Can you think of any business that has never had a problem?
Even the most successful companies have at struggled at one time or another.
Early this year, Wal-Mart Stores have been described as having more problems than the Trump Tariff. There’s also Apple, said to be facing declining sales in China, its second-largest market. Another example is Ford, recalling almost half a million vehicles for safety and compliance issues.
For small and medium-sized enterprises, a common struggle has to do with growing pains. Let’s take a closer look at business growth strategies you can implement that can help you address those growing pains and take your business to the next level.
1. Stay True to Your Vision
Why did you start your own company? There must be a compelling reason for you to do so, especially if you made that huge leap from employee to business owner.
To be more specific, there must be a vision in your head about how you want your company to be and where it will be years from now. That vision is the reason why you and your employees do what you do. If you do things that don’t align with the company’s purpose, how can you expect to grow your company?
Sustainable success depends on making sure everyone in your organization is working towards a common goal. A strong sense of purpose allows a business to stay laser-focused on achieving its objectives. It’s also the driving force for innovation and ensuring that products and services offered are of value to customers.
2. Build and Maintain Strong Partnerships
One of the best business growth strategies you can implement is to establish and cultivate strong partnerships. As I’ve said before, being a solopreneur is filled with challenges. The right connections can help you take on some or even all of those challenges so you can reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and of course, help your company grow.
Let’s say you’re a cosmetics manufacturer. Think about how expensive everything is going to be if you have to source all the raw materials by yourself. Partnering with reliable suppliers can help cut down costs and ensure that the products you’re manufacturing are up to standards.
You can also enter into partnerships with businesses to develop new technologies or to share distribution and increase each other’s market share. If you’re a start-up with start-up woes, maybe a co-founder can help solve those issues.
3. Strengthen Your Brand Identity
The more your company grows, the more you’ll have to build brand equity. You don’t want to be the “other guys,” the one customers go to when their preferred company can’t temporarily fulfill their wants or needs.
You want to be top of mind among your target customers. And to do that you have to connect with them on an emotional level. Customers have to have an attachment to your products or services so they’ll keep patronizing your business.
As one of the most important business growth strategies there is, brand building isn’t a one-time thing. You have to keep doing it if you want to scale up your business.
But don’t just do things to please everybody. It’s an impossible task. Keep your eyes on your target customers and find ways to satisfy and inspire them.
4. Track Results
Can you improve things you can’t measure?
If you know which areas of your business are contributing to profitability, then you know which ones to allocate more resources to. Likewise, if you know which areas are hindering the growth of your company, you can either work to optimize them or do away with them altogether.
Don’t be scared of data. Cliche as it may sound, knowledge is power. The more information you have, the easier it is to implement changes and see which ones are delivering results.
This also applies to adding revenue streams. If you’ve identified new ones, you have to make sure they’re sustainable in the long-term.
5. Keep Customers for Life
Most people think of business growth as acquiring new customers. It’s not wrong but it also doesn’t present the whole picture.
You see, new customers could be one-time buyers. And while that’s not exactly a bad thing, they obviously aren’t as valuable as your loyal customers. This is why as far as business growth strategies are concerned, customer retention is one of those things business owners have to pay close attention to.
According to Harvard Business Review, customer acquisition is 5 to 25 times more expensive than customer retention. It goes on to say that just by improving customer retention rates by 5%, you can increase profits by 25 to 95%.
95%! Can you imagine just how profitable your business could be if you just work hard at keeping your customers happy for a long, long time?
6. Learn from Your Competitors
You know your company’s strengths and weaknesses. But what about your competitors?
If your customers are flocking to your competitors because they are offering better prices, you should consider your pricing strategy. Now, that doesn’t mean just drastically reducing your products’ prices.
If you’re selling top of the line products, slashing prices isn’t the way to level the playing field. What you should do is stick to your premium pricing but highlight your customer service and emphasize high-quality marketing.
Remember, what works for your competitors may not work for you. Or they might work for you but you could be doing it in a way that increases your USP or unique selling proposition. The key here is to understand their failures and successes, so you can take advantage of them in a way that benefits your company.
7. Stay Flexible
All the business growth strategies in the world cannot help you if you don’t know how to be a good leader to your people. That means knowing how to evolve at every stage of your company’s growth, which is easier said than done.
Being a good leader stems from being self-aware. It’s definitely not “I’m better than you, that’s why I’m the boss.” Self-awareness can guide you to invest in the right talent, build relationships with the right people, and use the right insights to innovate and lead.
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