Sometimes you’re so wrapped up running your business it can be hard to think about growing your business.
It’s a trap that many of us fall into, but anytime your business has a slow cycle it’s a good time to spend at least a little time thinking of growth strategies.
Growth Strategies: Sales
Sales are a core component of any growth strategy, so let’s start there.
How do sales happen for you?
If you’re not sure you have some work to do. If your customer list is relatively small, figure out where each customer came from and what the most popular source what.
If you have a retail or online business and don’t know all your customers, start asking. Have your sales clerks ask where shoppers they heard about you, and put the same question on your online check out form.
It’s also a good idea to take a good look at your online metrics to see how people are finding your website.
Once you identify the best sources for sales, work to cultivate them. For example, if many of your customers are coming from referrals, you might consider creating an official referral program to reward and encourage your customers to send you more leads.
Growth Strategies: Scale
We all want to grow our businesses, but what if you’re already tapped out?
If you landed a new client tomorrow can you support it? How about two clients? Five?
If you can’t support new clients, how long would it take you to ramp up? Do you even know what additional resources you would need, or does it just seems like a big scary mess?
Bringing scale to your business isn’t as hard as it seems, but it does require giving up some control, which is a scary thing for many business owners. Here are a few things you can consider.
- Are you doing a lot of grunt work? Could you benefit from an intern, virtual assistant, or even office manager to handle some smaller tasks and take some of the pressure off you? There’s a lot of stuff that needs to happen to run a business, but not all of it has to be done by you.
- Are you becoming a jack of all trades? On a similar note, are you focusing a lot of energy trying to figure out taxes or email marketing best practices instead of doing what you do best? There’s only one of you and you are important to your business. You also have a finite number of hours. On the other hand, there are a lot of specialists out there that could spent 15 minutes to accomplish what it takes you four hours to do.
- Are there any bottlenecks in your company? Maybe it’s you or maybe it’s someplace else in your company where things keep getting stuck because a machine or a person can only process so much stuff. The question is what are you going to do about it? Could you grow more effectively by having a second machine, or a second person in that position (even if it’s part time)?
- Can technology make you more efficient? Is there anything about your business that’s very labor intensive? Or even repetitive tasks that don’t take any brain power? Could you save time and money by automating these tasks?
Growth Strategies: Make A Plan
So you figured out you have ways to grow and there are ways to scale. Good news on both fronts! BUT (I hear you saying) it’s so hard to just get through the day, making these changes seems like a pretty far-fetched goal.
It’s true, change is hard. But so is running a business and you’re already doing that.
Personally I find I need a plan with priorities and deadlines to make myself do anything. Someone to keep me accountable is also a plus.
I’ll also tell you that talking strategy is one of my favorite things. So if you’re the type of person that won’t do it unless there’s money on the line, Social Light has a strategy package that can help you create your online growth plan and we’ll give you a kick in the butt to get moving.
Whatever it takes to motivate you, do it and grow your business this year!
Nicole Krug is a marketing strategy consultant specializing in digital brand management, social media, web development and email marketing. Since founding Social Light in 2009, she has helped clients hone their digital marketing strategies to bring more exposure to their brands and boost their bottom lines.
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