by Susan Jeffery
07 May 2019
Four essential strategies to grow your business
Getting a new business off the ground is no small feat; it means carving out a space in a dynamic and competitive marketplace and finding your own unique voice. And once you've managed to do that, there's no time to rest on your laurels. Growth is a necessity for survival and success for any business.
Naturally, it's not going to be easy. Planning where your business will be in three to five years can be complicated. There are natural growing pains that come from taking your business to the next level. Not to worry, difficult doesn't mean impossible. All you need are the right tools.
In honor of #smallbusinessweek, here are four tips to maximize your chances of success in growing your business:
Focus on your existing market
The knee-jerk reaction when thinking about business growth is to focus on getting new customers. New equals better, right? Not necessarily. The customers you already have are your best resources for increasing revenue. According to Forbes, retaining customers accelerates profitable growth more than new customer acquisition. It’s also less expensive to keep existing customers than to search out and woo new ones. That’s not to say you shouldn’t include new customer growth in your business plan, but put the bulk of your efforts on building loyalty with your existing base.
Implement Objectives & Key Results goal setting
How do you row a team boat from one side of a lake to the other? Easy, make sure everyone is rowing together (and in the same direction). In business terms, that means setting goals for the company and individual employees that are in alignment. OKRs is a goal setting framework that connects the work of the employee to the overall company plan. Objectives are the “what” and key-results are the “how” for goal setting. The best part of OKRs is that 50 percent of goals should be created by employees. Why is that great? It creates empowerment and ownership of goals for employees, which keeps them engaged and motivated.
Create a culture of feedback
Goal setting isn’t a crock-pot. You can’t “set-it and forget it.” Reaching success on employee and company goals means checking-in frequently. Additionally, employees crave regular feedback to be engaged and productive. In fact, employees who receive daily feedback are 3x more likely to be engaged at work. Engaged employees equals productivity and higher employee retention. Give employees the feedback they crave by setting up a culture of consistent, meaningful feedback.
Invest in Learning
Did you know that 64 percent of millennials expect to leave their job within the next five years? Those darn youths! What’s making millennials look over the fence towards the next opportunity? 71 percent of those likely to leave within two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed. And according to Deloitte, 42 percent of millennials would likely leave a job if they weren’t learning fast enough. It all comes down to learning. And it’s not just millennials, your employees and company depend on how you invest in training for soft skills, leadership development, skills training, and compliance training.
Make sure you have a learning management system (LMS) and a robust library of courses that you can assign for training. The best learning system will empower employees by allowing them to self-register for courses that pique their interest and facilitate career learning. Put learning in the hands of employees and let them drive their own career.
Why not get started? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of PiiQ Learning. Sign up by June 30, 2019 and get 15% off your first year with code smallbusinessweek2019.