It’s not all you need, but these twelve essentials will help you build a solid foundation to grow your business toward success.
Running a small business can be more stressful than parenting or maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse.
Here are some basic principles to begin to advance our goal of growing a business.
New business owners have numerous goals when they are starting out, including rapid growth and recognition of their business.
But success doesn’t happen overnight, nor is there a specific magic formula to add to your recipe for immediate results, and nothing is guaranteed.
However, there are ways to achieve your growth goals to position you as a company made for success.
Recently a dear friend on her Facebook profile asked her community (she likes that we all participate in her discussions) What is more important to have an idea or to execute the idea?
For the most part, we all agreed that you couldn’t select one without the other being out of hand.
And if you think about it, of course, the idea is fundamental, but without the action, it remains a mere idea on paper (which by the way is the vast majority of situations).
But think also how many times we have not heard of entrepreneurs who go out to the market like crazy to execute whatever it is without maturing and conceptualizing that idea well.
So many startups come up with a good idea, yet they are unable to grow their businesses based on a solid foundation.
Through my own journey as a businesswoman, I have learned that each company is unique, but there are certain keys to follow to achieve that “success” so dreamed of.
The few who do succeed do so with unsurpassed focus, discipline, and unconventional thinking.
Although it takes a little more for your business to be successful, here are 12 essential principles that you can start applying right away as you begin your journey to growing your business.
12 principles to grow your business
Timing is everything
The timing of your product or service should be fair to the market in which you are launching it. If there is no need and the market is not ready, then you must have the will to stop in order to make your product or service really have a reason to exist.
You will have to choose between waiting for the market to be ready for your business idea (which requires the resources to survive during that period and accepting the risk of emerging competition), or you will have to adjust your offer to something more acceptable to cover the needs of your target audience.
Small companies have the advantage of being able to make decisions and implement changes without the bureaucratic processes and conflicting views that always hold back large corporations.
You need to anticipate your market and customer needs and constantly innovate to stay at the forefront.
This undoubtedly requires leadership with agility, resilience, and a willingness to quit and recognize that failure can be anticipated if you have enough speed to adapt and move on.
Brand, brand, brand
Today’s economy requires entrepreneurs to be able to impact their customers with their business ideas because if not, those customers will go to your competitor in search of a better experience.
If you want to create a thriving business, you have to understand how important it is to build brand equity. The emotional bond that unites customers with your product, unlike any other, translates into sustainable growth.
Here are some basic rules to be able to connect, shape, influence, and provoke with your brand in the minds of your customers:
Choose your target audience. The surest path to product failure is to try to be everything to everyone.
Connect with the public. Your goal is to make your audience feel an emotional bond with your brand.
Inspire and influence your audience. An inspirational brand message is much more influential than one that simply highlights the functions and features of the product.
Reinforce the brand image of your company. Make sure that your employees at all levels of your business behave in a way that reinforces the image of the brand.
Scaling your sales
Creating a unique product and a unique brand is not enough. Repeatable sales processes are needed to create a profitable business.
It is one thing to have a product that they buy from time to time and quite another to be able to identify, design, and implement repeatable sales and customer delivery processes with a product that truly meets the needs of a specific audience.
Keep in mind that you will have created a profitable and frequent sales model when:
New employees can be added at the same level of productivity.
You can increase the sources of your potential clients to clients with a consistent base.
Your sales and revenue conversion rate can be constantly forecast.
The cost of acquiring a new customer is significantly less than the amount you can earn from that customer over time.
Your customers can get your product in the right place and at the right time.
A profitable sales model builds the platform at scale. As the search for the product/market shape, it can take a lot of experimentation/research and development to find a real and efficient sales model.
Invest in technology
About 64% of the Spanish small business sector would like to be able to make better use of technological innovations to help manage their businesses.
If a small business can identify a genuine need, the technology likely exists to meet that need both locally and globally.
There are few barriers to entry in an age where anyone with wireless access can employ the assistive technology necessary to run their business model.
It all comes down to creating the right operational plan that connects the dots between your business model and the application of accessible technologies.
Stress for success
Most small businesses find managing the continued success of their business to be twice as stressful as maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse or partner, nearly three times as stressful as raising children, and more than four times. Sometimes as stressful as managing your personal finances.
Small business owners routinely give up fitness and other personal priorities to keep up with the demands of their businesses.
Hire the right people
Before you even think about your company’s journey to grow your business. You need to make sure you have a solid workforce that can help you achieve it.
Focus on your real sources of income
Instead of trying to acquire new customers, direct your efforts and attention to your current top customers. You can do this by applying for a referral or customer loyalty program.
You can also try marketing strategies based on past shopping behaviors to encourage them to return to your business.
This focus on the established market is especially important if you are trying to obtain financing.
Reduce your risks
Risk is an unavoidable part of starting and growing a business. It’s impossible to control everything, but there are plenty of ways to limit internal and external threats to your business and its growth.
An important resource to help you achieve this is having a business insurance provider.
Small businesses need to be able to manage their growth and avoid disruptions that could lead to bankruptcy.
For example, the theft of employee data, customer records, and product design can destroy a small business, generating significant costs and eroding customer trust and loyalty.
Unfortunately, I have observed that the policy of all business owners is not exactly geared towards covering data breaches or other cyber losses. Small businesses should be prepared by looking for insurance products that help them recover, including those that cover the cost of recovery and claims.
As small businesses grow, in order to expand their business or acquire equipment, create new products or services, or increase their line of operation and distribution, it is advisable that you periodically review your insurance policy and make sure you have adequate coverage.
A common trait among successful companies is the ability to change course quickly in response to changes in the market.
I have observed that designing an agile approach to the development of your company. Both in terms of products and/or services will help you grow your business.
By allowing yourself to be able to adapt and change quickly, you will be able to try different approaches to your business and find out what works best, which allows you to fail, pick up and move on.
Focus on your customer’s experience
Customer perceptions of your business can really make or break a business. Offering experiences and quality products will make your clients manifest it publicly on social networks.
But also keep in mind that if it is the other way around. They can also spoil the image of your business because they will tell the world even faster. Rapid growth depends on making your current and potential customers have a happy experience.
Compared to large companies, small companies are more agile and are often better able to see better, anticipate, and respond to the needs of their customers.
The most successful small businesses take advantage of this advantage, bringing new and innovative products and services to market faster and developing and cultivating long-term customer relationships.
Always remember that listening to your customers and giving them what they want is of the utmost importance. You have to be clear that being able to engage with your audience is crucial, and even more so, personalizing the experience can boost and strengthen that relationship.
Also, diversify your offers so that you can better serve the changing tastes of your customers. Remember, you are here to serve your customer. That is why your business exists.
Invest in yourself
In the early stages of your business, you will likely see a very meager profit margin (or no profit at all). So any money you invest should go directly towards helping your business grow.
The ability to invest early in your business helps accelerate growth. In those early years, it is very important to make sure you have the revenue redirection in the company.
Investing early and heavily is critical in order to grow quickly.
Always think ahead
Planning your next step, even if it means anticipating all possible scenarios, is the best way to stay connected to the reality of your market and make your business evolve over time.
Stressors can be unforgiving. But if you are not happy, healthy, and motivated. You cannot create a business model that provides a positive experience in the market.
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