Running a successful business is a wonderful accomplishment. It’s not easy, but with research, hard work, and a bit of luck, it can be done. The following will explore a few strategies that you might want to implement in order to encourage business growth.
Have A Plan
Of course, there are always going to be aspects of life that you can’t anticipate or prepare for. But there are also going to be elements of life that you can prepare for. Having a business plan is a key component of running a successful business because there are half a dozen decisions a business owner needs to make on a daily basis, and if you make those changes on autopilot, you might end up with a business that is nothing like what you initially set out to do.
Your business plan is going to be a decent-sized document (usually around 25 pages) that details what you’re trying to accomplish with your business as well as how you’re going to do it. It will include:
- An executive summary—this is a two or three-sentence explanation of what your company does as well as an explanation of what makes your business uniquely qualified to do the work you’ve chosen.
- A company overview that summarizes how your business was formed, any accomplishments you have, and what type of legal entity the business is
- An industry analysis containing a market overview (discussing the size of your market and its characteristics of it as well as market trends) and your relevant market size, which is a calculation of how big your market is; this should include a sense of the annual revenue you could be making if you captured 100% of your market
- An analysis of your customer, including who you’re targeting and what they need
- An analysis of your competitors that explores their strengths or weaknesses and a breakdown of what makes you competitive
- Your marketing plan includes what you offer, what price points you’re going to offer it at, what promotions you’re going to run, and your distribution plan
- Your operations plan covers the daily processes your business will undergo and key milestones you’d like to reach (with target dates)
- Your financial plan includes your revenue model, how you’re going to track and organize earnings and expenses, and what steps you’re going to take to secure funding
- Your mission statement explores why you do what you do
With all this information in one place, you’ll be able to refer back to your plan when you’re faced with a tough decision and ensure that the choice you’re making aligns with your long-term business goals. It’s okay if, in creating the plan, you realize that you have more vision-based work to do. If you discover, for instance, that nothing differentiates you from your competition, you might need to brainstorm and develop differentiation factors. Of course, you can always return to your plan and make changes to it once you’ve learned things.
All businesses come with certain risks. While you can’t completely avoid risks or surprises, there are ways to mitigate risks and reduce the chances of something bad happening or reduce the size of the impact that a negative outcome has on your work. You need to get info on business insurance that pertains to your industry. This will help protect you should something go wrong.
You need to figure out how to protect your company from cyber threats. You might think that because of your industry or size, cyber security isn’t necessary, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. People lost almost seven billion dollars last year to cyber-attacks, and much of this loss was incurred by businesses you wouldn’t initially expect. Hackers target businesses without digital security measures. If you don’t have protection in place, this means they’re targeting you.
You also need to figure out physical security measures to protect your equipment, supplies, product, vehicles and any commercial property you have. This might include high-quality locks, security cameras, and motion-detecting lights.
One major component of protection that many people ignore is an understanding of the economic cycles that humans tend to go through. Again, there isn’t any way to perfectly predict the future, but it’s a good idea to know what part of the cycle you’re currently in, what part of the cycle is expected next and what steps you can take to make sure that you’re making wise decisions during these phases. When you understand the economic cycle, recessions aren’t that bad; they can be worked with to produce wonderful growth results.
A Focus On Your Employees
Your staff are your business. If you’re hiring people, you are now responsible for their well-being while they’re at work. You’re more than a business owner, you’re a leader, and that means you need to be learning about how to best care for a team. Figure out what boosts employee satisfaction and look for positive ways to encourage productivity. It is worth noting that a lot of things that measurably impact productivity are not what you’d first expect; helping staff maintain a healthy work-life balance and making sure that when they’re sick, it’s no problem for them to take the day off can help staff live a life that keeps them high-energy.
Put in the effort to make your workspace comfortable. This should include focusing on air quality as even a few office plants can boost mood, productivity, focus, and concentration due to the oxygenation of the air they produce.
Study the concept of servant leadership and apply it. Avoid pointless meetings and keep the ones that are needed short. And above all, actively listen to your employees. Figure out what they need and find ways to meet those needs.
Collect And Study Data
Every aspect of the business process should be recorded and this information organized. It doesn’t matter what system you use to do this; what matters is that you can quickly access and compare the information you collect. You need to know if your marketing efforts are paying off. You need to know if your new policy is reducing productivity. You need to know if your new pricing schema is negatively affecting sales. You can’t learn from your previous efforts if you don’t study them.
The above information should have given you an idea of the four components involved in successful business management. Of course, every business and every industry is different. There might be additional factors not mentioned above that pertain to your particular business.