Growing a thriving business is not easy, it takes time, discipline, and hard work — there are no shortcuts.
To achieve success you need a structured, disciplined approach, one that takes account of your business and your personality to ensure you focus your efforts on the right areas. Check out our 6 bold moves to business grow;
Step 1: You got to love it!
If you don’t enjoy what you do, then you will never achieve sustainable, long-term growth. Achieving ongoing growth takes a huge amount of your time and effort and if you are not passionate about what it it you do, you will struggle to find the stamina needed to drive forward growth and could fall at the first hurdle.
The fastest growing businesses are driven by owners who absolutely love and feel passionate about what their business stands for and what good it can bring to their customers.
So take a reality check and ask yourself as the business owner: “Do I really enjoy what I do and what my business does?” If you answer with anything less than passion and enthusiasm, then it’s crunch-time for you. Maybe you need to close down or sell your business. I know this can be a difficult and confronting decision to make, but life is short. If you don’t love your business and all the baggage that goes with it, then get out.
Step 2: Micro-plans
Now that you have decided you’re really passionate about your business and have found your calling, Step 2 is all about harnessing that passion into a structured plan. I don’t mean a full-blown business plan. I find most business owners, whilst they start with good intentions in creating a business plan, tend to shelve it after a few months. The main reason is that business plans are too long and are focused too far into the future.
If you want to create an immediate growth plan, then you need to focus on what you need to do today — or this this week or next month — rather than for the next 12 months. Plan for growth by focusing on what you need to do today and this week.
- What customers mustI call today?
- What prospects am I going to visit this week?
- What new products must I start selling now?
- When this week will I increase my prices?
These short-term, micro-plans are all highly focused on the here and now and are designed to get quick and immediate results.
Step 3: Constantly innovate
Innovate, or your business will stagnate. Businesses that keep doing the same thing, selling the same products and services, run the risk of being left behind when the market moves on. If you are not constantly looking at ways to innovate and improve your business — how it operates, the products, the delivery — then I guarantee you that your competitors will be innovating what they are doing.
Look across your entire business and see how could you continuously improve what you are doing? What efficiencies can you create? What product lines are getting old and outdated? Where is the future in your industry in terms of customer needs and tastes? Where will you need to position your business in the next 3-5 years to capitalise on future growth opportunities? These are the critical questions that you as the business owner must find the answers to.
Step 4: Pivot to change direction
There is no single magic formula for achieving business growth, so don’t be put off if your first attempts fail. Also don’t keep slogging away doing the same thing, if it’s not working review and adapt and try something new. There are a million magic formulas — you just need to keep experimenting, adjusting, reinventing, and pivoting until you get the formula right for your particular business.
Most business owners think persistence will solve all their problems and that eventually, given enough time, money and effort, they will crack the “growth code.” But they don’t. Be persistent, but be persistent in changing direction or pivoting until you get it right.
Step 5: Repeat
Growth can be fleeting and usually comes and goes. Nothing lasts forever, and business growth is the same. That’s why it’s critical that as a business owner you keep repeating these steps so far. Just because you’re passionate about your business today doesn’t mean in 5 years’ time you won’t fall out of love with it. Will the great innovative ideas you have created today guarantee sustainable business growth and new opportunities tomorrow?
You need to repeat the process. The pursuit of business growth is a constant cycle, and you must never stop.
Step 6: Always keep an eye on the exit door
Every business has a shelf life, or it will reach a plateau that could last for years. It’s a given, and as a business owner, you must have an exit plan. I see too many business owners trapped for too long in their business, waking up each morning and not wanting to go to work. By then, it’s too late. No matter how many times you repeat these steps, you are beyond turning around a growth slump. Most businesses end up going backwards, and, out of shear desperation, the business owner sells the business in a fire sale just to get out.
Always plan to exit your business. The best time to sell, for the maximum sale price is when it’s growing, not when it’s declining. Time your exit strategy with care, when your business is expanding and not when it has plateaued or is in decline.
In summary business growth is a structured, disciplined and scientific approach that many require professional help to get it right. We can sit with you review your business and help identify opportunities to achieve your elusive growth strategy. Don’t leave it to chance and hope, call us on 9380 3555.