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5 components of growing a business that lasts

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Kaylee Riley
2017-10-30

Every business owner wants to see their business grow. It’s exciting to get more customers, hire employees, and increase sales. It’s also important to have a stable business. Growth isn’t worthwhile if its effects don’t last and create a better business.

Here are five things that will help your business grow and give it a foundation to last a long time.

1. Have a vision

You need to have a vision for your business. You must have plans and dreams for what you want to do with your business. Without a vision, your business lacks direction. A lack of direction can shutter growth.

Create a mission statement for your business. The mission statement should explain your business’s goals and values, all within a few sentences. Writing your mission statement can help you focus what your business is really about.

When you create a mission statement for your business, be honest. Think about what your business is really about. Focus on what your business does well. Don’t go too broad to encompass every current offering and future dream. At the same time, don’t go too narrow and limit yourself.

You don’t have to plaster your mission statement on your website and marketing materials; you can keep it private for internal use and direction. It’s also OK to change your mission statement. As your business grows and develops, your goals and vision might change. As your business changes, so should your mission statement to keep you on track.

2. Improve hiring and onboarding

As your business grows, you’ll need more employees to handle new tasks.

Good recruiting is the key to hiring good employees. Do you wonder where to find employees? Use local and big name job boards. Ask for recommendations. Attend networking events. If you have trouble finding employees, you can also hire a third-party recruiter.

When you find a candidate you like, be sure to thoroughly interview them. While asking them about their skills and experience are important, you should also ask behavioral interview questions.

Once you find and hire the best candidate, it’s time for onboarding. Your onboarding program should teach your new employee about your business and their new job. When employees better understand your business and their jobs, they can better serve your business. You should have a training component to help the employee adjust to their job and start performing quickly.

You can use a learning management system to help onboard your employee. You can create informational courses about your business and the employee’s specific job. The system will track employee progress through the courses. You can even create assessments to see how well your new employee is transitioning.

3. Retain customers

Customers are vital to your business. Without customers, you don’t have revenue.

You need to know who your customers are. Do a market analysis to determine your target customers. These are your ideal customers who are most likely to buy from you. Find out where they live and work. Learn their interests. Collect demographic information. Think about who your current customers are and who else you might want to attract.

Once you know your target customers, you can cater to them. You can market to them where they’re at. You can offer products or services that meet their needs. You might also develop branding that matches their interests.

The goal is to get repeat customers who love your business. Repeat customers mean you make more sales, and you do so consistently. And, customers who love your business will share your business with others. Your customers will promote you by word of mouth, which will hopefully result in even more customers.

4. Market your business

You must market your business. Marketing will draw in more customers.

Design your marketing for your target customers. Use messaging that appeals to them. And, put your marketing where your ideal customers will see it. Marketing to people beyond your target customers is futile and will rarely produce results. Use information from your market analysis to determine where to put your marketing efforts.

You should also market to existing customers. You already know these people will buy from you. Convince them to buy from you again.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use low-cost or free marketing methods. For example, you might use social media or email marketing.

5. Understand your finances

Without good finances, your business will struggle. You must make sure you aren’t spending too much or bringing in too little.

Creating a budget is important. The budget will help you manage your spending. You can create a business budget by estimating your revenue and expenses.

You need to be able to read your financial statements. Your statements include line-by-line items of your income and expenses, along with totals. Reports you might use include the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

You should also know how to use financial ratios. These ratios help you make sense of your accounting information. They synthesize your data so you can see what’s working and what’s not. For example, you can use the inventory turnover ratio to learn how quickly you turn inventory into sales.

 

 

Kaylee Riley is a writer for Patriot Software, LLC and Top Echelon, LLC. Kaylee writes about payroll, accounting, software for recruiters, and other small business topics.

 

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