Growth is one of the most important metrics for a business owner. Being able to demonstrate and benefit from an on-going increase in your customers, products and revenues gives your business a secure future. At Charltons, we're more than accountants; our clients think of us as trusted business advisors who have helped them navigate their own growth and maintain success.
There's a few areas that we always advise our clients to focus on if they want to achieve real, tangible growth. Here's our list of the habits that you'll need to cultivate if you want your business to own its growth.
1. Be ready to Diversify
Having products that your customers love and appreciate is the first step to running an incredibly successful business. But if you want to grow that business, it's important to know how to develop new products and expand on your existing offerings. Part of this is going to be keeping track of what your customers like or dislike about your business, what they are looking for in terms of problem-solving, and how you can respond effectively to their pain points.
Having that kind of information on hand, and making a regular habit of gathering it through feedback and careful analysis, means that when the time comes for you to break out new products as a part of your business growth plan, you'll be ready!
2. Listen for new markets
This goes hand in hand with being ready to diversify. If you can keep abreast of where your customers are at right now, you'll be able to listen for entire new segments that you haven't touched yet. For example, if you're growing a successful business offering contracting work for a niche target, it's a small step to analyse who your target market is servicing. Are your clients builders? software companies?
If you find out who their clients are, you can be continually developing new markets for your business by using your existing clients as leverage.
3. Know when to expand
There's a right time and a wrong time to grow a business. When we talk to our clients about growth, this is something we are always keeping in mind. You have to be able to support new business, new staff and new pressures if you want to take any of those on. Understanding this comes down to getting high-quality advice around business growth; it's something you can't necessarily understand on your own. If you can find a business advisor like Charltons, you'll have an easier go of it.
A habit that you can get into that will support you and your advisors is always keeping track of your business' performance and ensuring you have the right processes in place.
4. Take online seriously
The online space is important for any business, and if you want to grow and scale your operation, you need to gain an understanding of it. Every single industry is prime for disruption and over the next few years there will be changes and new approaches across the board. From Uber disrupting Taxis right through to startups even disrupting the legal industry, it's a world of opportunity.
If you think there's no way that your industry could benefit from being online or using an online model to help you grow, you'll find out too late how wrong you are - it's important to make a habit of keeping online as a priority.
5. Always seek referrals
Who is the best salesperson for your product? No matter how good your marketer, business development exec or sales consultant is, your favourite customer will always be better. Having testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing is crucial for growth, particularly if what you're selling lies in the infamous deadzone.
If you're not comfortable making a habit of asking customers for referral - here's the hard news. You have to. Your competitors will, and they'll forge connections that could leave you behind! If you're serious about growth, get serious about referrals.
6. Learn how to automate
Scaling a business doesn't always have to mean hiring an army of new staff. Automation is a growing field, and businesses who think about what areas, processes and operations could be interconnected are going to save time and money while gaining the ability to handle new clients. Here's just a few things your business could be automating:
- Email communications with customers
- Product suggestions for potential buyers
- Bookkeeping and data management
- Lead generation
- Task management
- Social media
If you want to get into automating your business, a great way to start is by asking yourself what every day tasks you and your staff hate to do. As business advisors, we can always offer advice on how to solve those problems!
7. Create a growth plan
We covered this in one of our earlier blog posts, and we think it's crucial to have a detailed plan around how you intend to grow your business. Here's a few of the steps we recommend you take in order to create a growth plan:
- Understand how you’ve grown already
- Work out where to grow next
- Take stock of your resources
- Research new technology
Charltons are one of Sydney's leading accountants, offering expertise in a range of different areas. We've helped thousands of businesses grow and become long term successes, and we have a vast amount of knowledge around business success. If you're interested in developing a growth plan, understanding how technology can help you grow and developing a bright future, we are waiting to hear from you!