Businesses are like sharks - they need to keep moving to survive. If they are static, they will sink and eventually they will die.
In the competitive market place we’re in, regardless of the industry, we should all be looking to keep moving, to keep growing and expanding. Complacency is not an option.
But get this – growth and expansion is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, if we follow some basic business fundamentals growth is inevitable. Here are 5 simple hacks to provoke growth and expansion in your business
1. Keep the Customer First
First and foremost don’t forget your customer is the most important asset in your business. Excellent customer service goes hand in hand with customer retention. Why would they go anywhere else when they’ve got you?
Another top tip regarding your customer is to make yourself indispensable - become your customer’s rock, the life line for their business, their essential business partner and supplier. Make sure your team know your customers’ business. Insight is foresight, so get to know them and keep up to date with their businesses and industries.
2. Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes
When looking at improving your business look at it through your customer’s eyes. Is everything as workable and tangible as it can be? Is every process seamless? Don’t be afraid to discuss improvements with your customers – two heads are always better than one. If your customers are successful and growing, then inevitably your sales to them will too - it’s a win, win!
3. Be Different, Have an Edge
It’s unlikely you are the only business doing what you’re doing. So be different. Why should customers come to you and not one of your competitors? What’s your Unique Selling point (USP)? Find an edge and once you have it, then shout it from the roof tops, because unless your customers know this you’re no different, and their decision to do business with you will be solely based on price.
4. Don’t be Afraid of Being Wrong
We all get it wrong sometimes. Mistakes happen. What’s important is to learn from them. Don’t be afraid of admitting that you have got it wrong, and making a change. Processes, systems, suppliers should be constantly reviewed with a view to improvements both in terms of quality and cost. What’s worse than change is stagnation - when a company is stuck in bad practises and damaging habits.
5. Finance Management
National business studies shows that the biggest reason companies fail is because they’ve run out of money – and realise it too late. Without proper management of your finances you won’t grow, at worst, you won’t exist in 12 months. Managing cash flow can be hard. Juggling the payment of invoices from slow paying clients whilst paying overheads can feel like ever decreasing circles.
One option is to consider invoice factoring – a finance solution that pays up to 90% of your issued invoice value within 24 hours, paying you the balance once the factoring company has received payment from your client. It takes the pressure off your cashflow allowing you to concentrate on points 1-4. With the big plus being that as you grow, your facility grows too.
When you’re in the shark tank you need to constantly be on the move as there is a school of other sharks looking for blood. Keep learning. Keep looking for change and growth. This way, your company will become the hunter and not the hunted.
Image courtesy of IOSphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net