Business growth is attainable and is not a mystery. Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”. There are proven principles which, when executed, bring business growth. Business growth is important especially when you consider how high business failure rates can be. More than one in every five businesses fails within the first 12 months. More than 5 in every 10 businesses never reach 5 years of operation. Some studies show even higher failure rates of 70 percent to 90 percent, or more. Here are six business growth tips for your consideration:
Develop Products Or Services With Customers
It should be common sense, especially when you consider who a customer is. I like what Sam Walton (Walmart) once said; “There is only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”. Any product or service you offer is to get customers to pay or buy. Would it not be best to involve them in building what many normally assume customers want?
In this day and age consumers have become sophisticated; assumptions are dangerous. Better involve them in the product development processes so you end up with what they truly want. One particular study done in Sweden by Engineer Ifeanyi Patrick Nwaokorie found that if you do this, you will enjoy the following:
- Increased level of innovation
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Faster product-to-market time
- Enhanced customer loyalty (which feeds into word of mouth and referrals)
- Improved customer relationship management
Time Management Is Important
In general, if done properly, time management enhances how efficiently a business operates. It has implications for mental health, productivity, and operating costs. That is how far-reaching time management dynamics are. In business, you should streamline how you and those you manage handle time. “Time is money” may sound cliché, but it is true. We have repeatedly underscored the importance of managing your time well. Maximize the early hours of your day!
No wonder why one of the areas I always impress on you is deep work. That is where time blocking comes in. Set aside some fixed hours in your day where you work uninterrupted on your tasks. During those hours, you block off any possible distractions. Then you time your tasks and place breaks in between them. In business, you must do this and urge your staff to do as well. How to optimize your time in 4 Ways and How to win back your time: 15 Habits to Cultivate are two articles you must also check out.
Set Aside Time For Strategic Thinking
You must be a strategic thinker. Strategic planning is a common feature in business. That is why you must appreciate the tenets of strategic planning. We discussed strategic planning in the article 5 Ways to Speed up your business success. Strategic planning is good and imperative; it entails strategic thinking, often collectively. However, you still have to cultivate a personal or collective lifestyle of setting aside time for strategic thinking.
Some use long walks as strategic thinking time. Some use the gym or workout time as strategic thinking time. Some can set aside time to seclude themselves and listen to meditative music. Some can meet with one or more people to brainstorm ideas. Some can go on vision retreats specifically for strategic thinking. There are infinite ways to do it. The bottom line is that you must consciously set aside time for strategic thinking.
Embrace Change And Navigate It Systematically
Change is inevitable, especially in business. John Maxwell has always highlighted that change is inevitable, but growth is optional. That is why you always need to be prepared to adapt. Business growth is only attainable if you are dynamic in the marketplace. You must put the effort in getting to grasp what change management is.
Change management is the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools, and resources to deal with change. In Zimbabwe, change is the norm; it is a highly dynamic operating environment. To grow your business, you must embrace and handle change tactfully. You can find free online courses on Change Management at Alison, Great Learning, Coursera, and edX, amongst others.
Use Storytelling More
In this digital age, the places of the internet and social media in business are unquestionable. Overall the most important aspect of it all is content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing approach where you draw, engage, and retain an online audience by sharing relevant and engaging content with them. There’s an article on how to achieve the best content marketing results in 2023. Storytelling is a major component of that. Several studies have shown that information is more persuasive and better retained when presented using storytelling. Someone is more than 20 times more likely to remember and act on such information.
Develop Structures And Systems
There are seven levels of business growth. These are seed, startup, growth, established, expansion, maturity, and exit. To navigate that, you need an orderly way of doing things. The four pillars of business growth are management, marketing, operations, and finance. Those four aspects imply you need to build systems or structures. The importance of a business operations manual; read that article to appreciate why you must build structures and systems. They are central to igniting business growth and helping you manage it effectively.
Never lose sight of the role of technology in all these tips. Technology is a huge part of business growth and will continue to be. John Chambers from Cisco once laid it out perfectly when he said: “At least 40 percent of all businesses will die in the next ten years if they do not figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies”.