No matter what kind of business you run, starting a business requires more than just a great idea. In the beginning, it also means wearing a bunch of different hats while also working to bring your ideas to life. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all growth strategy, but for the most part, you’ll certainly need to get organized, keep detailed records, understand the risks and rewards and stay focused, determined and consistent in order to succeed.
Many people start a business equating success only with profit, just to find that increasing their sales and growing their revenue is much more difficult than they thought. Others assess their value through their ability to solve problems for their customers. And some business owners focus their success on progress toward a dream or mission.
Whatever your definition of success is, here are some key strategies you can take onboard to give your business the best chance at growing and being successful in your venture.
1. Do Your Market Research
When you’re looking into how to grow your small business, you need to do market research. This not only lets you better understand your existing customers, but also your potential customers. It’s important to gain insight into your target market and know what their needs are so you can gauge how your business can help to meet those needs. You will need to research your competitors too. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.
2. Get Organized
Organization is key to achieve business success. It will help you complete tasks, stay on top of things and meet your budgets and deadlines. Having a to-do list ensures that you’re not forgetting anything and completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business. These days, there are also many software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools that exist to increase a business’s organization. That being said, a simple Excel spreadsheet will meet many of a business’s organization requirements.
3. Keep Records
All successful businesses must keep detailed and proper records of its financial transactions to know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Keeping good records also allows you to keep track of your business’s health so you’re better able to manage your cash flow, demonstrate your financial position and make good decisions for the future. Whether they are physical records or one in the cloud, your records should be constantly uploaded and backed up. Physical records exist as a backup but more often than not, it is used to ensure that the other information is correct.
4. Understand the Risks and Rewards
Growing your business means you’ll have to take calculated risks to help your business grow. To every situation, ask yourself “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is, which will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards. Taking a look at your data and business plan will also help you to make realistic and accurate forecasts of how your business is doing.
5. Increase Customer Retention
It’s not enough to just get new customers for your business. You also need to keep your existing customers coming back. When you increase customer retention, you’re building customer loyalty, which can increase sales. It costs more money to get a new customer than it does to keep a current one, so focusing on retaining customers also means your business won’t spend money on something that isn’t guaranteed.
You can increase customer retention through acts like prioritizing customer service, creating a customer loyalty program or even engaging with your existing customers on social media.
6. Networking and strategic partnerships
Increasing your brand visibility can help you attract new customers and grow your business. A good way to do this is by attending networking events. Entering a strategic partnership with another business can also give you the chance to reach a broader network of customers or align growth with strategic goals in your business plan.
7. Prepare to Make Sacrifices
Starting a business is hard work, and opening your doors is just the first step. There might be many late nights and working weekends when you are your own boss. Be prepared to make some sacrifices, especially in the early stages, and don’t give up! Know that the more effort you put in in the beginning, the greater chance you have at growing a successful business.
8. Provide Great Service and Value
There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, often the differentiating factor between successful and unsuccessful businesses is the level of service that the business provides. Next, it’s about offering value throughout the customer experience, from the support you provide to your return policy. This is what will set you apart from competitors and keep your customers coming back.
9. Stay True and Consistent
You can’t offer everything to everyone, so focus on what you do best and focus on improving that part of your business. Consistency is a key component to making money in business. You have to keep doing what is necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money in the long run.
Running a successful company takes time, effort, and commitment. At the end of the day, you understand your business the best and will know what can realistically grow your company. Don’t be afraid to try different tactics and strategies and keep track of what works and what doesn’t work for your brand. You’ll eventually be on your way to running a successful business that will delight your customers and turn a profit.