After the turbulence of 2020, many small businesses have had to reinvent themselves to weather the storm. As we look forward into 2021 and beyond, it’s time to formulate new business growth strategies that promise stability and sustainability. Here are a few tips to help you get started with achieving your goals this year.
Refine your brand’s sense of purpose
The foundation of any business growth plan should be a distinct brand identity. What motivates you? How does your business stand out? What are your USPs? If you can’t clearly answer these questions, it’s time to sit down and think about your sense of purpose. A business can’t maintain a sustainable growth rate if it doesn’t have a sense of focus along the way. With a clear vision in mind, it’s easier to refine your products and services to create value.
No brand can be all things to all people, so at the same time your business growth strategies should include an attention to cohesive detail. This means eye-catching aesthetics, a uniform voice across social media channels, and a meaningful company mission statement. Scalable businesses build customer loyalty and decrease turnover rates by developing a strong identity.
Get to know your core customer
Along these lines, you need to get to know your customer base. Whether you’re launching a small business this year or looking for new ways to achieve a sustainable growth rate, consider performing a customer segmentation analysis.
Existing businesses can analyze historical sales data and social media analytics to find out more about customer purchasing habits. Look at internal data to create a composite profile that combines both demographic as well as psychographic information. While age and location are important, you need to drive down deep into the details to find out what motivates your customers. What are their shared values? What could you be doing better? Follow up your data analysis with market research to gain fresh insight.
Build long-term partnerships
Improve employee engagement and customer retention rates alike by looking at all business relationships through a long-term lens. Ideally, you want to convert leads into life-long partners. You can achieve this with excellent communication, high-quality products, and plenty of special offers to reward long-term customers.
With employees, schedule time for team-building exercises and social check-ins. As more of the workforce is working from home, building a strong company culture is vital to stay connected. Carry over this same attitude into partnerships with suppliers and collaborations with like-minded business owners. In 2021, networking is more important than ever as part of your business growth plan.
Fill in skill gaps
Any business that plans to sustain growth over the next decade must be prepared to keep up with new technology. You can future-proof your business by upskilling employees and crafting a skill-based recruitment strategy. Make sure your company offers attractive salary and benefit packages, along with a positive company culture that will appeal to the best candidates.
In addition to attracting fresh talent, work on a professional development program to help your existing employees. Pay for training courses, retreats and seminars. Businesses of any size benefit from a highly skilled, cutting-edge workforce.
Embrace the disruption
The business world is always changing, so if you want to ensure sustainable growth this year you need to be prepared to roll with the punches. There will always be new technology, disruptive competitors and shifts in the global marketplace to contend with. Be sure to put several backup plans in place and strive to be an early adopter of new technologies (such as fintech). Keep on top of current marketing trends to reach out to new and existing customers.
While it’s impossible to plan for every risk, your business growth plan shouldn’t be too tied down to any established model. Continue to review your strategies to find new ways to adapt with the changing landscape that 2021 is sure to present.
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