hen it comes to longevity, it’s important to focus on how to grow and scale your business so that it’s sustainable in the long run. We realize there’s a lot of tasks you can do to grow, so we’ve outlined a quick guide below to help you.
Make a Plan to Grow Your Business
Yes, it sounds cliche, but making a plan will help to focus your efforts on the right tasks that will move the needle forward. The most important aspect is to tailor a plan based on your goals, what’s realistic for your team when it comes to execution and metrics for success. For instance, if you want to double your sales, your business might be better off focusing on finding ways to provide excellent customer service instead of launching new products. Once you have your plan, make sure to look at what’s working and what’s not, and pivot accordingly. That means ensuring you have your business vision written down, and seeing whether what you’re working on aligns with that. It also means looking at the data (such as any website and email marketing analytics) to see where you may need to focus next.
Create Systems to Grow Your Business
Having systems in place will ensure your business is as efficient as possible and can measure variables that help or deter growth. It can be as easy as outlining the exact steps to execute manual tasks, all the way to software that will help you automate them. Perhaps you’re manually tracking customer interactions — in this case, a customer relationship management, or CRM system is a worthy investment. Or you want to make sure you’re getting employees up to speed on new software — you can film a screenshot of you using it so you don’t have to spend time training people one on one (we like Loom for this). Ultimately, systems help take tasks off your plate so you can focus on the high-level tasks that lead to growth.
Make Your Online Presence a Priority
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that making a good impression online can make or break your business. Meaning you’ll want to ensure your social media presence and website clearly showcases your brand. Consider leveraging comments and likes from social media posts, for instance, to elevate your reputation and spur word of mouth from existing customers. As for your website, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to navigate. This includes showcasing a clear call to action, links to relevant content, fast loading speeds, and even great educational content. Plus, if your business sells products or services online, make sure it’s easy for your website visitors to complete purchases. One of the most important things you can do for your business is to make it easy for people to contact you. Whether it’s through Instagram DMs, a live chat feature on your website, or fast email response times, your customers will appreciate positive interactions with your business.
Get Your Finances in Order
Profitability is the name of the game, so it’s crucial that you, as the business owner, think about money, especially when it comes to growth. Even if you end up increasing your business income, spending it all on expenses could mean your business comes crashing down. It’s not sustainable to ignore company dollars. What this means is that you’ll want to consider giving your business a bit of a buffer in case of emergencies, such as having to pay for a web developer to recover a hacked website. It also means looking at what you can really afford to spend on growth-related tasks, such as hiring new employees or embarking on a new marketing strategy. Having a budget for your business is great, but you’ll also want to keep an eye on it. Check in on your business accounts to ensure that you’re spending in the right places and that you have plenty left over to pay yourself and your employees.
Focus On Your Strengths
There are plenty of things you can focus on in your business, but it’s not a good idea to try to juggle all of them. Instead, get clear on what you’re best at and tasks that only you, the business owner can do. All the rest you can hire out or automate. Stretching yourself thin is a recipe for business disaster. Instead, work on the tasks that focus on your expertise and will lead your business to sustainable growth.
Create a Plan for The Unexpected
As your business grows, remaining nimble and pivoting quickly may not be as easy as it once was. Plus, all the best-laid plans can go awry — it’s crucial you don’t let the unexpected totally derail your business. That means when you come up with new business strategies, aim to see what could potentially go wrong, and make plans for them. Being proactive ensures you’re taking calculated risks instead of being reactive in the moment.
Invest in Your Staff
Even if you’re a one-person business now, you’ll eventually need to hire employees, contractors, and freelancers. These people will be crucial in making your business dreams come true. Ensuring they have what they need to do their jobs properly and thrive will help you build a loyal team, in addition to encouraging their well-being. Plus, loyal staff don’t need as much buy-in on business growth — you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more effort you’ll see from them.
To Grow Your Business, Trust Yourself
It can be lonely as a business owner. Working in a silo can feel really hard, and doubts may start to creep in. One of the most important aspects of business longevity is working on the right mindset, and that means trusting yourself and your abilities to grow a business. You are the one who holds those dreams, and it’s up to you (in addition to your support system) to make it work. Believe that you have the ability to do this. You’ve already got the plans, vision, systems, and financial runway to make it work.