Growth is essential for any business to succeed. Even for companies that have just opened their doors, having a strategy for how to expand is paramount.
While no two businesses are alike, there are many things an entrepreneur can do to ensure that the new business continues on an upward trajectory. Here are eight growth strategies for new businesses.
1. Have an Online Presence
Consumers today are online more often than not. Whether it is working at a desktop computer or using a smartphone or tablet during downtime, people are constantly connected. The internet is where they go to find answers to questions and solve problems.
Your business needs to have a vibrant online presence. It starts with a website that clearly highlights what you do, the services or products you offer, how to contact you, and why you stand out from the competition. You might also consider using popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to attract followers and spread your message.
2. Focus on Customer Service
People today want to work with businesses that stand by what they say and do. Exceptional customer service helps new businesses develop a positive reputation and encourages good buzz.
Mistakes will happen. Companies that own up to those mistakes and solve problems are usually forgiven. Those businesses that ignore customer complaints, are not helpful, or fail to deliver on what they promise are usually short-lived.
3. Use Data to Make Sound Decisions
Your business will generate lots of information that can be used to plot next steps. You will have lots of information about your customers such as how they connect with you (referrals, website, in-store), what they purchase, what solutions they are seeking, how much they spend, and when they interact with you.
This information is a gold mine. Learning how to interpret, analyze, and use data is a key step toward future growth. Hunches are one thing. Data-driven decisions about where to move, pilot, or adjust are much better in the long run.
4. Gain Exposure
Businesses need a sound marketing plan to drive them to the next level. Investments in marketing can have major dividends. They build brand awareness, deliver key messages, attract customers and employees, and sell your company.
There are other ways to gain exposure, too. Going to trade shows and conventions related to your industry is one sure way to meet potential customers and partners. Targeted online, radio, television, and newspaper advertising can help entice market segments to give your company a try.
5. Manage Costs
You should take a close look at your operating costs to see if there are things you do not need or can do more cheaply. Take advantage of utility deals, sell equipment you do not need, use outsourced or temporary help to reduce employment costs, and monitor spending. Those cost savings can be shifted to other areas to help accelerate expansion or pay for increases in your marketing budget.
6. Review Your Plan
Most likely, you opened your company after creating a thorough, carefully considered, and strategic business plan. When you are looking to grow, it is a good idea to start with that foundational document.
Reviewing and revising your business plan can help to guide new directions. Were your assumptions correct? Do you need a new market analysis? Are your expense and revenue projections on target?
An annual look at the business plan can help you gain clarity and keep you on the right path even as you explore new directions for your company.
7. Hire and Keep Great Employees
In many ways, your company is only as good as the employees you have. That is why hiring is so important, especially if your business has a small number of workers.
Finding those employees that will drive growth is important. So is keeping them. That means offering competitive, market-appropriate pay, employee benefits, and work-life balance.
The same goes for your advisors, whether they are your attorney, accountant, insurance representative, or financier. Transparency and collaboration with your partners will help them help you.
8. Use Technology
You want to make it easy and affordable to do your work. That is why technologies such as mobile pay systems and cloud-based applications can help by reducing costs, making it easier for you and your employees to get work done and making it easier for customers to pay and interact.
At Benetrends, we help entrepreneurs with funding a small business and with extensive support services for new companies. Whether it is managing credit card processing, or retirement plans, we help small businesses succeed and grow. To learn more, schedule a consultation today!