Move Your Business to the Next Level and Increase Your Revenue Stream with a Strategic Plan
Feel like your business has hit a glass ceiling? Sure, you’re paying the bills, but maybe you are looking for a little more. If growing your business and profits is the goal, you need to plan strategically. Business growth rarely happens by accident and sustained growth never does.
Greater profits are within your reach. But it won’t happen without a plan and diligent follow through. Obviously, the details look different for every business, but the following are bedrock concepts and strategies at the heart of any successful business growth plan.
1. Learn to Delegate
Small business owners work hard. It’s the reason you have a successful business in the first place. But, that strength can become a liability. No matter how hard you work, you are only one person with one person’s perspective and skill set. It can be challenging to identify where delegation is needed, but it’s critical to a successful growth plan.
In the early years of establishing a business, most owner/operators learn to wear many hats simply to ensure the work gets done. Part of an effective growth strategy, however, is stepping back and evaluating what tasks require your time and which could be done better or more efficiently if delegated.
A good example is bookkeeping. In the past, you and your accounting software were able to handle the money end of things. Is that still true? Or would your business be in a better financial position if you could use your time elsewhere and hire an accountant to look after the books? Marketing and human resources are other common areas where hiring a professional can really pay off.
What tasks can you delegate to free up your time and ensure a stronger, more efficient operation?
2. Bid Smarter
Small business owners can feel a lot of pressure to bid on every job that comes along. You never know what the future holds and no one wants to turn down work.
Understandable, but not a smart strategy.
Why? Because it prevents you from focusing on what your business does particularly well. What’s your business niche? What type of job do you find most satisfying? Where do your skills, expertise and resources work together most efficiently?
Put your energy into bidding on contracts that your company will pull off with flying colours. Not only are they better for morale, but they will create a solid reputation for your business and lead to repeat customers.
3. Try New Marketing Strategies
These days a business card is not enough. Digital advertising is quickly outstripping traditional methods and there are more marketing platforms than ever before. That means opportunity. Put some thought into how you can best reach your prospective clients.
- Make your company visible and easily accessible.
Are you on Google, Facebook and your industry’s informational sites? Can potential clients reach you easily via phone, email, text or Facebook message?
- Develop a customer referral program.
Offer existing customers a freebie, discount or some other reward for referring new customers. Remember, word-of-mouth is powerful stuff, so friends telling friends about your business is incredibly valuable.
- Form industry partnerships.
Team up with a business related to your industry (but not a direct competitor) for a joint project. Partnering with another business means twice as many contacts. Connecting with an industry-relevant business provides an introduction to a whole new audience related to your niche. People pay big money for that kind of access!
- Sponsor a local event, team or charity.
Raise your company’s visibility and align yourself with experiences your clients already hold near and dear. It’s great for your community and provides positive exposure for your business.
4. Prioritize Customer Service
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of a small business. Not only do they provide regular income, but happy clients also provide word-of-mouth advertising – arguably the most powerful form of marketing. So how do you turn sporadic clients into repeat customers? Customer service.
Sure, you do great work, but customer service goes beyond successfully completing a job. Being customer service focused means:
- Asking for and acting on feedback.
- Responding to complaints quickly and thoroughly.
- Being friendly and accessible.
- Following up after a job with thank you notes or some other personal touch.
If your customers see you as approachable, responsible and friendly they will be far likelier to recommend your business to their friends and associates.
5. Reinvest in Your Business
Your business pays your bills (and ideally buys you a vacation now and then), so it is easy to view your revenue as entirely personal income. While understandable, this view can get in the way of growing your business. Reinvesting in your business allows you to build on your success – and create a larger revenue stream down the road. Think of it as paying your future self.
What areas of your business could use a strategic investment? Payroll to hire a skill set you need? Equipment to work more efficiently or expand into new areas? Office space to raise company visibility?
Keep in mind that not all new acquisitions need to come out of your cash reserves. Equipment leasing, for example, can get you the equipment you need without affecting either your cash reserves or your debt ceiling. Wasting your cash reserves are why many businesses fail while attempting to grow, so be on the lookout for strategies that allow you to avoid leaning too heavily on cash at hand.
Take the Next Step
Sure, it can be overwhelming to consider tackling business growth, but don’t let that hold you back. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful business growth plan. Pick one or two areas where you see room for improvement and take that first step.
Is finding new or used equipment part of your business growth plan?
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