Starting a business is an exciting and challenging time. However, once you get beyond the initial stages of starting a business, you need to figure out how to help grow your business. A business doesn’t just expand on its own — at least not sustainably.
You need to set things in motion that allow your business to grow, and to thrive. Here are 5 tips that can help you grow your business:
1. Know What You Want to Accomplish
You need to have an idea of where you are going, and what you want to happen if you expect your business to grow. Think about what you want to accomplish as a business, and figure out how you can make that happen. In many cases, that means breaking your plan down into steps. Determine which steps will help you accomplish your goals, and focus on those. In some cases this might mean shedding some of the extraneous items that add little value to your business.
2. Network with Others to Grow Your Business
Forge connections with others, creating business partnerships, and other relationships that can help you grow your business. Networking can be a great way to meet those who can mentor you as you improve your business model, as well as help you find new markets for your products and services. Mastermind groups and networks help energize you with ideas and refine best practices.
3. Create a Marketing Plan
It is difficult to grow your business if you don’t actively market to an audience. Consider who might be interested in your products or services, and reach out to your audience through a preferred media form. You can integrate your social media marketing with your offline marketing. Consider where members of your target group are likely to congregate, from the local coffee shop, to an online hangout. Also, having business intelligence training is great for creating marketing plans.
Remember, though, that your marketing needs to be regular. You can’t ramp it up when you need customers, and then let it dwindle away to nothing when you feel you are doing well. Instead, your marketing efforts need to be maintained so that you remain present in consumers’ minds.
4. Add Value for Your Customers in order to Grow Your Business
One of the best things you can do is to add value for your customers. Offer exclusive deals to those who join your email list or “texting club.” Or, offer real time customer service on your website through software. A little effort can go a long way. Some customers are willing to pay a little bit more if they receive something of value in return. Whether it’s the occasional freebie, or whether it’s something intangible like outstanding customer service or a friendly atmosphere. Find out what your customers want, and then try to deliver that value.
5. Plan for Profitability — Not Just Increased Revenue
While it can be exciting to see that you made a large amount of money last quarter, you can’t always just focus on what is coming in. Look at your profits. Are your high revenues offset by high costs. Look at how you can improve your profitability. While you don’t want to take away value from your customer, or drive away valuable employees, you can still look for ways to run your business more efficiently such as incorporating business intelligence into your operations. Double-check your expenses, and your programs (including your energy efficiency), and determine what can be tweaked to improve your cost-efficiency.