Half of the companies that are incorporated this year will only last until 2023 and another one-third will be out of business by the year 2028. In order to make sure that yours isn't one of these statistics, you need to ensure its sustainability. The best way of doing this is by creating a growth strategy. This involves more than envisioning long-term success. You actually need a tangible plan so you don't lose business to your competitors.
Surround Yourself With the Process
To begin with, you really need to fall in love with your job, not the money you'll “hopefully” make from it. There's a lot of hard work involved just to get you to that point. You'll really need to enjoy this work and dealing with people because, just like a plant doesn't blossom overnight, your business won't either. If you can't understand this and you're in love with the outcome or lifestyle instead, you really need to be careful. Failure to put in the right amount of work, dedication, and devotion in guarantees you won't be successful.
The bottom line is this: Great start-ups are built on passion. When you need a boost in this area, you should get help from motivational speakers. Allow them to help you remember why you love what you do and why you enjoy going to work each day. Let them help you find the truth in the old cliché, “If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life” (Confucius). Once you find this joy, you've found another secret: The outcome will take care of itself.
Don't Overlook the Business Side of Things
Obviously, you can't get so lost in the joy of doing the work that you overlook the business side of things. According to Entrepreneur, there are some very specific considerations you must take into account here if you really want your business to grow. These include:
·What sets your business apart from its competition?
·Why do customers comet to you for your products or services?
·Why are you relevant, differentiated and credible?
·Do you have some type of authority? (e.g. Whole Food Market is the definitive place to buy organic food) Or are you competing on price like Walmart does?
·Who is your audience?
·Is your audience your ideal customer? If not, how and why are you serving your current audience?
·Where are you currently making money?
·What revenue streams could you add to your business?
You can use your answers when explaining to your “ideal” customers why they should do business with you. Straying too far away from this will devalue your business. Of course, there's no way to know how successful your business growth is without measuring it. These measurements will also tell you where to invest more money. This is great because you want to continue with your forward thinking and not waste money. It's important to understand the difference here.
Another important part of growing your business is investing yourself in learning new things. While you'll definitely want to focus on your strengths some people are surprised to hear that these are things you'll want to improve too. You don't want to waste time trying to improve your weaknesses when it's your strengths that will make a real difference in growing your business.
Entrepreneur Mag says it's still important to continue learning as you grow your business. Think of ways in which you're actively involved in your clients' business, things you can't avoid helping them with but in which you could grow stronger. These are the things you'll want to learn more about or strengthen. By doing so you can now start tackling these tasks with confidence.
Your confidence will also play a major part in growing your business. If you want to grow your business, you need to let go of the fear of the unknown. When you can't or won't do this, someone in another company will. These people will come across as a fearless leader, which is the type of person that other business owners really want to spend their time and money working with.
You don't want to look back and see this happen to your business. It's an awful feeling, especially if the other person ultimately had less experience than you. When you're struggling with confidence in areas like this, don't say “no,” say “I'll learn.” If you need some help doing this, refer back to your motivational speaker once again. They're a great resource when you're undergoing a process of self-discovery, which is something you'll spend a lot of time doing as an entrepreneur.
Besides focusing on yourself, focus on investing in talented people who can do those things that aren't a part of your strong suit. This is especially important for anyone who will have direct contact with your customers. You'll want to spend more money on them. You can take this money out of your office furniture or holiday party funding if necessary but never skimp in these areas. Even if you pay out big paychecks for just a few people they'll stick around and really benefit your company because you've chosen to reward them so well.
As you're doing these things, make sure you also keep an eye on your competition. They're probably excelling in places where your company is struggling. By looking at how they're growing in unique ways you can position your business to grow in these areas too. However, as you do so, it's important to remember that creating your company's growth strategy isn't a one-size-fits-all process. This is especially true when you factor in things like changing market conditions. Of course, this is just one reason and example of why it's foolish to make strategic decisions based on another business owner's decisions. This doesn't mean you can't learn from someone else along the way though. It simply means that blindly implementing a cookie-cutter plan won’t create sustainable growth.