How QR Codes Can Improve Business Growth
Business growth can often be attributed to successful marketing and sales strategies. A company’s ability to innovate and reach their target market effectively is what keeps them in the game. It’s time to consider the benefits that QR Codes present as a highly inventive and unique technology that comes with a wide variety of applications. Not only do QR Codes improve marketing campaigns, but they are also useful within a business itself and can directly influence business growth.
What is a QR Code?
QR Codes were originally developed to ease the burden on supermarket cashiers for inventory management processes. Their square shape was cleverly designed to be read both horizontally and vertically, meaning that they can hold a vast amount of information. Over time, more and more types of businesses have begun to recognize how the value of QR Codes extends far beyond inventory management because of this capability to hold so much, as well as so many different types of information. In addition to their usefulness for internal processes, QR Codes have become a popular addition to marketing campaigns to strengthen campaign results and boost brand awareness.
What do QR Codes have to do with business growth?
Business growth is often driven by the marketing and sales strategy, and research suggests that only one-tenth of 1 percent of companies will ever reach $250 million in annual revenue. That may sound like a shocking statistic but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving things a try. Using an innovative strategy can be the factor that sets you apart from your competition. Therefore, the combination of the uniqueness of QR Codes and their versatility for use in marketing campaigns and other general business uses could be exactly what does the trick.
Boost brand awareness
Brand awareness is a big deal when it comes to sales. According to Forbes, color improves brand recognition by up to 80% and consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23%. QR Codes created with QR Code Generator make branding easy because they are customizable. You can add personal touches like a logo, custom 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 both for your business’s marketing campaign, as well as can be added to any type of print material.
Pro tip: QR Code design has a few important elements to keep an eye on. For help with QR Code design, take a look here.
Enhance marketing campaigns
QR Codes reinforce and upgrade marketing campaigns on a variety of platforms that can expedite business growth. Because QR Codes can be customized and linked to so many different types of information, they can be used, for example, to boost social media engagement, get more event attendance, share video and MP3 files, increase app downloads, include coupons, be placed on product packaging, gather customer feedback and much more.
Furthermore, Dynamic QR Codes can both be edited at any time without changing the QR Code as well as contain a crucial tracking information. These tracking metrics include the number of scans, location by city and country, time scanned and operating device used. This enables campaign comparisons as well as provides an understanding of which types of campaigns worked and which ones didn’t.
Strengthen internal processes
No matter 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.
The five stages of business growth
So how does business growth actually work? The Harvard Business Review outlines five stages of business growth that most companies experience: existence, survival, success, take-off and resource maturity. Many startups face similar obstacles, so an understanding of these five stages can help assess where problems are stemming from and how to solve them. Examples of how QR Codes support these stages of business growth are included below.
The existence stage deals with the initial processes for creating a business. These include questions like: who is the target market and can we sell enough products or services to them 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 just to stay alive. The owner themselves 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 start-up capital. Those who keep up the pace move on to stage two.
QR Code use case: One of the most important factors for getting things with a start-up into shape is expanding on brand awareness. The more people that know who you are, the more they have the potential to buy from you. Using the example of a home repairs and maintenance company, QR codes are ideal for increasing brand awareness because of the versatility for use on different mediums and customization. Add them to business cards for networking events or for any potential customer to read, use them to advertise from company vehicles, or add how-to videos for customers on print materials.
Getting to the survival stage means that a business has found a way to satisfy customers and function as a workable business entity. The priority changes from mere existence to how to improve 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 therefore 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 marketing campaigns with QR Codes on various marketing platforms, with different demographics and various locations to gain a better understanding. This works perfectly for a gym or wellness studio that is heavily based on location. You can use QR Codes to bring more foot traffic to certain locations and compare which marketing platforms bring the most success for specific locations.
Stage three is a major business growth milestone. Owners now have to make an essential decision that will affect the future of the company: do they utilize the company’s success to their benefit and start a new venture, take a more hands-off approach, or do they focus on increasing profits. Some owners decide that they want to pursue other means at this stage and start new companies or work fewer hours, but remain “in the know” for 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 some extra spice. Consumer packaged goods companies can use QR Codes to add recipes to food packaging with a PDF QR Code, promote their social media channels or adding coupons.
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? An organization becomes more decentralized and there is much more planning in terms of processes and strategy, and more managers are hired. The owner and the business have become separated, but the owner still maintains control of how the company is steered. It can also be that the owner decides 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. 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
Once a business gets to this stage, the main goal is to consolidate and use the financial gains accumulated efficiently. In addition, it’s also important to retain the benefits brought about by the size and entrepreneurial spirit that the company began with. A balance between these two points must be established through effective management, proper budgeting, and strategic planning. A key factor here is to avoid ossification or a lack of innovation that stifles the company’s progress.
QR Code use case: QR Codes are the definition of an innovative marketing method and 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. Real estate agencies can kick their innovation up a notch by adding QR Codes to homes for sale and shop fronts so potential buyers can access information around the clock and promote their business in magazines with a Business Page QR Code.