Every business is different. We all have different problems, face different constraints and have different levels of resource with which to tackle them. Yet, for businesses who want to grow, there are certain universal elements that ring true no matter the sector.
At Jarrang, we specialise in using email marketing, for businesses where it’s appropriate, to propel and fuel growth. However, before a business reaches the tactical point of deciding the best marketing channels to use, it’s vital they know where they’re going and how they’re going to get there.
Here are my top tips for growing your business:
Start planning strategically. You have to know where you are headed. Would you set sail across the Atlantic in a boat that is untried and untested? Would you begin the voyage without a compass and aim the bow in the rough direction of west? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d sail in a vessel you know well, you can trust and you can rely on. You’d have the right provisions, backups and, of course, you’d have plotted your journey.
And you’ll understand your precise path will inevitably change en route, but you’ll always know where you’ve come from, where you’re going and you’ll be accountable for any change in direction along the route. This is precisely the same in business growth planning.
Combine your strategy with process and people. To embark upon a project of growth, your business needs to critically analyse itself from the ‘outside looking in’ in terms of strategy, processes and people. Imagine these three elements are the legs of a stool. Without existence and subsequent strength of these three principles, the stool WILL fall over.
Once you’ve developed your stable stool, it’s here where your sales and marketing strategy can develop to suit the specific needs of the growth project.
Invest time, effort and money. Business growth inevitably involves the investment of a combination of time, effort and cash. Along your growth journey, you need to know when to force the evolution from early growth into streamlining efficiencies, processes and staffing to create reliable cost reduction. You cannot grow without this investment.
Repeat the cycle. Once on your path to growth, you’ll reach a point of measurable saturation or stagnation on your growth pace. Your customers will begin to expect a better offering and experience or competitors will emerge and threaten your share of the market. This plateau can often put the business into panic mode and there can be a tendency to revert to what worked in the past. Once you reach this point on your journey, your growth cycle starts again. You’ll need to develop new approaches to reflect the changing requirements of your customers as well as bringing in new customers and business.
So, in summary:
- Make sure you start planning strategically and you’re able to answer the question: “So what?” Does your growth plan have value to the industry?
- Take time for reflection both in holding yourself accountable and identifying whether your planned path is the most effective on and gives you the best chance of success.
- Focus on your three legged stool of strategy, process and people. Ensure it won’t fall over and where there are gaps in your knowledge or resource, seek to fill them.