Every startup strives to break the glass ceiling and be among the lucky one-third of companies that celebrate a long-term of existence. If there is one thing you could do to ensure your business stays sustainable, what would it be? The answer is right under your nose, create a growth strategy for your business!
A growth strategy involves more than simply envisioning long-term success. If you don’t have a concrete plan, you’re actually losing business, or increasing the chances of losing business to competitors. For any growth strategy to be effective, you have to be deliberate. Figure out the rate-limiting step in your growth and pour as much fuel on the fire. To get the best out of your growth strategies, these steps are vital:
What is your value proposition? – Establish it.
For your business to sustain long-term growth, you must understand what sets it apart from the competition. Identify why customers come to you for a product or service. What makes you relevant, different and credible? Use your answer to explain to your consumers why they should do business with you.
For example, some companies compete on “Authority” — Whole Foods Market in the United States is the definitive place to buy healthy and organic foods. Others, such as Walmart, compete on price. Figure out what special benefit only you can provide, and forget everything else. If you stray from this proposition, you’ll only run the risk of devaluing your business.
Who is your ideal audience? – Identify them
You got into business to solve a problem for a certain audience. Who is that audience? Is that audience your ideal customer? If not, who are you serving? Nail down your ideal customer, and revert back to this audience as you adjust the business to stimulate growth.
What are your key performance indicators? – Define them
Change must be measurable. If you’re unable to measure a change, you have no way of knowing whether it’s effective or not. Identify which key indicators affect the growth of your business, then dedicate time and money to those areas.
What are your revenue streams? – Verify them
What are your current revenue streams? What revenue streams could you add to make your business more profitable? Once you identify the potential for new revenue streams, ask yourself if they’re sustainable in the long run. Some great ideas or cool products don’t really have revenue streams stringed to them. Be careful to isolate and understand the difference.
What are your strengths? – Focus on them
Sometimes, focusing on your strengths, rather than trying to improve your weaknesses – can help you establish growth strategies. Reorient the playing field to suit your strengths, and build upon them to grow your business.