In order to thrive and not just survive in the modern market, businesses must grow. More specifically, they must increase how much money they make, their customer bases, and their market dominance across as many vectors as possible.
But both startup entrepreneurs and experienced business executives can have difficulty determining the most important areas of focus to grow their businesses. Today, let’s review those areas so you know where to prioritize your resources and attention over the coming quarter and the next few years.
Product or Service Optimization
Firstly, you should try to grow your business in terms of its products or services.
Put simply, what your business offers (sometimes called the USP or unique sales proposition) is the most vital part of the entire enterprise. If you make a kind of software no one else does, for instance, that software is what secures your place in the market.
However, just offering a good product or service isn't enough to grow your business in the long term. You need to instead:
- Discover ways to optimize your products or services to make them even better for your target customers. This action also keeps you competitive so that other businesses don’t steal your spotlight/market position
- Offer brand new products and services to your target customers to keep their attention and loyalty
- Maximize the value of your offerings across the board, either by pricing them at the perfect rate, adding new features that other competitors lack, or something else
Bottom line: you should prioritize product and service optimization if you want to grow your business over the next few years.
Of course, you should also prioritize customer growth to grow your business overall. No business can grow based on investor funds forever – eventually, you need to bring more customers to your brand than you lose through churn.
Fortunately, you can focus on growing your customers in two distinct ways:
- Improving your persona targeting. Your business's marketing department should always look for ways to optimize its targeting and ensure that it advertises to the right target audience. To do this, you need to know what your customers want, how those wants might evolve, and where they're currently looking. Optimizing and mastering persona targeting will make your marketing materials more effective, and you'll get more customers more often.
Improving your customer service efforts. Your current customers need to feel heard, taken care of, and prioritized 24/7. That means ensuring you always have customer service agents on hand to answer questions, respond to complaints, and direct prospective customers or website visitors to the right resources and products for their needs. Depending on the size of your business or your scaling needs, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant or answering service to get these valuable efforts. Learn more about how improving customer service can help grow your business.
Building Your Team
Growing your business by bolstering your customer base and improving your products is wise. But you’ll also need to build up your team. In fact, your team is another crucial area of focus you can’t afford to ignore.
You must have an outstanding team in place for your business to grow and thrive in its current market position. That means you need to:
- Identify roles you need to fill so your business performs at maximum efficiency
- Make a plan to both hire and train new employees
- Enforce good company standards so your company culture grows and is attractive to top talent in your industry
As you put work into this area of focus, you should additionally make sure you have enough special teams to run all major business operations. For example, your brand likely needs marketing, sales, client service, and leadership teams, regardless of size.
As you hire people for those distinct teams or departments, spend a little extra time and money to ensure you get the right people for each position. Hiring an unfit employee for an open position – especially a leadership or managerial position – can spell disaster for your brand, throw money away, and turn away other high-quality employees.
Don’t forget to set up and maintain good training practices, too! Even the most talented employees need guidance and training to do their best work at your company.
To really grow your brand, you must set the right goals. While you should prioritize this area of focus after identifying your audience, bolstering your brand offerings, and creating the perfect team for your industry, it’s still essential. Company goals are crucial so you can identify and celebrate progress and so you can accurately tell how your enterprise develops over time. That way, you can course correct as needed.
But how can you set the right goals to maximize growth? It all starts with identifying and targeting specific KPIs or key performance indicators.
Good KPIs should:
- Be easily measurable and analyzed
- Measure various items, not just revenue
- Offer insights into both short-term and long-term progress
Each goal you set should be obtainable without being impossible, yet difficult enough so it isn’t too easy/unchallenging. As you set goals and break down KPIs for your different team leaders to target, remember to set a timeline to accomplish those goals. Nothing drives innovation and performance like a (reasonable) deadline.
As your business churns along, hold regular team meetings with your leaders to review your goals, determine how successful they were, and adjust them as necessary. In many ways, setting goals is the last but most crucial area of focus to consider for long-term success. It’s the final stage of developing and running your business as an executive.
Scale Your Business
No matter your industry or experience, growing a business is difficult. You have to create the right product or service at the right time and have the right team working for you to succeed. But if you focus on each of these areas, you’ll build your business up the right way and in the right order, setting yourself up for consistent profits. Good luck!