Secrets for Growing Your Business Quickly

There’s no surefire formula for instant success, but you can help your business grow with these tips from startup founders.

  1. Hire the right people.
    Before you even think about your company’s growth trajectory, you need to have a solid workforce to help you achieve your goals.

“Hiring the absolute best people you can is a surefire way to ensure rapid growth,” said Christian Lanng, CEO and co-founder of trading software provider Tradeshift. “It’s all about having the right team.

With hard-working employees focused on your company’s success, your business will be better equipped for continued growth. In addition, delegating tasks focused on important work saves you time and energy, allowing you to perform at your best and cultivate a culture of collaboration.

  1. Focus on established sources of income.
    Instead of trying to get new customers, focus your attention on the core customers you already have, suggested Bill Reilly, an auto repair entrepreneur based in Wisconsin. You can do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program, or by trying marketing strategies based on previous purchase behavior to encourage repeat business, he said.

This focus on your established market is especially important if you are trying to raise funds.

“In the past, we emphasized our business goal of being a franchise that didn’t resonate with the banks,” Reilly said. “We’ve learned to emphasize that there’s a big market for what we’re doing. This would attract the interest of bankers because they care more about return on investment than your business aspirations.”

Tip: Maximize your current customer base by implementing a customer loyalty program or testing marketing strategies based on customer purchase history.

  1. Reduce your risks.
    Risk is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. It’s impossible to control everything, but there are many ways to limit internal and external threats to your company and its growth. One important resource to help you achieve this is your business insurance provider.

“Small businesses need to manage their growth to avoid disruptions that can shut down a business,” said Mike DeHetre, vice president of product development at Travelers. For example, “the theft of employee data, customer records, and product designs can devastate a small business, creating significant costs and eroding customer trust and loyalty. Not all business owner policies cover data breaches or other cyber losses. Small businesses should be prepared to seek insurance products to help them recover, including those that cover remediation and litigation costs.”

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As your small business grows, you may add space or equipment, create new products or services, or increase your operational and distribution footprint, so DeHetre recommends reviewing your policy regularly to make sure you have the right coverage.

“It’s easy to forget this step in the midst of rapid expansion, but you don’t want to find out you’ve outgrown your coverage just when you need it most,” he said.

  1. Be adaptable.
    One trait that many successful startups have in common is the ability to change direction quickly in response to changes in the market. Lanng said an agile approach to development, both in your product and your company, will help you grow faster.

“By being quick to adapt and change, you’ll be able to test different approaches to business and see what works best,” Lanng told Business News Daily. “It allows you to fail, pick yourself up and keep going.”

Chris Cornell, founder and CEO of Manhead Merchandise, said his company sees adaptability as key in expanding its client base beyond its original focus on music merchandise.

“Look at current pop culture trends for opportunities to be part of a movement when it makes sense,” he said. “In the era of Internet fame, we tried to expand our horizons outside the music industry. We’ve teamed up with ‘The King of Pop Culture’ and Insta-famous pup, Doug the Pug, to release his new gear. We recognized Doug’s reach and popularity and were able to take his merchandise to the next level and expand our business model beyond bands.”

  1. Focus on the customer experience.
    Customer perception can make or break your business. Provide quality experiences and products and they will quickly praise you on social media; they screw it up and tell the world even faster. Rapid growth depends on your current and potential customers being satisfied with their experience.

“Compared to large companies, small businesses are nimble and often better at sensing, anticipating and responding to their customers’ needs,” said DeHetre. “The most successful small businesses take advantage of this by bringing new and innovative products and services to market faster and developing and maintaining long-term customer relationships.”

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Dennis Tanjeloff, president and CEO of Astro Gallery of Gems, agreed. He said that listening to your customers and giving them what they want is of the utmost importance. [Learn how customer relationship management software can help you better understand your customers.]

“Diversify your offerings to best meet changing customer tastes,” Tanjeloff said. “Remember you’re here to serve the customer – that’s why you’re open for business.”

While interaction with the audience is essential, customizing the experience can enhance and strengthen that relationship.

“At Manhead, we come up with unique creative designs, customized displays and pop-up shops tailored for each band [we work with] to help them reach fans in a new way,” said Cornell.

Key Takeaway: Small businesses can quickly adapt and respond to customer needs. This agility can give them an advantage over larger businesses.

  1. Invest in yourself.
    In the early stages of your business, you’ll likely see a very low profit margin (or no profit at all), so any money you make should go straight to helping you grow.

“A startup’s ability to invest in itself [helps] accelerate growth,” Lanng said. “In these early years, it’s important to make sure you channel all the revenue back into the company. For rapid growth, it is important to invest early and significantly.”

While it may be tempting to pocket all of your profits, it’s better to invest in growing your <a href="http://<a href=""" data-type="URL" data-id="business so that you can reap greater benefits later on. Determine which parts of your business need more attention: For example, do you need to hire more staff, expand your marketing efforts, or secure additional funding? When you find a critical area that needs improvement, give that area financial support.

  1. Always think ahead.
    While agility is an important trait for a startup, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants when running a business. Planning your next move—anticipating all possible scenarios—is the best way to stay grounded and safe as your business evolves.

By john wick

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