There is no growth without change. But change is always painful. Scared? Learn the way to grow your small business safely.
Everyone knows just how difficult it is to grow a small business. In fact, starting and keeping a business afloat is painstakingly hard. According to the Small Business Administration, only two-thirds of businesses manage to survive their first two years in the marketplace.
With such grim stats, you don’t want to put your business’s survival at risk. You have defied the odds and blasted through failures to enjoy the results of running a thriving company. You’d be better off calling it quits rather than slowing down and ruining everything you have managed to build.
Even if you are willing to put in the work to grow your small business into a bigger one, deep in your heart, you are probably still mortally afraid of failure. The comfort zone mentality prevails: When my company runs like clockwork, I don’t have any real incentive to bring it to the next level.
So, ask yourself: Do I have any real reason to transform my company? Am I ready to pay the price to achieve notable, long-term success? If your answer is yes, then follow these steps to transform your business.
Decide What Product or Service You’re Going to Promote
Concentrating all of your efforts on your most competitive product or service is your first step. Choose wisely, though: A wrong pick may wreak havoc on your entire company.
This laser-focused approach leads to better “product-company” positioning in the marketplace. For example, when you purchase an iPhone, you innately think of Apple. When you install Windows OS, Microsoft pops into your head, and so on. Basically, you need to focus on a specific product to build “your product-your company” neural pathway in your customers’ brains more efficiently. A habitual, unconscious reaction from customers is what you are looking for.
Keeping focus on a single product also simplifies your business processes. Let’s say that you need to hire a sales manager. It will be much easier to employ and train a manager who sells only one specific product. He or she will be more likely to learn and convey everything about a single product’s advantages and disadvantages and achieve a higher return on investment (RIO.)
Also, this focus allows you to have your finger on the pulse of your “chosen” product’s quality. You won’t be able to do that once your company evolves into a larger one, so use this time to optimize all related business processes. Even better, go as far as to create step-by-step guidelines for your employees. Let your most competitive product be your company’s ice breaker that cuts your path to success.
Prioritize Your Most Competitive Niche
After you have chosen your best product, it’s time to identify your niche. If you manage a small company, operating on a shoestring budget is the reality. Even if you enjoy a nice revenue stream, you haven’t joined the rich-get-richer game, yet. In other words, you lack the funds to compete with bigger companies in more than one niche.
Let’s imagine that you own a small digital marketing agency. Your winning strategy is to target one lucrative niche (i.e. dental services, physical therapy, weight loss, etc). Demonstrate to owners of, let’s say, physical therapy clinics that you provide impeccable services, specialized just for them. Build your company’s identity on “digital marketing for physical therapy,” and physical therapy clients will follow.
Another advantage of this “niche-product-company” model is that your digital marketing and sales teams will have an easier time doing their job. They can get to know the product from A to Z and soothe pains of your targeted audience in no time. Customers love to be cared for and will be more likely to choose your product rather than get lost in the dark of Google’s search.
Polish and Implement Your Positioning Strategy
Every business must have its own message to survive. Period.
Believe it or not, most industries are already saturated. Therefore, you must come up with your own voice, message and even a mission to stick out in your marketplace.
Connecting your product’s benefits with your company’s image is paramount. It allows customers to quickly associate your business with a specific product and niche. And vice versa.
Focus on Scaling Your Business
Here’s when the magic starts to happen. By this point, you have concentrated all of your efforts on a single, most competitive product and emphasized its benefits to your specific targeted audience in your concrete niche. However, this is when it gets tricky.
Scaling your business means two things:
- You are going to find out how effective your business processes are.
- You will have to delegate authority.
Most likely, you have gotten used to managing everything on your own. While it is sometimes imperative in small businesses, there can be nothing worse for a growing company than an owner who wears too many hats.
Some tasks are strictly up to you, while others can be delegated to your employees. Focus on high-priority tasks and delegate unimportant ones without hesitation. After all, even if you make out the most out of your day, it will always be limited to only 24 hours. It makes sense to prioritize tasks that are vital to your company’s bottom line.
Develop a Consistent Promotion Strategy
You should work on your promotion strategy from day one. Collect and analyze data, and test and adjust the results to come up with a consistent plan. This will catapult your small business to success. Figure out who your client is, and only then finalize your strategy.
Promotion methods can vary but, in most cases, you are going to end up with digital marketing. Then, as your company keeps growing, switch to offline techniques like TV ads, banners and radio advertisements to make your presence known to a wider audience (if necessary).
There’s an undeniable power in entrepreneurship. You run your own business. You exit the rat race of 9-to-5 jobs. You are free, and only the sky is the limit. Though freedom comes at a high price, you are willing to pay it because you are cut from a different cloth.