It is one thing to start a business and another thing to make it profitable and transcendent. A true entrepreneur is always looking for ways to grow his business every day.
No matter how what your plan is about growing a small business is, remember that several of the large companies we know today started in the garage of a house. It is just a matter of having a great passion for your business and working hard every day, and you will see that ultimately your business will grow to become a great company that you have envisioned.
If you have a business and want it to grow, both in infrastructure and in sales and income, then we share a series of points that you must keep in mind so that the growth of your business is constant and sustainable.
These essential tips are taken from the success stories of large entrepreneurs and companies. You can take note and apply them to your own business. You will see that in a few years your company will be as large as you want.
Key business growth strategies
Similar to starting a business, for the growth of the company, you must be clear about the reasons why you want it to grow. But be careful here, and look for stronger motivations than money. Remember that doing something just for money will make you give up at the first obstacle.
2. A clear mission, defined objectives and a grand vision
To know where we stand at the moment, and where do we want to go in the future, are the basis for defining the steps we must take.
Imagine you are going on a trip, what is the appropriate means of transportation to leave? Aeroplane, boat, taxi? The answer to this question can only be given knowing the place of departure and the residence where you want to go. The same situation applies to the business world.
It is not a difficult task to define your mission. Take a sheet and try to summarise your business model by answering questions such as what do you sell? Who do you sell it to? How do you sell? Then write a paragraph of between 5 and 10 lines and put it on the wall to remind you of your mission.
To define the vision, answer the question “Where do I see my business in 5 years?”
Be ambitious and think big, then based on that projection establish a series of intermediate points that will be ‘the steps’ to reach this vision, these points will be the objectives of your business. Write both of them and put them on the wall. Remember to review the mission, goals and vision of your business from time to time.
3. Maintain the focus
When defining a purpose and a vision, you will give a specific approach to your business, and you must maintain that focus.
A big mistake made by many entrepreneurs is to be guided by the need to increase their income quickly and believe that diversifying in the type of products they offer will help them achieve their goal. This is how we end up seeing bakeries that also sell clothes and other kinds of items. The all-products-offering-bakery would only earn some extra money. However, a bakery that maintains its focus on one product will be able to stand out and gain preference because it can innovate on its product line.
4. Be open to change and innovation
As your business begins to grow, you will see that you must make all kinds of changes to adapt to the business world.
More customers mean more employees and more infrastructure. You must be aware of it and not be afraid to make the changes that your business requires. Remember that to obtain different results. You must try new things. You cannot expect your business to be prominent by keeping things the way they currently exist.
5. Listen to your customers
Customers are the basis of your business, if you don’t listen to them, your competition will. You will give them the chance to keep your market.
Facebook has been one of the fastest-growing companies in history, its success is indisputable, but apparently, it is making the grave mistake of not listening to its customers. Facebook users have witnessed many changes that have generated mobilisations within the social network. For example, the chat sidebar, changes in the home screen, and the new photo viewer. However, despite complaints from millions of users, Facebook has ignored the criticism and the changes persist. For now, Facebook is still the leading social network.
Listening to your customers is not only asking them what they want, but the customer doesn’t always know what he wants. Henry Ford said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse.” Currently, there are neuromarketing techniques and studies (on the Internet, you can find fascinating data) that will help you understand the consumer’s subconscious.
6. Work with the best for your growing business
Andy Freire says: “An entrepreneur A seeks entrepreneurs A +, an entrepreneur B seeks entrepreneurs C “, in other words, successful entrepreneurs always look for the best to work with them, companies like Microsoft and Google hire the best engineers and programmers. That is why they are companies that stand out as the best.
7. Define the business Growth strategy
You know where you are and where you want to go, now you can define the best approach to get there. There are multiple business growth strategies, choosing the right one will depend on factors such as the type of product you offer and the type of market in which you compete.
Systematising a business is to make it work regardless of whether or not you are physically in it, it is a complex process, but once you achieve it, your business will be ready to grow.
Does the owner of a McDonald’s franchise personally review each establishment day by day? The answer is NO. The key to the success of a multinational is precisely systematisation. McDonald’s has systematised all its processes, from hiring and training employees to the way each product is made, which is how they make their hamburgers taste the same in any of their establishments.
