According to surveys, only half of the total number of new startups survive up to their fifth year and just a third of that number makes it to their tenth year anniversary. It’s the most concrete proof of how tough running a business can be, even if you don’t really intend to grow it to an exponential size.
How do you avoid becoming a part of the statistics, though? How do you make your small enterprise sustainable and capable of surviving the challenging first years?
Having a growth strategy is what expert entrepreneurs highly recommend. This plan of action can cover both short and long-term goals, depending on how you will craft it. So with that said, you should be ready to map out a good one that will help you keep your business on the right track.
Steps to Creating a Business Growth Strategy
Mapping out a plan for your business shouldn’t be that difficult. If you did your homework on researching and studying your market and the kind of services you wish to provide, you will not have any difficulties in this area. However, to help you get started, here are the key points you should cover in the process:
Specify your business’ value proposition.
It’s crucial to determine and highlight what sets your venture apart from the competition as it can help define your business. This is where you can start your marketing methods, designing your products and services, and developing your ideas to flesh them out further.
Make sure to identify why customers should go to you instead of your competitors and what makes your services and products relevant. The answers to these important details will help you create an identity and send a good message to your target audience.
Identify who your business is for.
Pinpointing your ideal customer is another crucial element in your growth strategy as it will help you shape your business into something that your target audience will appreciate. You can’t be vague in this area and try to cast a wide net as it will not work.
That might seem ideal but as a small business that’s still creating an identity, you’ll need to package your business in a way that will draw in the people that you want to attract. Knowing who those folks are is a solid start.
Set a gauge to help you measure your progress.
As a business, you should be able to measure your progress. It’s the only way to know if you’re moving forward. It’s not always just about the profit, especially while you’re still starting out. Identifying the key indicators that affect your business’ growth will help you focus your time, energy, and money in the right direction.
Take a good look at your revenue streams.
Evaluating and assessing your revenue streams will help you identify new ways to make a profit. Then check if the new ideas you came up with are sustainable. Be objective and realistic as new ideas may seem very unique and exciting but they might not be capable of bringing profits.
Improve your strengths first.
Prioritization is essential for small businesses and one of the things you might want to focus on is your strengths. Many would ask why when you should work more on your weaknesses to even things out but by focusing on your strengths you can give a good boost to your venture. There will be lots of challenges as a small, growing business so if you manage to make the most out of your strengths, you might just go farther.
Additional Tips in Boosting Your Growth Strategy
Creating a growth strategy and executing them are just the first steps in ensuring the survival of your small business in the wild. There will be additional things you need to do if you want success and longevity for your venture. You can’t just rely on your initial strategies to make it big, you also have to supplement it while your business grows so you can better adapt to the new situations you’ll experience.
So what are the supplementary things you should know to further boost your growth strategy? Here are a few.
1. Keep your customers engaged.
Once you’ve established your small business, you’ll already have your own custom pool. When you make a sale out of these people, you shouldn’t just settle for one-time transactions. You should also strive to keep them on board.
Why? Studies show that repeat customers will spend up to 10 times more than their first purchase if you manage to take care of them. Lots of consumers have brand loyalty so this should be one of the goals of small enterprises. Having a loyal clientele will always be a good thing for your business.
Ignoring your existing clientele is reckless as they’re already the success stories of your business. You’ll miss lots of opportunities if you don’t take measures to develop your relationship with them. Advertise, at the very least, to these folks as they might be interested in the new things you have to offer. Make connections through various methods so you can build a good relationship with your customers.
2. Tap into new markets.
This is a no-brainer and the most common tip for boosting one’s growth strategy. However, it’s still worth mentioning if you want a holistic approach to the topic.
Extending your market reach will help you find new potential customers and clients. It’s an absolute must if you want to boost the odds of making new sales. By targeting new audiences, you can expand your reach without having to come up with new marketing tricks and materials. You might need to tweak a little to better appeal to the new market but once you got that covered, your wider reach will let you get more out of your marketing efforts and boost your odds of making a profit.
To expand your market reach, you might need to get a bit creative and do more research. Take a look at your competitors and see what other measures they’re taking to appeal to the markets you’re not working with yet. Exploring new demographics and geographic locations can also help you branch out to new audiences.
3. Continue to offer new things.
Another crucial thing to do to boost your growth strategy is by continuously developing and offering new products or services. By always having something new to offer, you can provide new solutions to your existing clientele and expand your market reach at the same time. It’s highly beneficial in making a sale as it can entice new and old customers alike.
Offering new things is also a good sign of growth. It’s a nice indicator for clients and investors that your venture is performing well enough that you can offer additional services and products now.
4. Team up with other businesses.
Trying out joint ventures can be a bit intimidating for small business owners who are just starting out but it can also offer great benefits when done right. It will allow you to tap new markets and promote your products and services to a wider audience, depending on who you’ll work with.
Giving this tip a try requires a good amount of research, however, as you need to partner up with the right people to make great breakthroughs. It will also need you to work on the presentation of your business as it has to be appealing enough for the other party. If they don’t think they’ll benefit from what you have to offer, then a partnership may not be forged.
5. Make use of the internet.
This may seem like a no-brainer since we are living in the age of information but it still bears repeating as not all businesses take full advantage of what the worldwide web has to offer. Not being able to fully utilize the internet for your business will set you back greatly even if you don’t really feel it. There’s so much potential for growth if you know how to use the latest technologies and trends online.
6. Find a partner.
If you don’t mind working with someone else to grow your small business, partnering up will help you out. They can contribute through investments, expertise, or in any other aspect that you feel will benefit the growth of your venture. Compromises might be necessary when you opt for this method but it doesn’t always mean relinquishing your control over your business.
These are just a few of the things you can do to step up your growth strategies. Give them a try and you might just hit new milestones with greater ease.