Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
For business owners, the main purpose is to have a business that can run itself. It’s about developing growth strategies that can help the business to expand to a comfortable and safe dimension. While this means that you will have to carefully select how you run your business, hire your staff and establish HR practices, entrepreneurs also need to develop the right strategy to get to that level. Here are some of the tips you can deploy to support growth.
- Understand Your Metrics: Your business runs on metrics, whether they are related to finances, sales, client satisfaction, web visits or overall market influence. For most business owners, what is tricky about metrics is to know which ones to focus on. Indeed, the abundance of metrics is not helpful if you don’t have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and consequently what you need to analyze to get there. For example, if you are looking to increase your brand awareness, the metrics you need to focus on are social media shares and brand mentions in the search engines and on social platforms. But keep in mind awareness doesn’t always translate to sales.
- Have An Identifiable Brand: Branding is a great favorite in the marketing world, with good reason, as a recognizable brand carries huge potential. Indeed, when you can create your brand image and message, you design differentiation tools for your customers to identify your brand among your competitors. As most small businesses prefer not to invest in a strong branding strategy, they tend to lose the advantages that a unique identity brings to the market.
- Love I.T.: The world of IT plays a huge part in your business growth – and even your business setup. It is essential to build your success on a healthy computing network that allows you to develop useful, safe and reliable solutions for your team and your clients. Partners such as Austin Technology offer fully managed IT services to help businesses to get started and continuously adjust to their growth numbers, as well as cloud services for remote processes, and professional hardware and software systems. In short, there’s no business growth without safe and strong IT services. When your business efforts focus on acquiring additional customers, it’s good to know that you can rely on IT professionals to keep your processes ticking smoothly.
- Digitalize Your Processes: More and more businesses are looking at digitalizing their processes For Gartner Inc., digitalization and automation are interchangeable terms: It is about creating a digital workflow to leave human employees to do what machines can’t do: Create, talk, empathize, comfort and engage. Using digital as a tool to make your tasks easier means that you can focus your attention on where it is needed most, and save precious time for human emergencies.
- Effective Time Management: Time management is a skill that every business owner needs to develop and share with the team. Indeed, while it seems easy at first to perform tasks on time, it’s important that you learn to identify productivity obstacle that waste your staff time and energy. Interruptions at work – the usual do you have a minute query – are the greatest productivity killer with up to 60 percent of employees’ time disappearing into unwanted interruptions. Being interrupted doesn’t only force an employee to leave a task unfinished but also makes it more difficult to switch back to work after the interruption. It’s, therefore, important to train your staff to drop the interruption mentality.
- Don’t Forget SEO: How could one make a list of essential growth tips and not mention SEO? As digital presence is key in the business world, it is naturally indispensable that your website stays visible for search engines and easily indexable too. SEO markups, from keywords within the content page to schema.org data in the code, are designed to help potential customers find you when they are looking for similar services and products.
- Educate Your Customers: A successful business is a business that creates regular and useful content online. However, the creation of content needs to help customers or potential customer to solve an issue. Consequently, it is essential to educate your customers. Webinars, podcasts, infographics, whitepapers and video tutorials are some of the favorite and most effective tools that are used to business to share knowledge with their target audience.
- Get Involved: There can’t be any success if your business doesn’t engage with the community. Indeed, businesses that develop free sponsoring and charity operations for their community are locally better integrated, and also more likely to build a strong and successful network. From helping the local homeless center to partnering with local colleges to help the younger generations, there are plenty of options for you to get your business involved in everyday’s life. As you work to benefit your community, you not only receive the media’s interests, but you also make your brand more memorable.
- Offer Something Free: There is no denying that a freebie is always a great thing. Every customer loves a gift, and as a result, a little gift can garner their loyalty. If you think about it, this could be as simple as a handwritten thank-you note or a discount for a first-time purchase. But the positive impacts live in the long term.
- Be A Modern Employer: Successful business owners are also dynamic and modern-thinking employers. This means that the internal business structure has integrated modern social needs. Remote work, for instance, is praised by the younger generation of employees who are keen to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Being able to work from home and to spend more time with their friends and family allow them to become more productive – as they can better focus on the tasks – and to stay healthy as a result of less stress. Additionally, they tend to be loyal as remote work can be considered a benefit.