: One of the most important factors for getting your startup into shape is expanding brand awareness. The more people who know who you are, the more likely they are to buy from you. 

For example, QR Codes for a home repairs and maintenance company are ideal for increasing brand awareness because of their versatility in different mediums and customization. Add them to business cards for networking events or for any potential customer to read, use them to advertise on company vehicles, or add how-to videos for customers on print materials.

2. Survival

A billboard for a gym with a QR Code on it advertising a coupon for membership
QR Codes added to billboard advertising to increase local foot traffic

Getting to the survival stage means a business has found a way to satisfy customers and function as a workable business entity. The priority changes from mere existence to improving the connection between income and expenses. 

Two main questions arise: Can enough revenue be generated to cover capital assets, and is there a large enough cash flow to remain in business and continue to grow? 

In the survival stage, the owner still maintains a close relationship with the total business processes and provides instructions to employees. Planning takes the role of forecasting, albeit in a limited scope.

QR Code use case: The best way to understand how to market your product is by conducting tons of marketing tests. You could compare QR Code marketing campaigns on various marketing platforms with different demographics and various locations to gain a better understanding. 

For example, you could use QR Codes for your gym or wellness studio with multiple locations to bring more foot traffic to certain locations and compare which marketing platforms bring the most success to specific locations.

3. Success

A package of chocolate baking chips with a QR Code on it that leads to a PDF with recipe ideas
QR Code linked to a recipe on food packaging

Stage three is a major business growth milestone. Owners now have to make an essential decision that will affect the company’s future: Do they utilize the company’s success to their benefit and start a new venture, take a more hands-off approach, or focus on increasing profits? 

Some owners decide to pursue other means at this stage and start new companies or work fewer hours but remain “in the know” about how the company is progressing.

QR Code use case: Once you’ve found your sweet spot and know how to market and sell your product, continue doing so with QR Codes. You can add further information with QR Codes that gives your products extra spice. 

For example, you could use PDF QR Codes for a consumer packaged goods company to add recipes to food packaging, promote your social media channels, or add coupons.

4. Take-off

An employee ID badge with a QR Code to scan for contact information
QR Codes make staff or employee IDs digital

The take-off stage is the point where two factors are assessed: delegation and cash. For delegation, how much can the business owner give to other employees or maybe outsource while still maintaining success? In terms of cash, can the owner accept a potentially high debt-equity ratio? 

During this stage, an organization becomes more decentralized, there is much more planning in terms of processes and strategy, and the company hires more managers. The owner and the business have become separated, but the owner still maintains control of how the company is steered. The owner may also decide to sell the business for a large profit at this stage.

QR Code use case: QR Codes are useful for established companies as well to provide additional information to customers and collect employee and customer feedback to promote continued success. 

A private university could, for example, use QR Codes to get feedback from students, promote campus events with print QR Codes, and make it easier for staff to network and share business information using digital business cards.

5. Resource maturity

A For Sale sign outside of a home with a QR Code on it that people can scan for more information about the listing
QR Codes added to homes for sale for additional info

Once a business gets to this stage, the main goal is to consolidate and use the financial gains accumulated efficiently. The company must establish a balance through effective management, proper budgeting, and strategic planning. A key factor here is to avoid ossification, a lack of innovation that stifles the company’s progress.

QR Code use case: QR Codes could be the factor that adds a spark to an already successful business. Let’s take the case of a real estate agency, an industry in the past that functioned largely on word-of-mouth networking. 

To kick up their innovation a notch, real estate agencies can use QR Codes on signs for homes for sale and shop fronts so potential buyers can access information around the clock, or promote their business in magazines with Business Page QR Codes.

Examples of diverse applications of QR Codes for business growth

The versatility of QR Codes allows them to fit seamlessly into a wide range of businesses. Here, we look at the power of QR Codes in three main business processes:

Retail customer engagement

Providing high-quality products is great for business growth but often isn’t enough. Roughly 90% of consumers say that the customer experience is a key determining factor when choosing and staying loyal to a brand

How do you provide exemplary experiences in the retail sector? By leveraging QR Codes. 

