Growing a business is hard work. It takes time, effort, and money. So why do so many small businesses fail to grow - despite these best efforts?
It’s not enough to have a great business idea and put all your time, energy, and money into making it happen. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, most small business owners don’t take the time to create a growth plan, a key component to success. While getting your business off the ground can be exciting and rewarding in its own right, it's important to nail the fundamentals along the way.
Creating a marketing strategy geared toward increasing sales leads and conversion rates while keeping costs down gives you more profit margin at the end of each month. The better your margins, the more likely your success.
Many marketers and entrepreneurs share your mentality concerning their businesses: we need to grow - without risking what we’ve already built. But how do we accelerate growth without wasting the budget?
It can be tempting to throw more budget towards marketing or explore new channels in a last-ditch effort to grow your business. But that’s like putting a bandaid on a severed artery: It’s a poor man’s fix to a more significant issue. Instead, focus on these four key questions to find the real bleed.
- Focus on your customers: What do they want and wow can you provide in a better way than anyone else? If you haven’t examined your buyer journey, sat in on a sale call, or gotten recent testimonials, this is a great opportunity to return to the reason you do business: your customers.
- Focus on your team: Are you using their full skillset most effectively, or are some people who could be doing more with less time if assigned different tasks (or if you hired someone new)?
- Focus on your products and services: How can you upsell what you already do--and how would it help people achieve their goals faster? Consider offering a new angle on existing products (like offering AI-assisted copywriting services at a cheaper price, for example) to provide more to customers.
- Focus on marketing: Is there anything missing from your current acquisition and retention strategies that would allow for growth without additional time and resources from your existing team?
Accelerate Business Growth: 5 Ways to Get Started
Knowing what to focus on isn’t the same as proactively leveraging that time to lean into growth efforts. Here are five ways to intentionally add growth as a core business focus.
1. Carve out time to actively manage your business
You're busy. You have a million things to do and likely do many of them well. But if you don't carve out some time to actively manage your business, it will be difficult (or even impossible!) to grow it at a rate that makes sense for your goals and lifestyle.
Step back and look at what's happening in each area of your business. Revenue generation, client acquisition, team development, product development/innovation, and marketing strategy (including social media) should all be considered. Ensure your growth plans align with each category (e.g., increasing revenue by X percent per month over the next six months). Also, make sure there's a backup plan in place should any one area run into trouble because things rarely run perfectly.
2. Think about how you can use technology to get things done faster
When you are trying to accelerate growth on a budget, one of the most important things you can do is use technology to your advantage. Technology can help you work more efficiently and productively, saving valuable time and resources.
For example, you can use project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com to streamline your workflows and manage tasks more efficiently. These tools can help teams collaborate in real-time, assign tasks, track progress, and set deadlines. Chat and video conferencing platforms like Slack or Zoom also streamline communications without needing expensive travel or in-person meetings.
Moreover, you can use technology to collect, analyze, and leverage data. Tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or Salesforce can track website traffic, customer behavior, and sales performance. You can use this data to identify patterns, optimize your marketing efforts, and improve your customer experience.
However, ensuring that your technology serves your organization's needs is essential. Before investing in any tool or platform, assess your existing processes and identify areas where your existing tech stack can make a more meaningful impact.
3. Invest in continued training and education for your team
Employee training is one of the most effective ways to improve customer satisfaction. A well-trained and informed team helps your business operate smoothly. When you don’t need to focus on operations, you can focus on growth!
Some companies may try to shortcut this step because training is a significant investment of time and money. This investment can feel costly, especially when you are trying to scale quickly. But what is the point of trying to grow if, when you get to the top, the thing that brings you back down is your lack of training in your team?
4. Do More With Less
Delegate tasks that are repetitive or non-essential. The goal of delegating is to free up your time to focus on the projects that matter most to your business's growth. If tasks in your business don't fall into those categories, they should be delegated out of necessity.
However, when you delegate, it's important to do so wisely and make sure critical responsibilities are being handled by the right person. Delegating these roles to unqualified individuals can lead to costly mistakes and legal problems down the line.
If you don’t have the team or resources to delegate effectively, consider outsourcing these roles to a qualified professional. Or hiring a dedicated team member with the necessary skills and experience.
5. Explore What's New In Your Industry
It's important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and technologies, but you should be cautious about overloading your marketing efforts with new technologies. You don't want to commit too much time or budget before testing and measuring them properly.
If you’re considering investing in a new tool or launching a new product, beta-test it on a smaller internal scale to see how it works for a few key team members. This lets you gauge whether or not you would be making a good investment.
Create A Plan For Growth
Organic growth takes time, even if you want to grow your business ASAP. This is not something that you can wave a wand and wake up with hundreds of leads overnight.
These are great examples to get the ball rolling in the right direction, but hiring a growth team of professionals will give you leverage to push the ball up the hill when these tactics are no longer sustaining your growth.
To see how we help brands scale their business, check out our free Growth Marketing Strategy Kit.
July 27, 2023