Getting your business off the ground in the first place is an achievement worth celebrating, but it only represents the beginning of your entrepreneurial challenges.
However, the very idea that your business is ready to grow is already an excellent sign that you are on the right track with your strategies, and it’s time to upgrade your efforts in order to meet the more complex obstacles that are bound to arise.
From defining your vision of the company and its path for the future to recognizing the gaps in your operations that could use mending, it’s up to you to craft the perfect mix of in-house and outsourced expertise that will help your business flourish all the way to the top.
1. Master the Art of Goal-Setting
Just like your entire business started with a single spark of creativity, you need to keep feeding that spark and focusing on the goals to grow.
Your business needs a clear pathway, a direction with possible routes and expected roadblocks to overcome, in order to be able to outgrow its current size and scope.
However, having a vague idea of where you want your business to be in a few years will not be of any use.
You need to have a precise outline, a projection of expected growth, along with milestones you’ll need to keep track of along the way.
Your vision, as well as all your goals, need to be measurable, precise and realistic.
Think along the lines of “I want a 30% increase in revenue by January 2019, a 15% increase in social media following and establishing relationships with 10 Instagram influencers”.
2. Keeping Your Customers Happy
Getting new clients as well as retaining the existing ones is no child’s play.
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With the competitiveness growing in every possible niche, and more businesses popping up around every corner, your own company needs to stay not only visible but recognizable and alluring to its target demographic.
By now you already have plenty of data on how your customers react to certain strategies, what makes them tick, which of your customer service efforts are the most efficient and which have caused an issue.
Improving your communication, brand presentation and exceeding customer expectations is essential, so get feedback from your clients, analyze the existing numbers, conduct market research and examine complaints to find what needs fixing.
3. Embrace the Learning Curve
The fact that you’re at the top of the food chain in your company, no matter its size in numbers, doesn’t mean that you’re done learning.
On the contrary, now that you are in such a responsible position and with a vision to grow, you need to find more ways to expand your existing knowledge and expertise.
From the simplest methods such as picking up a book to attending lectures, conferences in your field or signing up for online courses, you need to stay in the loop of all the latest advancements, as well as your company’s target audience. Their preferences will slowly change, and you need to keep up with the times.
4. Update Your Technology
Expanding means that your communication channels, your team, and your basic supplies will have to go through a growth period as well, and one of the best ways to make the transition easier and smoother is to use the best available technology out there to conduct your business.
From installing business phone systems to improve your customer and in-house communication lines, all the way to sprucing up your brick and mortar stores to reflect your growth – all of it will play a major role in how fast and how successful your business will thrive.
5. Delegate and Outsource
By the time you outgrow your current space and your scope of work exceeds your team capacities, it will be too late to hire new staff to manage the overflow.
It’s necessary to preemptively start actively searching and training the best candidates that will grow alongside your business. So, when the time comes for them to take charge, they will be ready.
The same goes for getting an outside expert to cover a portion of your business growth.
That may be managing your social media accounts, creating a new product catalogue or taking care of your weekly blog posts, but sometimes it’s better to hire an expert than to overburden your own schedule.
6. Elevate Your Marketing Efforts
Whatever tactics you’ve used thus far to promote your products or services and to connect with your audience have obviously worked marvelously, but that’s no reason to avoid innovative thinking in terms of your marketing.
Start thinking how you can upgrade your current efforts, which strategies you should slowly start including and the pace at which these changes should happen.
Perhaps your business could use more exposure on Pinterest, or becoming more active on Twitter, while you could also improve your online content, promotional plans, freebies and organize an event to celebrate a milestone such as an important anniversary or a new partnership.
Whatever strategies you choose to incorporate into your growth plan, it’s essential to keep monitoring, assessing and adapting as you go.
Your customers, your brand and your company are all fluid, often fickle creatures, and staying on top of your game-plan means that you should be ready to make changes on your way to business stardom.