It is always good to start the new year off with a positive approach. If your business didn’t perform as well as you had hoped or if you didn’t do as well as last year you need to take proactive action to move your business forward in the new year. It is not easy to turn around a business, so here are my top 11 business growth strategy tips for 2015 and beyond to help guide entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and established enterprises through the process.
Table of Contents
When in doubt seek the assistance of a top small business expert or business consultant to help you get a handle on what is troubling your business. Someone outside your company can see instability where you may not.
Evaluate Your Offerings
Determine if your sales mix and products have changed. Is your product or service obsolete? Is there a technology available to make your company’s offering more efficient? Look at what you have been doing from beginning and figure out how you can enhance what you have traditionally offered.
Rank Your Business
Does your potential consumer base consider your business as a top company in your market? Are you really competing with others in your industry? Identify where your company stands in the marketplace.
Define Your Customers or Clients
Work with key staff to evaluate your customers to determine if your product or service is reaching the right people. Also, figure out which customers and accounts are bringing in revenue and which are not. Consider getting rid of customers or accounts that you are not making money on. This will allow for you to focus on the customers who bring in the most revenues.
Get Customer Feedback
You may have seen this phrase on the back of truck “How am I doing?” with a 1-800 number to report a good or bad truck driver. Think like a company that operates big rigs, take time to review your customer service at all levels of your business to determine efficiencies and standards. You may find that customer service is an area in the most need of attention and revision.
Establish a Competitive Edge
Do something to innovate your business to keep pace with market trends. No matter what industry you are in, you can create opportunities to generate new business to establish an edge over your competition. In order to ride the wave of today’s trends, your small business must constantly look for ways to leverage what’s hot in the marketplace. Keep in mind your competitors might be looking for an edge up too, so be vigilant and leverage industry ups and downs to maximize your company’s performance.
Evaluate Your Staff
Try to keep loyal employees away from those who are marginal in turning your company around. You need a cooperative team to move your company in the right direction, be sure that your loyal staff are not swayed by those who may have become disenchanted during your troubled times.
Keep a Motivated Workforce
What you pay your staff can have a great effect on the way in which they treat the importance of their work for you. Take certain steps with regard to salaries and cost of living increases to make sure that your best people are being compensated. If you have been unable to provide reasonable salary increases recently, offer another form of incentive, such as an extra week paid vacation to keep them on board with your initiatives. Keep your staff motivated so they will act as brand ambassadors for your business.
Focus on Quality
Make sure you have accurate delivery of products or services. Use the quality of your service or product as a marketing tool to attract more business.
Invest in Public, Relations, Marketing and/or Social Media
For businesses in all industries the strategy is simple, invest in public relations, marketing, advertising and social media to increase/maintain your company’s brand awareness. Or consider stepping up existing marketing initiatives or start investing in marketing for the very first time. This could mean hiring a public relations expert to garner your business press via traditional media, taking out a few targeted ads in print/online publications or on local cable television, updating your website, sponsoring a relevant event or starting a smart online ad campaign to reach new customers. If you don’t have time to engage your clients in social media – hire someone else to do it.
Decide on What is Important
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to the company and your employees. It might sound petty but instead of the luxury sports car or other guilty pleasure you have been dreaming of buying, purchase a more modest less of expensive car or spend your money in a more frugal way. Perception that the boss is doing everything to turn the business around is key to getting your entire team on your side of the turnaround. This may include some personal sacrifices, but if you can show that you are committed to the success of your business it will motivate your staff to continue to ride out the storm and stay employed with your company during the upturn.