We all marvel as new businesses turn into household names. These are fresh and exciting companies who are obviously doing something right. However, they’re not who you should be using as your business role model. Instead, you should model your business after companies that have been around for a while because they have growth strategies that are proven to work.
A successful business growth strategy is contingent on many things going right. You may want to take a look at them as you run your company.
3 Essential Traits Your Business Needs to Succeed
1. Willingness to Change With the Times
Sales Force says that any business that wants to grow will need to overcome traditional constraints. This is actually one of the most difficult challenges you’ll face. After all, you won’t find a bank that’s willing to offer you a loan to use in growing your business. Nevertheless, your infrastructure (the tools and systems you use to run your business, including point of sales systems, phones, computers, data centers, and software) will grow outdated – especially with all the technological advances that are taking place today. While these technologies are meant to level the playing field, your business can’t keep up with them without spending some money.
Companies that embrace technology often experience quadruple the revenue growth than what other companies experience. In fact, Deloitte conducted a study that showed these companies made 44% more revenue than companies with a basic system or none at all. This is clear evidence that technology is really helpful in helping businesses grow. For instance, financial management technology can also help your business grow since you can closely manage your cash outlay and receivables. This technology gives you a clearer picture than you’d ever get with a simple Excel spreadsheet.
American Express says that changing with the times really is one of “the most important ‘rules’ a business can follow.” They point to Jack Marran, president of Marran Oil as an example of this. Their company has been around since 1891 – 126 years. The company started as an oil company but thanks to a willingness to change, they now offer kerosene, HVAC, and home security. Their willingness to evolve is one of the reasons they’re still in business today.
When you make innovation one of your business growth strategies you also have to be willing to adopt innovative technologies. Unfortunately, only one-third of today’s businesses are adopting innovative technologies as a strategy for growth. To be smarter about growth, you need new technology. This is important because you can’t scale high-touch services without its help. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs feel they’ll “just wing it” – something that’s worked for them in the past. However, as your business grows bigger and more complex, you need the help technology can offer.
Businesses can’t even argue that they can’t afford to use new technology. Studies actually show how 36% of companies spend less money and yet gain more clients thanks to technology. Of course, it’s good business sense to spend money to gain loyal, high-value customers.
Understanding the importance of having the right technology helps you understand why you need to keep up with the times. However, your business actually needs to do more than that. It needs to be creative and lead the way into the future. This is something that Jeff Vermeulen, executive director of the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College of Pennsylvania stresses the importance of. He says that “Successful companies need to be constantly innovating to stay relevant for their customers and ahead of their competition.”
3. A Relationship With Your Clients
Of course, another old saying is also true, “You can’t place the cart before the horse.” You can’t become so creative that you forget about the customers you already have. By spending all your time and money chasing after new customers, while ignoring your current customers, you’ll waste a lot of money. This is a problem that’s been occurring for years now. Those businesses that have gone beyond surviving to thriving have learned that it’s more important to turn customers into repeat customers who speak highly of you. Word of mouth advertising is yet another great growth strategy.
There are a few things you should consider here. Ask yourself:
How often are your existing customers buying new products and services from you?
How big of an order do they usually place?
How much do they typically spend each time they place an order?
Where do you find your best customers?
Why do you lose customers?