As we have recently passed our first three years in business, we are clearly one of the lucky ones. I must confess that we have not done it all on our own, but instead we have bought in some outside help. I doubt we would have made it if we did not get help.
Below I want to outline what I think are the four big areas of focus for all businesses. If you want to grow your business, you will need to address each of these areas.
1. Ensure demand
Firstly, and it seems pretty obvious, but you need to have a service or product that people want. If there is no (or limited) demand for what you are selling, consider changing your business. One of the traits of a successful business owner is one that is willing to adapt to survive. Be honest with yourself.
Action: Ask yourself do people really want what you are selling? If not, what do they want?
2. Attract customers
The next thing is you need to be able to attract enough potential customers to your business to make it profitable. This is where things become a little bit harder, as you not only need to attract people, but you need to attract the right people.
There are so many ways to attract potential customers. There are things like relying on word of mouth, paid advertising, or giving out free samples. Or webinars or pamphlet drops. People will often say you need several sources of marketing. While I get the sentiment behind this, really you just need one. The one that works the best. The most important thing is to try new things, and then when you find something that works do it repeatedly.
Action: Review your marketing efforts. Scrap what is not working and think of two new ways you could do it.
3. Connect with them
Once you have people interested in what you are offering, you need to get them to buy from you. You need to draw them in and connect with them.
Action: Review how you engage people after they have looked through your shop window or liked you Facebook ads.
4. Focus on your core business
If you can get these three parts working together, your business will be well placed to thrive. However, to allow it to grow, you will need the final piece of the puzzle which is having the right structures and processes in place. As the business owner, it is important to spend your time on the part of the business that helps you make money.
Action: Ask yourself if you are doing too much of the low value work. Sending out accounts is important, but getting new business is much more valuable.