Enter the business world and you’re going to be faced with a lot of decisions. Once you get the wheels churning for your side hustle, it can be addictive trying to kick your brand off the ground.
6 Steps for Taking Your Business to the Next Level in 2021
The prospect of building an empire sounds enticing, but bridging the gap from your ambitious dreams to the whims of reality is where many business owners fall short.
The good news is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to scaling up your business. With so many individuals out there with their own unique set of circumstances, the only way to find the best path for you is by experimenting and learning what works best.
So let’s look at some steps that can help give your brand a little rocket boost.
1) Grow Your Professional Network
If you’re not already plugged into the business world, you’re sorely missing out. Your professional network helps connect you with new opportunities that can breathe new life into your business.
But beyond a professional network, one thing that any budding business owner should try to foster is friendly relations with their clients and customers.
According to Hubspot, 81% of customers put their family and friends over a business when it comes to product advice. Therefore, it’s crucial to find avenues to make your brand feel effortlessly engaging and relatable to your core audience.
One way of doing this is by being friendly, proactive, and professional to any person you meet as both a business owner and as a person.
By doing this, you strengthen brand sentiment and generate trust among a potential circle of customers—which can lead to referrals, captures, and warm prospects.
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2) Keep Up to Date with Industry Trends
If you’re the type of business owner who only knows what’s happening in their immediate world, you run the risk of getting left behind.
As a business owner, staying abreast of new trends for your niche and developments in your industry is extremely important. This way, you can snag openings and opportunities that others would miss.
It’s fairly simple to stay up-to-date with your competitors through their social media pages. But if you want to take it a step further, you can get a pulse on your competition through the following ways:
- Joining relevant networking organizations
- Subscribing to industry newsletters
- Following industry experts out of state
- Speak to competitors and customers
- Use Ahrefs or other analytical tools
Through this, you can gauge the environment that directly impacts your own business. Since not every competitor is going to be at your level, base the data and findings you’ve extracted as potential avenues to explore (or disrupt) in the future.
3) Focus On the “Customer for Life”
Knowing your customers is something that every business owner should do; regardless of the industry, target market, or niche.
Once you’ve had success in attracting leads for your brand and closing sales, you need to know who’s going to be buying from you moving forward.
That said, repeat customers are the bedrock of many successful businesses. According to ProfitWell, customer acquisition costs have been steadily rising by 60% in both B2B and B2C businesses over the last five years.
This means that it’s getting more costly to attract customers, and cheaper to retain the ones who remain loyal to your business.
If you’re a service-based business, aim to foster good connections with your clients to keep them committed to your product.
This way, you’re providing the most value you can to them as a business and a person, which can pave the way for a continued partnership and new opportunities.
4) Harness the Power of Digital Marketing
With the rise of digital, more and more consumers are using their gadgets and mobile phones to search for products they want.
This isn’t just limited to creating social media pages and shareable graphics, but it includes the whole suite of digital marketing media: SEO, Email marketing, PPC, SEM, and so on.
If your business doesn’t have a strong digital marketing plan, you’re running behind. More and more businesses are competing for an online presence, and it’s only getting harder to stand out.
Therefore, it’s essential to have a well-rounded digital marketing strategy to grasp your customer base.
4) Leverage Online Learning
e-learning has come a long way in the last decade, and it’s one of the best ways to educate yourself and your employees if you’ve never gone to university or taken an unrelated course.
There are many avenues for business owners to take advantage of when it comes to online learning – with some being far more impactful than others.
For example, a Monarch management course can give you practical advice from industry leaders that you can apply to your business.
On top of that, these resources offer structured learning at a learn-at-your-own-pace system, granting you flexibility for your schedule.
5) Create Efficient Systems
Running a business is a lot of crunch work, and some processes might even seem redundant. And while it’s true that it’s better to eliminate processes that don’t help the bottom line, an efficient company system is key to consistency and prosperity.
This goes even further when you have multiple people in your company—no matter how big or small.
By having a clearly defined structure that everyone understands, all members of the team will know what they’re doing and be accountable for their work.
6) Think Big, but Start Small
As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to think ahead of the curve. But you’ll never scale a mountain without taking the first step.
Although it’s good practice to be looking at the big picture, you won’t get far if you fail to deliver great results to your clients in the short term.
So always look for small ways to improve where it matters, and only move onto the next step when you feel you have enough bandwidth to satisfactorily provide for your customers.
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