Congratulations! Your new business has made it past the 5-year milestone.
And, it is doing amazingly well!
You were actually able to beat the odds outlined by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The organization estimates that close to 50% of small businesses close down within 5 years of opening.
Now that you’ve made it past that first possible pitfall, it’s time to think about how you’re going to sustain business growth and take your company to the next level. You’ll want to add more products and services to your list of offerings and perhaps, capture customers from a more widespread geographical radius, demographic, and markets.
To make sure your company is able to sustain those growth levels, you may want to take a few prudent steps. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind.
1. Enlist the Help of an Expert Leadership Coach
The wider scope of your business operations may need advanced skills and talents that you may not have. If you intent to sustain business growth, you’re going to need the expert advice and assistance of a one on one leadership coach. To run a larger company, you’ll need to develop certain leadership skills and personality traits. These skills can help you communicate better with your employees and team members. You’ll learn to prioritize tasks and stay organized for the streamlined functioning of your business operations.
Given that a growing business will need you to devote more time and attention towards it; you’ll also need counseling on how to keep a balance between your professional and personal commitments. Rely on your coach to help you maintain focus and stay grounded while you grow your company.
2. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of the Market
Conduct extensive research to remain connected with the changing trends in the market. Keep close watch on the new and competing products being launched and how the customer is receiving them. This information will help you improve and enhance your own products so your company remains competitive and continues to grow. Like this feature on the Entrepreneur advises, focus on the identifying a particular requirement that you can fulfill and work on developing new solutions for that need. Creating add-ons or peripheral accessories for existing products in the market is also a smart move and can help you sustain business growth.
3. Use the Most Innovative Channels for Advertising – Build Your Brand Name
Every smart entrepreneur needs to be aware of the importance of digital marketing and advertising. In an era where close to 80% of consumers look for the products they need online, you cannot ignore this vital advertising tool if you’re looking to sustain business growth. Develop an interactive website and create on online presence on all the social media channels possible. Talk about your products and encourage dialog with customers so they can offer feedback. Be aware that before selecting a particular brand, customers are likely to read up reviews from past users before making a final decision. Regular posts and reviews will help you develop a recognizable brand that your customers will learn to trust and choose above other products.
4. Build a Dedicated Customer Base
In order to sustain business growth, you need a dedicated customer base that trusts your brand. Study the statistics released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and you’ll find that you have a 60% to 70% probability of selling to an existing customer while the chances of selling to a new customer drops to 5% to 20%. So you see, you need to create a community that is confident of the quality and standards of your company’s products.
And, the one way to make that happen is to go the extra mile with excellent service. In addition to providing the best of customer care by handling complaints efficiently, also focus on offering incentives, points accrual programs for long-term customers, and discounts with bulk orders. Consider Holiday season giveaways or Facebook contests to win popularity or even attract interest in any new product launches.
5. Hire an Awesome Team to Work “With” You
Read this case study on Fast Company and you’ll learn that one of the best open secrets to sustain business growth is to have an excellent team working with you. Hire the best of talent you can afford who can bring in the skills you lack. Use your newly acquired leadership skills to build a team of expert professionals that integrate perfectly for the smooth functioning of the company. Encourage feedback, innovative ideas, and infuse enthusiasm into the company work culture. Create an atmosphere of belonging to the business and making it their own. That’s the reason why the stress is on working “with” you in place of working “for” you.
6. Arrange for Adequate Financing
Now that your business is generating a profit, using those funds for the expansion of your company is the smart way to go. But, you may also want to make sure you have backup sources of funds in case you need them during product development or acquiring new property. Arranging for additional finance in advance will ensure that there are no delays in the company’s functioning in case you do run out of money. Keep in mind that acquiring loans for an established successful business will not only be easier but also economical.
While working hard and using carefully designed strategies is essential when you’re getting your company off the ground, you’ll need to maintain that perseverance to sustain business growth. Avoid the dangers of complacency or you’ll risk getting overtaken by competing businesses. Follow these 6 proven approaches and your company is sure to cross the 10-year milestone of success and progress.