How do you grow a business quickly and smartly?
First, clarify your vision of what you're aiming to achieve. Is it 50% growth per year or 500%? Does your business need higher profit margins to solve cash flow challenges or higher revenue?
With a clear vision I then recommend engaging the employees to form a team with weekly meetings to update them on progress towards achieving your vision and goals.
Next, find out your current position and starting point by measuring the 3 areas of a business...
- Sales (number of leads each week and income of new sales)
- Productivity (measured by the dollar value of work in progress)
- Cash banked
From measuring these areas you'll find opportunities for improvement and weaknesses that hold the business back. These relate to roles so that leads to the need for systems. Especially job descriptions so each employee is accountable for their role and they have a KPI or two assigned to their role to hit weekly or monthly.
With that in place you have a team that will perform and do their job, which frees up the owner to focus on growth strategies and working more on the business.
That introduces more sales and marketing strategies as the next step.
By now the business will be growing fast, in control and be cashed up so it can grow by multiple millions in revenue, year after year.
Now the expansion plan where you (the owner) works less hours or days each week and the business grows without you under management.
That's a 7-step recipe (if you count them) to rapid growth.
I've applied it to over 400 businesses in the last 18 years and seen clients grow from $1.5M and stagnant to $50M and operating in 4 countries in 6 years.
Follow the 7-step grow recipe and its an enjoyable, stress free ride to prosperity and freedom.
I'd tell you to focus your attention on a few key points:
- Get to know the Lean Startup Principles
- Focus on only building and spending on money on what has been validated as the core essential features or your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
- Validate your assumptions with customers, use paper surveys, ask people in person or use something like Google Forms to collect data.
- Constantly ask yourself and/or team, is what I'm creating solving a problem? Is that problem documented in collected feedback? Do I need to gather more feedback?
It all comes down to the business you are in. However this is what works for me:
Start calling your target market and make some sales, that is the fastest way. Sort out who is your target market, buy that data and either make the calls yourself or get someone to do it for you.
I go to conferences for one of the industries I am in, that way I can meet potential clients face to face. Having a presence makes a big difference.
Once you have their details, follow up with them and ensure they have all the information they need to make the sale. If they say it isn't the right time, send them an email every 6 months to let them know about new features, offers or anything you feel is appropriate.
If they don't want to use your service ask why! If it is because your competitors have added features, better deals or simply a much better product, then you need to develop a better product.
The truth is unless you have a "World First" product your potential clients will most likely be using a competitors product. If they are not using a competitors product you may need to educate them as to why they need it in the first place.
You have to stand out from the rest, the size of a company doesn't mean they will have market share for ever. There is always going to be new companies coming onto the market with new ideas and processes. We have taken market share from very large companies in Australia because we have a better product, we develop it all the time and our competitors simply can't keep up. The only sales pitch they have is their name, and when that no longer works they have two options; give up or develop.
If a potential client tells you that a competitor has a better product, don't bother calling them once you have caught up the the competitor. Call them once you are a step ahead and stay a step ahead.
know your market, your competition, your customer, and your ability to service that customer, in that market - ie: what is your value proposition.
unless you've done the work to properly work out your business and market strategy you'll never grow a business either quickly or smartly.
the smarts come from the right strategy.
the speed comes from having the resources in terms of money, time, people, cashflow etc to grow at the speed you want.
hope this helps