In order to survive, businesses must be adaptable. There must be an effective business growth strategy.
It is a rare business indeed that never runs into a rough patch on its journey to success. But in order to have a secure business, there must be an effective growth strategy.
Open-minded and flexible leadership is key to weathering difficult times, as well as regularly checking in with yourself on what defines a successful business growth strategy.
Here are the 6 things you need to stay on top of – and how to do it.
1. Check-in with yourself as a part a successful business growth strategy
In business, you need to go all in. That doesn’t mean every second of every day is work, work, work.
But take time to make sure you are energised and you are well so that the time you DO spend on your business is you at your best. This is an important part of your business growth strategy.
The best tool a business owner has in their garage is themselves.
A business most benefits from its owner being fresh and enthusiastic about it: the boost that a motivated entrepreneur can bring to a business is phenomenal.
Conversely, a tired, de-motivated business owner can end up dragging the business down without even realising. So, look after yourself!
2. Map your route to success as a part of your business growth strategy
There is an old adage about how failing to plan is planning to fail – and, while there is no need to record every tiny little detail, you need to have a plan to keep yourself in business. A plan is the backbone of a business growth strategy.
Regularly sit down and work out what your business and customers want and need, and make sure your business is taking you closer towards those goals.
The bigger picture is key.
Don’t just think in terms of “where are we going?” – the vital question for a competitive business is “where do we WANT to go?” Ambitious but feasible is the ideal. Keep this point in mind while planning a business growth strategy.
Consider how your business fits with your personal goals too – if you want to spend three afternoons a week on the golf course, make sure your business goals are in line with that.
Have a long-term and medium-term goals, and revisit them regularly.
3. Set your KPIs
Once you have your big goals (above) identified, you need to work out how you are going to get there. This is yet another key consideration in the business goal strategy.
Break it down into achievable chunks so you can track your own progress.
• Work out your end goal/s
• Create bite-size chunks - think about what you need for instance to get £50,000 income: you will need 50 customers, who may emerge from 150 meetings, which may arise from 750 conversations
• Then apply your conversion ratio - every time I deliver 100 leaflets I have one call, on average. If I multiply this by the 750 conversations I want, I know I need to deliver 75,000 leaflets
4. Realign if necessary: Flexibility is key in a successful business growth strategy
If you’re relying too heavily on a specific customer or set of rules, it’s far more likely that your business will capsize. Don't bank too much on things or keep them rigid as a part of your business growth strategy.
Give yourself room to change a product or service.
Otherwise you may find that your business falls too far behind the competition to recover in the next fiscal year.
Same goes for your internal processes. Consider this before launching your business growth strategy.
Take an objective look, talk with your staff, and make sure your systems are as efficient as they can be.
Optimising tools and systems saves you time and money, and improves your business productivity too.
Hard-talk time – also re-evaluate your staffing to make sure innovation, product development and customer service don’t ever fall behind.
5. On that note - make decisions that are good for the business, not just for you
With every single action and every single decision, the most important question a business owner should be asking themselves is whether their decision drives them to their end outcome.
As an entrepreneur, it is often easier to choose the easy decision rather than the right decision.
Whether it is staffing issues, or a tricky customer, choose an action that addresses the problem itself, rather than actions that simply avoid conflict or protect profit.
These choices might seem to make life a bit easier for now, but in the long term it can be incredibly damaging to your business.
Recognise if a certain type of customer is a bad fit for your business.
Trying to please everyone often means you please no one.
Clearly identify your ideal customer, and know who the right ones to target are.
Do not be afraid to turn away customers who are not right: this helps simplify your product and marketing approach - an added bonus!
5. Keep an eye on your competitors and other businesses
Don’t reinvent the wheel: if you see a good idea or something that works well, you can certainly “magpie” it for your own business - so long as it helps you with your own goals.
That said, DO NOT adopt something just because it worked for somebody else.
They may have different goals, values and opportunities.
Consider it carefully in relation to your own business, and make an informed judgement.
Keeping your finger on the pulse makes sure you can give your customers what they want, earlier, and means your business will be less likely to be left behind in your competitors’ dust.
Regularly revisiting these areas will make sure your business stays at the top of its game.
These things do not necessarily have to take long.
You could just check in to make sure you are still on track.
If you want your business to stay afloat, it is no good doing what you have always done: look at those businesses at the top of their game.
Innovation and flexibility is the key to business success and technology is fueling the development of the business world at fantastic speed.