Why Your Business Needs this 6 steps for a successful Growth Strategy

Why Your Business Needs a Growth Strategy

Do you have a clear idea of where you want to take your business? Are you sure that everything you do today to increase your revenues, acquire more clients and reduce the amount of time you work in your business is actually working? Most large businesses develop specific plans that, over time, will move their business to a level that meets the goals of the executive team, the shareholders and the community that supports them.

What about the small business owner that often times has limited resources to implement a plan that lasts longer than 30 days?

6 steps for a successful Growth Strategy Business

A strategy is a particular approach that involves a detailed plan supported by continual action steps. The reason strategies are so vital is they keep things moving. And in business, if you are not going forward, you’re going backward- it’s just a matter of time. So, if you want your business to be worth more (or paying you more for your efforts over a period of years), having a strategy that focuses on growth is a must!

Every business will have elements of a strategy that are unique to that particular business. These elements are the details and they’re fairly easy to develop once you have the overall framework in place. It’s the framework that can cause most business owners to trip, fall and give up since the framework is what guides the strategy in the particular direction of the growth you want. So, if you have no formal strategy to take your business to the next level or your business needs a major makeover right now, here is what a growth strategy framework should look like.

1. Create a clear vision of what you want

There’s an old saying that you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Well your vision is your target. Your vision needs to be very clear in terms of what you want from your business. Do you want to reach a particular revenue level? How about expanding to multiple locations? Do you want to be known as the premier supplier of your product or service in your community? How about reaching a personal income amount that supports your lifestyle and enables you to support your favorite charity? All of these goals need clarity- amounts, time frames, people, places, levels of investment, etc.

Nepoleon Hill, author of ‘Think and Grow Rich’, stated that until you can see your vision clearly in your mind, you will never have it in reality. Be very clear about what you want and what you don’t want. It’s the compass that will keep you aligned with your ultimate goal for your business.

** Key point to consider- Don’t spend too much time worrying about whether you can reach your goal at this point. You just want to insure the vision you paint is really what you are prepared to stick to.

2. Understand the market you plan to dominate

I say dominate because goals and effort should be applied to the highest result possible, since it takes no less effort to turn in something mediocre. This part of your growth strategy typically falls in your marketing section. The absolute worse strategy you can adopt is a ‘shotgun style’ approach that tries to appeal and attract everyone.

Regardless of what you sell, there will be people who do not want to buy it or not be interested in buying from you. Know what you do better than your competition. Know what solution you deliver that is better than alternative choices, even the choice to do nothing. This is called a market niche and will allow you to be very specific about the type of clients you are looking for. The big corporations can afford to market to the masses. Small businesses need to be more selective or bleed themselves dry trying to compete.

** Key point to consider- You many have several markets you can develop with your main product line or service. The point is to maximize targeted client groups using your core business offering, not to create completely different offerings to satisfy the markets you think you want to develop.

3. Know who your ideal client is

It takes no more effort to market to someone who values what you do that it takes to market to people who are only interested in how cheap you can sell your service. Find out who your best clients are and what they value.

You should know how they make decisions to purchase, what they find important and what criteria they will use to select a company to do business with. These attributes fall under the heading of psychographics and they are worth millions to the business who accurately figures them out. Your primary marketing message will incorporate language that targets these folks and the results can be unbelievable when you use them consistently.

** Key point to consider- The biggest pitfall to effective marketing is not knowing what to say to prospective clients that will cause them to engage you and your business. This is why understanding how they think will allow you to create marketing content that speaks their language.

4. Make sure you have a clearly defined sales process

Simply put, do you have a system or method for bringing prospects along until they are ready to be customers? Do you know how to communicate with them before, during and after they purchase from you. This is the area most businesses have trouble with.

The result for not nailing this area down is a weak closing rate. Every business has a different ‘sales cycle’ and what you do to nurture the relationship during your sales cycle is the difference between keeping your prospect funnel full and constantly having to find new prospects to sell. An effective, well designed sales process means you have to spend less time cold calling or chasing prospects and more time transacting business.

** Key point to consider- The more your sales people learn to converse with prospects, the better they will figure out how to provide solutions for the prospects issues, not sell them something they don’t want or need.

5. Automate as much as you can

There are 2 kinds of business automation: systems that do the work and staff that does the work in a consistent, efficient manner. Just about all facets of business have the potential to be automated from website lead capture and response systems to work order flows for employees who operate remotely.

The point here is to standardize your process and put as much of the repetitive, low impact work in the hands of systems. Your staff can also automate various approaches to doing daily tasks that do not change. In both cases, you will save time, increase your capacity and devote your time and skill levels to higher revenue generating pursuits.

** Key point to consider- When a business is stuck and unable to grow because their capacity is maxed out, it’s usually a lack of system and process automation.

6. Be prudent with financial decisions

Huge sums of money can be wasted on expenditures that will outlive their usefulness. A great example of this is signing long term contracts for phone service or phone book advertising. The money you tie up in areas like these is money you won’t have for more effective resources like book keeping and getting a coach to help you move forward faster.

With each big purchase decision, weigh the savings of a long term agreement with the overall amount of money you devote to something that might have a rather short productivity lifespan. Always consider leasing, outsources or simply passing on the deal, depending on the nature of the offer. Having too much money tied up in facilities investments at the expense of more revenue generating programs like marketing and sales training can cause severe and lasting cash flow problems.

If you plan to be in business for the long haul and be able to weather the blows dealt by the economy, competition and ever changing consumer demands, you need a strategy that becomes a part of your weekly focus. Without it, running a business can be a crap shoot!

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