Statistically speaking, typically only half of business startups last more than five years, with the rest unable to make it more than two years. Creating a sustainable business is not an easy task, especially when dealing with competition, turning a substantial profit, and dealing with a floundering economy which are reasons why startups fail.
However, the key to creating a long-term business is creating a growth strategy that works. For most businesses, one of the biggest mistakes they can make is opting not to make a tangible business growth strategy. When blindly trying to grow a business, most are actually losing business.
In order to build a business with a sustainable future, it is key to create a growth strategy and adhere to it. Here’s how:
The first step to growing your business is taking the time to focus on your business. Taking a step back and looking at where your business is currently, you can determine the weak and strong areas in your business. Once you diagnose the areas that are lacking, you can begin strategizing how to fix those problems. For instance, consider looking into performance management training, as this can help you and your business grow more proficient in managing all areas of your business, especially the financial areas.
Tools That Grow
You want to be sure to invest in tools that grow. This is an important part of any business growth strategy. When you invest in software and tools, you can put off the need to hire more employees for a bit longer. It also allows you streamline operations for those employees you do hire down the road. However, changing your business software as a larger organization is much more difficult and painstaking. Avoid this annoyance for your small business IT team by investing in business tools that grow with your organization.
What Sets You Apart
If you want to create a growth strategy that works, you are going to need to figure out what sets your business apart. Doing so will help you to capitalize on that particular aspect of your business. This process is often referred to as establishing a value proposition. Simply put, figure out what sets your business apart and focus in on that. It will help to increase your business’ value without any data analysis tools required. It will also help you to form the most effective growth strategy for your business.
Sit down and evaluate your business values and ethics. How you conduct your business affects the long term growth of your business and sets your business apart from the competition. Why do customers choose your company over the competition? Or, why should they choose your company over the competition? Your business values and ethics can help customers identify with your company. You may want to find training companies to help you prepare employees to impart these values, as well.
Customers Or Clients
It can be hard to reach customers if you are unsure of who your target customer is. Engineering companies and lifestyle businesses alike struggle to figure out their target audiences. However, determining who your target audience is can help you narrow down your marketing focus, leading to attracting more of the right customers for a fraction of the time and money. For instance, it is better for businesses to reach 100 ideal customers who will purchase a product or service than it is to reach 1000 people who are not interested. Honing in on the right audience will lead to better sales from loyal customers. It will also help you to use social media for business to the fullest extent possible.
How is your business currently making its revenue? Is it through sales? Through consulting? An online e-commerce store? Once you identify your current revenue streams you can begin looking for ways to diversify your income. If your business relies on sales, consider looking into other revenues such as affiliate marketing, consulting, other products, etc. However, before implementing these new ideas, consider their longterm reach. If they do not have a future beyond a couple of months, they might not be worthwhile in the end.
Even if you are the top business in your industry, there is always something to learn from the competition. The most successful companies write business proposals that give them competitive advantages. Typically, the competition is doing at least one thing different from your company. Determining what it is they are doing differently can help you determine areas of weakness in your company. Moreover, seeing the differences can give you a chance to consider why your competitors are doing something differently. Is it a viable option? Is it something you should consider? Why or why not?
Additionally, seeing how your competitors conduct business can help you determine their weaknesses. If your company can capitalize on a weakness, such as offering a product or service they are lacking, you can help to edge out the competition. It may also help you to poach the most talented employees from them if your management style is a bit more enjoyable than the competition.
Another step for writing a business growth strategy entails diversifying your products and markets. While this tactic could be risky if you choose the wrong products or markets, it can also increase your cash flow significantly if you make the right decisions. To do so, conduct market research and determine what other products your current target audience might want to purchase. At the same time, try to figure out who else you can target with the products you sell now. You could end up winning business awards if you use this advice. For this reason, include diversification in your growth strategy to succeed.
Finally, one of the best growth strategies you can implement is finding and hiring talented employees. Typically, your employees are the ones who have the most contact with customers and clients, thus it is imperative your employees are passionate about the business and motivated to do their work to the best of their ability. There is no higher price than hiring bad employees who could care less about the business, as their poor work ethic and lazy attitude will bleed over into their interactions with customers, leaving you and your business to pay for the repercussions.
While all businesses are different, all businesses need a growth strategy to achieve a future. Taking the time to create a strategy that fits your business’s goals and ethics will help lead it to a sustainable future.