Six Keys For Your Business Growth Strategy
Business growth is every entrepreneur’s objective, but achieving it often proves challenging. Only 0.1 percent of all startups eventually reach $250 million in annual revenue, while nine out of every 10 startups fail completely. You need a sound business growth strategy if you want to beat these odds and establish a successful business.
The specifics of your strategy will depend on your market, available resources, and specific needs, but there are six universal keys that all successful enterprises share.
1. Establish What Makes You Unique
The fundamental goal of any business growth strategy is to get more customers and more revenue, so whatever marketing strategy you choose needs to accomplish this. The easiest way is to ask yourself a simple question, “Why do my existing customers choose me?”
The answer to this question will help you identify what your core competency is, enabling you to highlight it. For example, a startup offering cheaper products than its competitors should focus on the value they offer, while a more established brand can charge a little more by emphasizing the importance of their experience instead.
Either way, you are presenting a cohesive argument to your prospective customers about why they should choose you.
2. Who Is Your Customer?
Once you’ve established what you are actually selling, it’s time to determine who you are selling it to. Research consistently shows that consumers respond more favorably to marketing materials aimed specifically at them, so any strategy entailing a generic pitch is doomed to fail.
The best part about this step is that there is no wrong answer.
If millennials from the ages of 25-35 are most drawn to your products, that’s fine. If your audience skews older or younger, that’s fine too. As long as you are targeting the correct segment of the customer base for what you provide, you are succeeding.
3. Learn From Your Competition
It’s easy to view your direct competitors as nothing more than the enemy, but chances are you can learn a lot from what they are doing. For instance, any competitor with a more robust e-commerce business than you might be outperforming you in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) arena.
If you visit their site and note their keywords and interface, you may learn something to improve your own operations.
It may even be possible to set up a mutual exchange of ideas to boost multiple startups in your industry at once. While it seems counter-intuitive to share your best strategies with your competitors, doing so may help all of you survive against bigger brands.
4. Invest In Talent
Your employees are the face that your customers associate your brand with, so ensuring that they make a favorable impression is paramount to any business growth strategy. Try to find a qualified team that shares your passion for the company’s vision, and the resulting enthusiasm will have the impact you want.
Once you have the right personnel, don’t be afraid to pay them what they are worth. Even though your budget is probably tight, it is much better for company morale to compromise on holiday parties, office furniture, and even marketing than the boots on the ground making your company what it is.
5. Embrace Analytics
The best business decisions are always backed by hard data. For example, a fundamental understanding of each of your revenue streams can help you identify waste, improving your bottom line. Likewise, you may be able to determine which streams are most profitable and emphasize them in future campaigns.
Knowing how analytics work can also help you evaluate the impact any changes. Changes should always be implemented immediately, providing clear “before” and “after” periods to compare. If you fold in changes gradually instead, the resulting analysis becomes murky as you struggle to remember how much any given change had taken effect over a particular period.
6. Don’t Go Too Far Too Fast
Finally, any business growth strategy needs to account for the possibility that you could lose money even as your revenues increase. The best way to do this is to write down several short and long-term goals and how you plan to achieve them. If something doesn’t make sense once it’s on paper, your business may not be ready to strive for it yet.
Writing down your plans also allows them to be easily shared with your staff, helping the entire company get on the same page. They can point out any mistakes you may have overlooked, providing an extra layer of protection against an expansion strategy that could hurt your business.
Taken together, these six keys can help form a firm business growth strategy and stability.