Growing your business is not only an excellent goal for any entrepreneur, it is often integral to the survival of businesses in what is a very competitive environment. It is important to approach business growth strategically or risk not being properly prepared to support growth. Being unprepared is not only unsustainable but you also risk the loyalty of existing customers and potentially even business collapse. Below are 6 top tips to grow your business.
Before you start
Review your business structure. Does it provide appropriate asset protection, flexibility and tax minimisation for your business through each stage of its growth cycle? A strong business structure may cost you a bit more in set up and compliance costs in the short-term, but will save you a lot of pain in the long run. Talk to your accountant about the structure that is right for your long-term goals and what the transition to this structure might look like.
Who is your target market?
Start with your current market. What is their demographic, location and what is the ‘why’ behind their purchase of your product? It is generally easier and more cost-effective to increase sales through your existing customers than to find new customers. And of course keeping your existing customers happy can be some of the most cost effective marketing by generating word-of-mouth and referrals.
What is the cost of growth?
It is important to consider what sales and services your current business model can support. If you double your sales, can your staff, systems and supply chain keep up and if not what will be the cost of upgrading and increasing resources? This is one of the most significant risks of business growth, and failing to plan is planning to fail. Remember the end game is to increase your bottom line and managing costs should be a top priority.
Have a marketing plan
What is your marketing strategy? Consider who are you targeting, what are you selling, what media will you use and the cost versus benefit. How will you handle any enquires generated quickly and effectively? Social media can be a very cost effective and well targeted marketing approach, but make sure to keep your profile current, and manage user interactions promptly or update settings to prevent unwanted public comments. Having a well-managed website that is informative, functional, device friendly and can be found on google is also an important part of your marketing strategy.
Innovate and Diversify
Once you have solidified your existing market and product placement, it is time to think next steps. In a competitive environment where technology is constantly changing, it is important to stay ahead of the game. How can you diversify your product range and target market so as to better spread this risk while still focusing on your key business strengths. If you are not actively looking at this, someone else is ready to take the opportunity.
When you first start a business it is normal to personally manage as much as possible to minimise costs and get it off the ground. As you grow it is time to consider letting go of some of that control and hiring staff or outsourcing to allow you more time to work on the business rather than in it. Hiring the right people and building a culture that empowers staff and encourages ownership, initiative and loyalty will be fundamental to sustainable growth.
Once you have considered above and developed your business growth strategies, add it to your business plan.
If you require assistance identifying and implementing strategies for business growth, you can speak with one of our business advisers, please call us on 07 5413 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.