Business growth is the reward entrepreneurs reap for all the long hours and difficulties they’ve endured to create sound operational processes, develop a loyal customer base and stay financially healthy. But, these challenges don’t end here, as successfully growing a business will involve building on current success and continuing to provide the best service to customers. Depending on the industry and niche you’re in, business growth will involve developing market share in a new niche or stealing market share from competitors. In this article by The Kaufman Chamber of Commerce, we’ll explore a host of key considerations for entrepreneurs to keep in mind when taking important business decisions.
Conduct Market Research
The past couple of years is a testament to the fact that current market conditions can flip at any moment, as covered by the World Economic Forum. Not only does this have a major impact on short-term sales but the long-term success of the business as well. However, businesses that develop a strong understanding of their customer’s needs won’t have a higher chance to succeed and outperform competitors.
While third-party research provides great insights into broad market trends, businesses should invest in primary research as well, such as customer surveys. The key to collecting accurate data will be to ask relevant, close-ended questions which do not lead participants toward giving a positive or negative response. Additionally, customers will seldom take out time from their day to complete a survey without incentives, but you can easily offer gift cards for research participants. This can improve response rates and quality. Other types of rewards can include extended free trials, prepaid cards, charitable donations to the organization of their choice, and more.
Continue Investing in Marketing
According to research by Oberlo, up to 71% of all internet users use social media to research brands and products. Hence, continued investments in digital marketing will be integral to growing your customer base and working toward long-term success. However, with most brands adopting the same strategy, entrepreneurs are bound to face the challenge of cutting through the clutter. During a single social media session, users can be exposed to ads in the double digits, which can rise to triple digits for those who spend hours on social platforms daily.
Hence, investing in traditional forms of promotion such as billboards, flyers, and newspaper inserts should be considered as well. The option for your business will be based on what products you sell, the niche you operate in, and findings from secondary and primary market research. Additionally, when it comes to developing strong B2B relationships with suppliers, merchants, and clients, creating a personalized business card is the way to go. Here’s a list of tools you can use to design business cards.
Hire the Right People
To keep up with the increased workload driven by business growth, you’ll need to hire additional employees in key business areas such as marketing, product management, human resources, legal, and more. Rather than how many employees you hire, the quality of employees will matter more. For instance, a talented marketing manager with experience in developing sound strategies and good management skills will successfully drive your marketing efforts to success.
Additionally, if budget is an issue, consider building a team of freelancers who can be hired on a per-project basis and be cheaper compared to full-time employees. Before making any hiring decision, remember to consult with existing team members at all levels to develop a holistic understanding of which gaps need to be filled and on what timeline.
Managing business growth serves as a unique challenge for entrepreneurs; however, it serves as a stepping stone for taking the organization to the next level and helping achieve its true potential. Conducting market research through customer surveys will play a key role in understanding customer needs, forecasting future trends, and adapting your product mix accordingly. Additionally, hiring the right employees who can successfully implement marketing and product base projects will serve as the bedrock for sustainable growth and success of the business.