5 Tips to Position your Business for Growth in 2020
Adapted from an article by Elaine Pofeldt on Forbes Business
Nov 30, 2019
New business owners have numerous goals when they’re starting out, including rapid increase in value and recognition for their fledgling venture. However, the realities in the market make it difficult to reach the intended goals for your business overnight. One thing to note is that your business will never increase in value without growth. Growth may comprise different aspects such as growth in revenue, markets, technology and product portfolio.
In whichever the aspects, scaling your business is hard. It does not happen accidentally and overnight success isn’t often the standard. It takes considerable effort, well-thought and successfully executed strategic initiatives to see a considerable growth in your business. If you’re struggling to grow your business, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some tips to reach growth milestones that can catapult your business to success.
- Building strong customer relationships.
Human connection will matter more than ever. Many people are lonely, isolated and alienated in a world that’s increasingly driven by technology. Smart entrepreneurs will find ways to devote the time they’ve freed up with technology to getting to know customers better, even if that’s through simple methods like taking a few extra minutes to talk with them. Where you put your time and money needs to be in ‘real life’ and relationships.
Also look for ways to create experiences that help people feel they are part of a “movement,” as the cycling brand Peleton has done. Connecting your customers to like-minded people adds to their sense of belonging. What if you don’t have Peleton’s budget? It doesn’t matter. There are many ways to create genuine community on a shoestring, like planning a live event or workshop.
2. Aligning your creative output with your business values
Keeping your creative output true to your values will give you an edge. What attracts customers to your brand and business will be content or other things you create (or curate) that truly convey your values. That applies to every size business, whether it’s the next unicorn or a one-person shop. If you’re a small business, you are actually building a brand.
The more consistent your message is and the more each piece of content syncs up with the values you’ve already expressed, the more powerful your brand will be.
The marketing guru Seth Godin and Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert are good examples of this principle in action. Both are constantly coming up with new ideas and books, but their fundamental values are very consistent.
3. Focus matters.
It’s hard to get people to buy from you if they don’t truly understand what you sell. Make a focused offer that reflects what the market wants and shows how the brand will deliver it. Clarity will help your marketing message get your prospects’ attention in a very noisy and distracting environment.
Just make sure you do your homework (and plenty of experimenting) first, to figure out what your target customer actually wants. You need to know what is happening and decide what is relevant for how you do business.
4. Create real and lasting value to your customers.
You’ll win by creating real, lasting value. Your business will have more staying power if you find a way to make a difference that goes beyond simply addressing a pain point or desire of your customers.
Let’s look at an exercise that Cynthia Montgomery, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, developed. Ask yourself what would happen if your business died. Would anyone miss it? Would the world be the same? If no one would be sad it was gone, it’s time to devote more time to uncovering what matters to your customers and finding the intersection with your own purpose as an entrepreneur.
The mindset behind this approach is very different from the purely results-driven thinking that some businesses have embraced, without considering their long-term impact on the people whose lives they affect or the world. It’s about profit, people and the planet.
5. Capitalize on your digital platforms.
Your platform is your ticket to future growth. Ideally, every entrepreneur should try to reach their community in both the digital world and the analog one, creating “an undeniable body of work.” For instance, you might have both a strong Instagram presence and hold live events, such as workshops, seminars, retreats or conferences. Don’t spread yourself too thin across social media. It’s better to go all in with one social platform and build a strong presence there.
As you build your platform, keep asking yourself how you can adjust to a changing world. How can you stay relevant and grow while being true to you? You want to stay profitable and relevant to your clients.
That mindset will make you very referable and help your business thrive, no matter what headlines have in store for us in 2020.
These tips, if properly adapted to suit your business, will surely help you grow your business in the new decade to come.
However, like anything else in life or in business, you have to put in the time if you’re looking to reap the benefits. Don’t focus on the short-term outcome of your work. Look to the long term. Build sincere value and look to help your customers. Genuinely care. That should be the foundation. After that, it’s simply a matter of taking action and putting in the work to scale.