We’ve come a long way since the recession, and while right now is generally a good time for businesses, it still takes a lot of elbow grease to start—and then grow—a profitable company in 2018. But keeping an eye focused on growth isn’t just for those with startups. Even if your business is performing, you need to keep it improving. Capitalizing on these opportunities can be the difference between keeping your company alive and relevant or dead and forgotten in the ever changing landscape of business.
So what does it take to grow your business and how do you keep an eye out for those growth opportunities? It will take some digging and analyzing to determine the exact formula for your company, but there are some small business tips that have proven time and time again over the years.
1. Explore new distribution channels for your business
You could have the best product or service in the world, but that means nothing if your target market doesn’t have access to it. Ask yourself: are you where your ideal customers are? In the age of technology it could be said that it’s easier than ever for a company (even a small one) to reach a wide range of people without huge expense; however, there is an enormous caveat: those spaces are often crowded. Be creative in how you market and deliver your product to your customers. Can you fit into an ecommerce model? Would you do better as a subscription option? Or is your product something that people have to actually touch and feel to fall in love with? Determine where you fit best and then test, innovate, and test again! This will be key to growing your business.
2. Look for partnership opportunities
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that it would have been impossible for them to end up where they are without the help of others. As such, one of
the most successful marketing strategies for startups can be to collaborate with like-minded companies and form mutually beneficial relationships. Obviously this does not usually mean helping competitors; rather, partner with businesses who have similar goals and customer bases to yours. For example, a podiatrist might team up with a running store to offer clinics on how to choose the right running shoes or train properly for a marathon. This kind of partnership would not only benefit the doctor and shoe store, but the consumer as well—offering them expert advice in an easy-to-access location. This, in turn, could lead to more referrals for both the podiatrist and the shoe store as word-of-mouth travels through consumer tribes.
3. Develop clear strategies to decrease inefficiencies
When you’re working to grow your business it may feel like you’re running as fast as you can and not getting anywhere. That stagnation, in our experience, is often the result of ambiguous strategies and multiple inefficiencies. Obviously, getting these under control is a lot easier said than done. But here are a few tips to get you started:
- Make a list of the strategies and processes that must function in order for your business to run. Assign individuals to champion these and develop KPIs for them to report back to you on. Yes, in your business individuals are likely wearing a multitude of different hats; however, having at least a few sets of clear job functions and measurable goals will give your employees the internal satisfaction they need to keep pushing for success every day.
- Automate your reports. Companies spend valuable much time pulling and processing data that could be spent working on strategies and optimizing funnels that will grow your business. Hand that reporting off and maximize your resources. We would love to show you a demo and explain more about the impacts real-time reports can have on your growing business.
- Welcome failure and learn from it! Allowing failures to occur creates an environment of experimentation. When employees (and yourself!) are empowered to experiment they will push your company forward in ways you didn’t know were possible!
Each of these things can be difficult to implement, and will likely take time and follow-up before they stick. However, the results will be exhilarating and you’ll continue to see positive effects throughout your company’s life.
Anyone who has built a company can tell you that scaling your business is likely one of the trickiest parts of being your own boss. There’s long days, late nights, and a million opinions. But you know your business best, and you’re reading this post, so we know that you up to the challenge of growing a company and reaching your dreams. Keep on pushing, keep on innovating, and don’t ever quit! You’ll get there.