Starting a business is one big achievement. Growing it is another. If you dream of owning a business someday or already have one but want to expand it further, we’ve got some tips for your convenience.
Not all businesses are the same, so the technical tips and tricks may vary. However, the general steps and techniques of growing the business never change. Whether you are selling sneakers or some corporate accounting software, you will always need to understand your customers, polish your products and services, prioritize your marketing, and care for your employees.
We’ve highlighted the five secrets to growing your business in the sections below.
1. Know What You Want
Before starting or expanding your business, you should have a clear picture of what you want to achieve or the impact you want to create. Ask yourself – what’s the goal of this business? What’s my aim, vision, and purpose? If you can answer these questions right, you’ll be on a path to designing a solid business strategy that’s braced for growth and success.
A great way to better understand what you want is to explore your skills, market challenges, likes, and personal preferences. Out of these, you may find something to fuel your business idea. It doesn’t have to be anything sophisticated, provided it holds to your core belief and values.
Having this basic vision allows you to optimize your business plan around it. We live in the age of data, where finding things out about your market, industry and target audience is relatively easy to find if you know what you’re looking for. Use data analytics to find out about how your customers work online, and KPIs to measure the success of your business.
From here, you’ll need to develop an implementation roadmap that highlights the market’s main points and how your products/ services will solve them. Once you know what you want, you can narrow it down to how to get them, including who you will involve, how, why, and when.
2. Offer Great Products and Services
At the heart of successful businesses are exceptional products and services that meet customer needs. The products or services you offer should meet the quality standards and be up to the bar with what the competitors offer. However, this isn’t enough. You want to find a competitive edge or a value proposition that will make prospects want to buy from you and not competitors.
If you can’t find even one value proposition, it’s hard to see how your products or services will survive, leave alone thrive. Your competitive advantage can be anything from the product packaging value add-ons like free delivery, first-customer discounts, free consultation, etc.
Remember, your prospects and customers are the ones to judge whether your products or services are significant or not. So, you shouldn’t depend solely on internal metrics and team reports if you are to offer truly exceptional products and services that will win over prospects.
3. Rethink Your Marketing
No business succeeds without a solidmarketing strategy. Whether you are selling a great product or a copycat with no value, it takes some effort to introduce them to the customers and get their attention. Today’s marketing is quite different from the costly TV ads and magazine adverts that dominated some decades ago.
Nowadays, customers want engagement through conversations and valuable content delivered via customizable channels. Social media, for instance, is taking center stage in spreading brand awareness and getting prospects to engage with products and services first-hand.
Another effective way to market your brand is to leverage customer reviews. People are more likely to engage and buy from a reputed brand that’s been reviewed by other customers than one with zero reviews. The simple reason is that genuine reviews from verified customers reduce the risks of making the wrong pick, especially for new customers. To succeed with this technique, you should learn how to ask for reviews such that customers are more likely to be corporate.
Other marketing techniques include using influencers and networking opportunities to get the word out and promote your business to potential customers. Always be flexible to shift gears if one marketing technique fails to deliver the expected results.
4. Focus on Your Employees
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “take care of your employees so they can take care of your business.” This couldn’t be any true. Your people are the backbone of your business and how you treat and even communicate to them matters the most. They are the linchpin connecting your products and services to your customers. Your employees are also accountable for the quality of products and services your customers consume.
So, if your employees aren’t engaged or aligned with the business, meeting your short and even long-term goals can prove quite challenging. A great way to care for your employees is to listen more to their needs. Conduct surveys and open forums where employees express what they expect from you as their employer and what you can offer them. Similarly, be sure to catch up with the current workplace trends, i.e., offer flexible work schedules and rethink your employee benefits. These efforts will also aid in your talent acquisition strategies, helping you attract the best talents to join your team.
5. Delight Your Customers
Last but not least is to work on attracting and keeping your customers. Without the customers, you won’t make any sales, meaning no revenue to run the business. However, winning over customers isn’t a quick fix. Running several promotions and massive discounts are band-aid solutions that may not be sustainable in the long run.
Instead, you want to develop a solid customer acquisition and retention strategy that’s part of the overall business growth strategy. Treat the customer as a stakeholder who has a voice in the business. That means you should listen to their needs and try to give them what they want. One way of delighting your customers is to ensure exemplary customer service — anytime, anywhere. You also want to make the customer touchpoints digital, smooth, and convenient. In other words, the customers should have an easy time reaching out to your business and getting their problems or concerns addressed quickly and appropriately.
The Bottom Line
Growing your business is a stepwise process that takes time, effort, and strategy. The tips we have highlighted above apply to all types of businesses. So feel free to mix & match these tips with your strategies to help take your business to the next level. If your business has seen significant growth and you are ready to expand to different locations or regions, consider working with a seasoned business consultant to boost your odds of success.