Having a great idea is just the beginning of any business journey. It’s the acorn that you need to nurture into an Oak tree of a success. But how exactly do you do that? Well, here are our top 10 tips on how to grow a successful business.
1. Have a plan
The very first step you need to make is to have a plan. It can be hard to know where to start with a business plan but instead of trying to work out what you need to do first, think about where you want to end up. Where do you want be in 1, 2 or 5 years time? Figure out your end goal and work backwards on how you plan to make that happen.
2. Be organised
The world of business has no place for sloppiness. You’ll need to be organised in order to be efficient so make to do lists, keep to time frames and aim to stay one step ahead.
3. Invest in people
There is power in people and although you might have had a great initial idea, you should leave your ego at the door and welcome input from others. Maybe it’s investors or maybe it’s staff you’ve hired, but take ideas on board and use other people’s brains, as much as you use your own.
4. Check out the competition
In order to succeed in an industry, you must first understand it. Do some research to see what your competitors are doing, and really get to the heart of who your target audience is. This will help you to thrive in what is most likely an already-crowded market.
5. Be creative
There are already so many businesses out there that you need to give potential customers a reason to choose you. You need to be creative, innovative and able to offer something different in order to stand out against the masses.
6. Keep good records
Admin is often seen as a low-ranking priority but it can often prove to be the most important. If you don’t keep track of money coming in, money going out and contacts for vendors, suppliers and other business needs then you’ll get in a muddle fairly quickly. Keep everything ticking over with clear spreadsheets and update it regularly to avoid a big job later on.
7. Customer service is key
Don’t be fooled into thinking that having a great business model is enough. Offering a great product or service is only worth so much if the customer isn’t made to feel special when they interact with you. Good communication and not over-promising are really important when dealing with customers (or potential ones).
8. Don’t be frivolous
To have a successful business, you must be bringing in more money than you’re sending out, right? So to maximise that difference, don’t spend money on things you don’t need. Top of the range office space, fancy cars and expensive daily lunches are great for Big Dogs like Google. But for a growing business, you need to be more practical and invest your income wisely.
9. Remember that it’s baby steps
Expecting your business to skyrocket overnight is likely to lead to disappointment, because these things take time. Be patient, remember that it’s about baby steps in the right direction and celebrate all the wins, especially the small ones.
10. Stay focused
As much as you should be happy when you reach your short-term goals, don’t lose sight of the long-term ones. Always have your business plan on hand and stay focused on the future.
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