You can use QR codes for retail in numerous ways. For example, you can use them to provide instant access to additional product information, product reviews, and discounts or seamlessly enroll buyers in loyalty programs. You can also use them to lead customers to social media platforms, where you can provide more interactive experiences, or to your online shop for easy access to products. 

Using QR Codes in these ways not only provides better in-store or shopping experiences but also bridges the gap between offline and online retail, setting your business up for success and, consequently, growth. 

Financial services and convenience

Wondering how to promote your business’ growth and offer high-quality client experiences in the financial sector? By using QR Codes. You can use QR Codes for finance to offer clients quick access to financial products and advice by linking them to your website, FAQ pages, professionals’ contact information, and more!

Further, you can promote convenience by providing mobile payment solutions through QR Codes. If you offer mobile banking, you can link your code to app stores to facilitate seamless app downloads. You can also link your code to payment methods like PayPal, enabling seamless transactions across different solutions. 

The more transactions you process and the better your user experiences are, the higher your likelihood for growth. 

Contactless nonprofit campaigns

Nonprofit organizations rely primarily on donations to run efficiently—they must remain innovative to capture potential donors’ interest and secure funding. Luckily, QR Codes for nonprofits can help with both, promoting consistent business growth. 

These organizations can use QR Codes in fundraising materials and awareness campaigns to direct supporters to volunteer information or educational resources, thereby increasing engagement and support—the more informed potential donors are about initiatives, the more likely they are to donate. 

Further, nonprofits can link QR Codes directly to donation pages, allowing people to donate with a single scan. This can promote increased contributions and, consequently, business growth. 

How to implement and optimize QR Code strategies for business growth

Now that you know how to use QR Codes for your business, let’s take a look at how to implement and optimize the solutions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Define the objectives: Do you want to boost customer engagement, enhance your social media following, or understand what your customers want? Defining your objectives will help you determine the best type of QR Code to use and keep you on your toes. 

  2. Create the QR Code: Use a reliable platform like QR Code Generator and adhere to best practices like using contrasting colors for optimal visibility and maintaining a scannable QR Code size. 

  3. Test the QR Code: Scan QR Codes with both Android and iOS smartphones to ensure they work. This allows you to identify scannability issues and nip them in the bud before releasing your codes to the market. 

  4. Integrate the QR Code with marketing materials: Embed QR Codes on both online and offline marketing channels like social media platforms, billboards, and flyers. Choose the marketing materials based on your target audience’s preferences. 

  5. Educate the audience on how to use the QR Codes: Your codes will only be useful if your target market can use them. Provide detailed guidelines or video tutorials. 

  6. Track and analyze performance with QRCG: Assess your QR Code scans to determine if your campaign is performing as expected. 

  7. Optimize the campaign: Use insights from your QR Code tracking to improve your campaign. 

  8. Scale and expand as the business grows: Expand QR Code use to other business processes or market segments to enhance your benefits. 

Tracking is one of the most vital steps when leveraging QR Codes, as it helps highlight top-performing campaigns and the kind of content that resonates with your audience, allowing you to improve future campaigns. For example, you can focus on billboard campaigns and video content if your tracking data shows they receive the highest customer interactions. 

QRCG facilitates seamless QR Code tracking by providing a wide range of real-time analytics on a centralized platform. Through your account, you’ll get analytics like total scans, unique scans, scans by location, and scans by operating system, allowing you to see how your campaigns are performing and identify the demographics they’re popular with—this can help you refine your target audience.

Start leveraging QR Codes for business growth today with QR Code Generator PRO

Wondering how to eliminate stagnancy in business? Invest in innovative solutions that can streamline processes and offer better customer experiences. 

QR Code Generator offers one of the best solutions there is—QR Codes—allowing you to transform operations and elevate customer interactions. You can achieve consistent business growth by leveraging the platform’s wide range of QR Code options and in-depth analytics to optimize your campaigns. 

Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO today to provide better experiences and unleash your business’s growth potential!

Trupti Desai

Trupti Desai is Bitly’s Senior Director of Growth Marketing. She has over 10 years of experience working in B2B and B2C marketing roles spanning the UK and the US. A key part of the marketing strategy at Bitly, Trupti elevates global teams with her expertise and insights and was notably a speaker at the Digital Marketing World Forum. You can connect with Trupti on LinkedIn.

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