Growing your business can be a difficult and often frustrating process. No matter how talented, experienced, or proficient you are as a leader, business development may be draining your energy, funds, and desire to achieve the original plans you had for your company. Yet growing your business is a critical step in maximizing your company’s potential and in revenue enhancement. So how do you achieve success? You need a growth strategy.
Business type may dictate growth strategies. Service businesses are certainly different from product businesses in terms of strategies. And obviously globalization strategies are different than local strategies. Yet, devising the correct strategy is important for the expansion of any business.
Here are a few ideas that would cross over any business type, industry or size.
* LEVERAGING. Every business should be looking for ways to leverage every thing they do in multiple ways. The question to ask yourself before beginning anything – be it a new service, a product offering, or an innovative idea – is how else you might be able to leverage it. If you are creating a new service, what else can you do to utilize this new service? Can you offer to speak at conferences or write an article about the service? Does it offer opportunities for joint ventures with others? Can you productize the service in some way? Everything you do or create has the opportunity to be leveraged in multiple ways if you think creatively.
* RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING. Relationships are key to growth. You must build high trust relationships with everyone – clients, vendors, colleagues, alliances – absolutely everyone who deals with your business in any way, shape or form. The more people who know you, who understand your ethics and values, how you work and what they can expect from you, the greater your chances of these people referring business. Your ability to ask for referrals and get them is also increased. Often we think of those high trust relationships as being with clients or perhaps staff. Yet the truth is that relationship-building crosses over into all facets of your business.
* CLARITY. You need clear job descriptions and understandable metrics for all staff. Sounds silly right – how can this grow the business? But the clearer these pieces are the greater productivity you will have. Increased performance leads to growth.
* INFRASTRUCTURE. Building an infrastructure is often discussed yet rarely handled. Your infrastructure will includes budgets, planning and other piece of business involved with creating and maintaining the foundational parts of your company. Many business owners and leaders overlook this critically important aspect of doing business. How do you know where you are going if you don’t plan for it? And if you are off track how do you figure out where you’ve gone wrong if you don’t plan?
* LEARNING. Become a learning organization. You want to find the lesson in everything. Every success and also each action or move that didn’t work out quite as anticipated. Just because your marketing initiative was successful this time doesn’t mean it will be the next time. Take the time to analyze what made something work well, or not so well. If everyone in the company is taught how to analyze and learn from what they are doing, success and growth are the outcome.
Growth strategies are essential to a company’s success. But only those companies that produce products and services that sell in the market will succeed. And only those products and services that are marketed and put into action skillfully will sell in the market. They sell because you have covered your groundwork. You’ve built strong relationships. Effective communication is essential within your company. You’ve put a well-built infrastructure in place. You’ve leveraged everything you do. You know the answers to the basic questions that determine the success of any business. You know who you are, what you are doing, which is your market, who is the potential client, and you know the challenges that keep your clients up at night. All that remains is to provide your clients with solutions that will work for them. That is, after all, what a growth strategy is.