For your business to grow, you must invest in it. You must be aware that you will have to sacrifice your profits in the short term if you want to increase them for a long time.
The first step is to organise your company’s finances by planning the destination of profits. Robert Kiyosaki proposes an activity called “the three piggy banks“, which consists of creating three funds. One destined for savings (such as a safety cushion), another for donations and another to re-invest in your business. The proportion in which you must divide the profits is your business. For example, you could allocate 45% of the benefits to the savings fund, 10% for Donations and another 45% for re-investment. The idea is that you be disciplined and keep the margin.
10. Increase the value of your product or service
Price is what customers pay for your product and cost is what the customer receive. As your business grows, you will face more robust and fiercer competition. The only way to stay in the fight is to offer more value to your customers, remind them that you are working to improve every day. Give your customers reasons to prefer you above others.
11. Position your brand
Positioning your brand is essential for organic growth. From posting logos, creating your slogan and everything else in between has to do within your business identity. If your customers do not remember you, they will not have a preference for your products.
12. Implements a Quality Management System
Every day global consumers are becoming more demanding in terms of quality, which requires companies that wish to sell their products abroad to obtain quality certifications in ISO and other quality standards.
But regardless of whether or not you want to export, implementing a quality management system can help your business systematisation a lot, as well as generating more confidence for your customers.
13. Have an Internet presence
Currently, the Internet offers countless free tools that allow a company to promote its products efficiently. On the Internet, you can find new customers for your business. So don’t wait, and create a Fan Page on Facebook, a profile on Twitter, or a blog. And start growing your business.
14. Perseverance and patience
Your strategy may fail at first, but you must be persistent and try again and again. Do not give up at the first obstacle and always remember: “If the road becomes harder, it is because you are going up.”
15. Perform an honest self-assessment
Every time you start to feel that your business has stagnated, it is a good indicator that it might be time to evaluate what is happening closely.
We have all heard the saying “you can’t see the forest through the trees” and running a small business is no different. Sometimes, it is a good idea to step back and try to have a panoramic view of your business. But looking at your business from a different perspective is not as easy as it may seem. Most entrepreneurs are more optimistic than they should be – it’s a kind of a need, right? The problem is that when we prepare to carry out an objective evaluation of our business, we are never 100% honest with ourselves, no matter how hard we try.
So, although it is not easy, it is vital to learn to analyse all aspects of your business objectively. Sometimes, asking for help from another person who understands how to run a business and is an entrepreneur can be a good idea. The more objective you are, the easier it becomes to find out what you need to change to boost business growth.
16. Create systems and delegate as much as possible
Running a successful business means that you are likely to fulfil a lot of different roles: Strategist, quality control, customer service, accounting and sales representation, to name a few. These are too many things to handle for one person.
Is your business at a stage where you feel a bit stuck? Or maybe you feel like you’ve reached a point of friction that you’re finding hard to break?
If this is the case, then try to take a look at all the roles you are fulfilling. Are you still trying to manage (or micro-administer) all aspects of the business yourself?
If you found yourself nodding after reading that question, it’s time to stop. No, not pitching, but micromanagement.
The “I can do it myself” attitude is useful, even necessary the first time you start your business. But there comes a time when it no longer serves you. Entrepreneurs can grow their companies, can prioritise and get rid of tasks that other people are capable of doing just as well, or even better.
It is much better to spend your time on tasks that contribute to the growth of the business or what you are good at and then delegate the other jobs as soon as possible. That could mean hiring part-time virtual assistant, a full-time contractor or an employee.
One action that can potentially make the delegation process much easier is to make sure you create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for your business. When a new customer arrives, how is your incorporation process? How do you incorporate it into your CRM and project management software? Establish a process for everything.
There is no turning back, delegation, and giving up control can be a bit tricky. But if you want to grow your business, you should stop doing everything yourself.
Although your business is highly specialised, it is not different from any other company. There will be moments of business growth and times of stagnation.
It is typical to experience times when business is slow. But learning to recognise when slowness has turned into depression can help determine when it’s time to make some changes. It is rare for business growth or change to happen on their own.