Your Business is seeing some Impressive Growth. But, how do you make it last?
Ok, here’s a question for you and we would like if you could answer it honestly.
If you were to describe the growth of your business in one word, what would it be?
- Back sliding?
Whether your business is making a handsome six-figure profit every year or whether you’re just getting started, whether you’re the owner or the CEO of a business, you’re likely to face some of the issues listed above.
You would have come across the statistics – nearly 80% of all new businesses fail within 18 months of starting, and over 50% of all businesses close their shutters within five years of starting it.
The fear that this could happen to your business keeps you up at night and even creeps into your working moments? Worry not, it’s not all gloom and doom – we’ve got some good news for you.
Here, in this post, we share with you the secrets of building a business that lasts and goes strong for more than 100 years.
Tip #1: Identify and Eliminate Bottlenecks
As your business grows, you’ll have to look for areas that aren’t proceeding smoothly. Identify processes that keep on causing delays. When you come across a bottleneck somewhere in the process, it means that something has to be addressed here.
The solution may be hiring more employees, upgrading systems, optimizing workflow processes, outsourcing processes, automating tasks, or any other solution to keep operations flowing smoothly, thereby providing the space for sustainable growth.
Tip #2: Hire for the Company you Want to Build and Not for the Company that you have right now
Very often, when entrepreneurs establish startups they use their friends and other family members to fill in key positions. But, as the business grows, you need expert and skilled personnel who have expertise in their specific areas – be it operations, finance, management, sales, human resource or others.
When you bring new people on board, make sure to take a look at the impacts in the long run. Ensure that they’ll contribute to the long-term growth of the company. After all, you don’t want to hire someone, invest in their training, only to find that their skill set is adequate after two years.
Tip #3: Always Ask and Seek Honest Feedback
Make sure that you collect as much input from your customers. This will help you gain insight into their changing requirements. Use the feedback to identify and project future business. This helps you get prepared for it, instead of hurrying to meet the demands at the last minute.
Also, it’s essential that you move day to day operations to a level that enables you to grow and redistribute responsibilities across personnel. By keeping yourself abreast of the needs of your customers, you can anticipate and make the necessary changes to meet it.
Tip #4: Embrace Change
Change is essential. While this may seem counterintuitive, as your business grows rapidly, you need to alter and modify the very business products, services and models that contributed to the growth in the first place.
For instance, you may have to cut down on the number of products you sell to better focus on your star products. Or you may have to expand your offerings and customize them to break into new markets. Or you may have to provide additional services to meet the changing needs of customers.
By resisting change, you not only hamper growth but could also end up losing your revenues.
Tip #5: Update your Systems
There will come a point at which the Excel sheet you use for everything from accounting to management won’t meet your needs. It’s not going to cut it. You need special and upgraded systems for processes like order management, delivery tracking, time tracking, customer relationship management, content management, financial reporting and more.
By using technologically advanced tools, you can automate routine tasks, prevent duplication of tasks, and above all, improve overall efficiency. Invest in latest gen technologies like cloud, AI, machine learning, neural networks and more to gain an edge over your competitors. One word of caution though: Don’t invest in a technology just for the sake of it. Rather, when choosing the tools, make sure to check whether the particular tool suits your business and comes with adequate support to grow.
Tip #6: Take a Critical Look at your Business as if you’re Going to Sell it
Most business owners fail to consider their exits. However, succession planning is an excellent way to improve scalability. Take a look at your business, as if you’re planning to sell it. Doing so helps you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business easily. This way, you can quickly spot and rectify growth issues.
Another important factor to consider is that you need to groom your business, so that it can continue functioning with efficiency, even if you aren’t at the helm. Shine a spotlight on areas that have problems – be it operations or financials and come up with effective ways to rectify them.
This is highly important if you want to pull in new investors, hire skilled staff or if you want to have free time eventually.
Tip #7: Outsource non-strategic operations to improve Efficiency
In the beginning, you may do everything in-house. From recruiting to HR, financials to accounting, and even sales and marketing, everything is done by an in-house team. But, as your business grows this strategy is highly inefficient.
To scale, you need to leverage the expertise of outside resources and outsourcing partners. Say, if your core competency is manufacturing, then just focus on it. Outsource your non-core processes to improve efficiency and lower costs.
Tip #8: Focus on Digital Marketing to Get the Word out Quickly
If you’ve been relying on word of mouth marketing to improve your brand’s positioning in the market, here’s the sad news – it doesn’t scale. You need to rely of efficient digital marketing to make your startup visible and improve your brand’s positioning. And remember that internet marketing and social media marketing are the new age word of mouth.
So, ensure that you devise a sound digital marketing strategy for your business right from the start, to help you gain an edge over your competitors.
Tip #9: Automate from the Ground Up
A startup that is labor intensive is not scalable. Instead, of turning to automation once you reach sufficient volumes of growth and sales, make sure to invest in the right automation technologies from the beginning.
When it comes to automation, there are plenty you can do. For instance, today chatbots are highly popular for customer service. Instead, of hiring customer service representatives, these chat bots are highly useful in providing excellent customer service for a fraction of the cost.
Adding online training videos and the right documentation to bring new people on board easily are a part of the automation process.
Tip #10: Above all, Think Big and Take Bold Steps
No, this doesn’t mean you have to indulge in impossible dreams. No, we don’t want you to sit around and imagine yourself as the next Jeff Bezos with stacks of dollar notes surrounding you. What we encourage you to do is think big. Say, you have a startup that’s $5 million today. Then, you have to focus on making it a $50 million company.
Not just imagining, but you have to work out the ways in which you can achieve this. This is what thinking big is all about.
Choose Growth Optimization
Growth Optimization is the process of producing lasted growth, by defining strategies that have flexibility to adapt and change. Growth optimization doesn’t rely on short-lived marketing fads, innovative technology or reinventing your business. Instead, it focuses on one crucial aspect – building, enhancing and sustaining customer relationships.
In fact, the world’s most successful brands like Apple, Starbucks, Target all use growth optimization to scale and grow. With that said, growth optimization works for businesses of all sizes and across industries and verticals.
In a nutshell, here are the three main impacts of growth optimization:
- Focusses on increasing the number of customers
- The average transaction value of each customer
- And, the number of transactions made by a customer
Growth Optimization does all this by creating and connecting core business components, while focusing on the big picture.
Interested? Get in touch with our growth hacking and optimization experts here at Webfries. We help define and build a customized strategy for your business, to grow and develop sustainably. With growth optimization, you don’t only reach new heights, but have the right tools and techniques to scale for years to come.