Top Ten Ways to Grow Your Business
After startup, many small businesses are so focused on day-to-day business operations that they don’t take the time to actively focus on growing the business. While others are focused on growth but do not have a strategic plan to achieve it. The Top Ten Ways to Grow Your Business are provided to help your small business achieve growth beyond startup on an ongoing basis, and are based on my experience working with small businesses from startup to expansion. .
Know your market opportunity: When working with small business executives and entrepreneurs, one of my first questions, if not my first, is, “Do you really know your market opportunity,” or more succinctly, “Do you really know your market opportunity?” strategic?” ?” And then, “How well do you know your strategic market opportunity?” These are your common questions about how, where, and what a small business owner or entrepreneur should do. For example, how do you see your market? , where is your market? and what is your market? Business growth is closely related to the market opportunity and how well you capture it. In my experience, business growth is a function of envisioning your strategic business opportunity. market, plan how to acquire it, execute your plan, and then work on your plan to achieve it.
Know Your Customer – Your customer is the primary focus of your business venture. Identifying who your customer really is, followed by understanding their needs, is essential to achieving growth goals. Staying connected with your customers through email, website, face-to-face conversations, and special customer appreciation programs, like offering a monthly customer discount, strengthens your customer base and lets you know who your customer is. Think of it this way; A customer-focused organization gains a competitive advantage over the competition, which typically results in increased market share.
Cultivate and Maximize Your Brand: Brand recognition has become as critical to small business growth as knowing your market, customer development, product and service credibility, growth strategy, pricing, cash flow, and Have the right executive team. Your brand is the ‘face’ of your small business business and how recognized is its direct impact on the growth of your business. Cultivating and maximizing brand recognition is crucial to the success of your business. New marketing media approaches include social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, etc., which need to be exploited. Global companies have realized the tremendous marketing opportunity these venues provide and have established social media as a primary business function. The small business business can also take advantage of this expanded and almost free marketing approach to reach customers and increase brand awareness. Cultivating and maximizing your brand sets you apart from the competition and allows your customers to link their business to your brand.
Develop your growth strategy: Developing a growth strategy is a best-management process that involves determining long-term growth goals and developing a specific action plan to achieve these goals. The process involves an assessment of your market environment from the perspective of having the relevant market experience after initiation; perform a SWOT analysis; selecting a set of alternative growth strategies based on changing market conditions and then implementing your strategy. Note that this refers to the ‘imagine, plan, execute and achieve’ model that I mentioned earlier. The strategic growth plan is developed from the point of view of your small business’ corporate entity, where the focus is on achieving your strategic business objectives based on four critical questions: Who are we? what do we do? Where do we want to go? How did we get there? The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your strategic objectives for your growth strategy.
Put the right people on the bus – This is one of my favorite talking points, related to leadership, and related to the strength, character, and ability of your executive team. Here we use ‘bus’ to refer to the small business or organization and comes from Jim Collins’ book, ‘Good To Great’, where he cites Ken Kesey’s reference to a bus as the business, organization or firm. Collins found “…if we get the right people on the bus [in the company]the right people in the right seats [in the right executive roles]and the wrong people get off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to get it somewhere great [to attain the founder’s vision]…” As a small business owner, it’s up to you to make sure you have the right executive team that will take your vision of where you want your business to go and achieve it. Business growth at all levels depends heavily on achieved with the right people on the corporate ‘bus’, driving it to success.
Listen to the experts: Hire a business advisor, coach, according to the National Federation of Independent Business [NFIB] Education Foundation, over the life of any small business, 30 percent will lose money, 30 percent will break even, and only less than 40 percent will be profitable. The Small Business Administration [SBA] reports that 50 percent of all small businesses fail after their first year, 33 percent fail after two years, and nearly 60 percent fail after four years. A business coach and advisor will work with you to help you avoid becoming an SBA or NFIB statistic, help you stay focused on driving your business forward, work with you to develop and refine your goals, help you develop critical business growth strategies ; and provide an honest assessment of where your business is in its life cycle.
Follow Your SOLE – It has been my experience that the small business executive responsible for business growth almost always follows and prescribes a framework that embodies the vision, plan, execute and plan strategy to achieve business growth. This often resembles what I have developed for my clients as the SOLE Framework. The SOLE Framework provides the context for business growth optimization where you: Solve a critical problem or market need; Optimize growth by meeting customer needs to solve a problem, leverage your top core business competency, and establish a competitive baseline for business growth.
Be A Hedge Hog – The Hedge Hog Concept was developed by Isaiah Berlin in his study “The Hedge Hog and the Fox” which divided management, leadership and professional positions into two groups: hedge hogs and foxes, based on Greek mythology, where the fox knows many things, however, the hedgehog knows one important thing. The fox is an elegant, cunning, swift, cunning and beautiful animal. The hedgehog, on the other hand, is a scruffier creature, more like a cross between a porcupine and a small armadillo that, when faced with danger, turns into a very prickly ball and spends its days foraging for food. However, Berlin points out that this otherwise simple creature is certainly not stupid or simple-minded; they have a keen perception that allows them to see through complexity and discern underlying patterns of behavior. The hedgehog sees what is essential, critical and important and ignores everything else. To be a Hedge Hog, a small business executive must see only what is essential and focus on that, exploiting the essentials in a positive and productive way and concentrating on three key dimensions: what can be the best in the world; what you are most passionate about; and what drives its economic engine.
Establish a competitive culture: A competitive culture refers to how your organization is structured to compete in the marketplace. In fact, corporate culture is a competitive advantage for a growth-focused small business following a rather simplistic approach, based on shared organizational values, direction, mission, and a belief that the primary focus of a small business is first to satisfy the needs of the customer. customer, followed by empowering employees to meet those needs, then community engagement, using common business sense approaches to conservation, and then attention to investor interests. This hierarchical organization places the foremost focus on meeting customer needs, followed by training employees to meet those needs, creating a company structure that is positioned to be highly competitive.
Optimize Business Growth: What is Business Growth Optimization? I think a good way to initially answer this question is to make an analogy to a perfectly timed car engine running on all cylinders, smoothly, fully optimizing its ability to produce maximum power. Similarly, the small business growth company that is fully optimizing its core business competencies is structured to maximize competitive advantage and has a strategic business growth framework; running smoothly on all cylinders if it were, you are achieving business growth optimization. In my experience, achieving Business Growth Optimization is a three-tier process involving the SOLE Framework, achieved through the establishment of the Hedge Hog Model and the implementation of the Cultural Competitiveness Organization structure.