The most successful entrepreneurs are those who believe business should be dynamic; ever-changing, ever-evolving, free of constraints and able to adapt to every condition.
They have wholeheartedly embraced and acknowledged that failure is an everyday reality; where not all decisions made will be the right one.
Thus, they are constantly seeking ways and means to keep their business on the right track to continued growth and sustainable success.
1. Review your current business model
If your business has failed to realize new levels of growth, remained stagnant or worse; has been losing money, it may be time to review your current business model.
With the evolution of technology and the globalization of business, conditions have become more volatile, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous.
Businesses need to design strategies that are more flexible and mobile to accommodate changes in demand, tastes and preferences.
If your business model is rigid and built on the pretext that it is “perfect”, you won’t be able to foresee change, adapt to these changing conditions and find new opportunities for growth.
For example, when the world erupted in turmoil as the Eurozone Crisis unraveled and wreaked havoc on economies in Europe, companies such as Bank of America and Deutsche Bank which focused its business development strategies in South East Asia not only survived; they thrived.
2. Conduct process improvement sessions
Complacency is the worst enemy of entrepreneurs.
In a world that has grown increasingly competitive due to the evolution of technology and the globalization of business, you should always look for ways to constantly improve your products, services and efficiency rating.
As the business owner, you should not adopt a myopic perspective on business development. The most successful start ups such as Zappos, Facebook and Alibaba consistently improve their value proposition to customers because despite their stature in the industry, they remain vigilant and committed to becoming not just bigger but better.
You don’t have to implement Tony Hsieh’s “Holocracy” at Zappos but periodically evaluate the performance of your business with those who work with you. The objective of a process improvement system is to find out the answers to these questions:
- What issues remain unresolved?
- Are there new issues to address?
- What are the targets for this week?
- Which targets from the previous week remain open?
- Which areas of your scope of work are you having difficulty with?
- How do we ensure forward progress this week?
Process improvement sessions use statistics, metrics and other forms of analytics as references but also focus on the behavioral components at work. Specifically how people are adjusting to or coping up with existing conditions at work or with its culture.
3. Solicit feedback frequently
Another common oversight of most business is their lack of involvement with those who pay their bills and keep their enterprise going: their customers.
There are some business owners who have the mindset that once the product and service has been purchased, the transaction has been completed.
In terms of the sales cycle, yes, but success in business is all about encouraging an environment that is conducive for growth.
You should work to develop relationships with your customers. It will be a huge mistake to allocate your resources only to the creation of new markets.
You should also focus on market retention. Take time to reach out and solicit immediate feedback from your customer on product and service quality.
You can do this through e-mail, text message or an inbound call. In exchange for their feedback, offer the discounts or gifts on repeat business. Otherwise, repeat business may become new business for your competition.
4. Capitalize on social media
For businessmen who are cold toward the prospects of cold-calling, increasing inbound traffic would be the better option. One of the most effective ways to generate inbound traffic is by capitalizing on social media.
By remaining active on the popular social media platforms, you can create greater awareness on your product and service. ocial media activity includes posting content, engaging in focus groups as well as blogging.
Of these, blogging has been proven to be highly effective in enhancing your online presence. Blogging builds your reputation and credibility as an expert. It is no surprise that businesses that blog generate 55 per cent more income than those that don’t.
5. Never stop networking
While digital marketing strategies remain more popular, you should not underestimate the power and influence of old school, traditional networking.
This includes attending seminars, business forums and other events that provide the opportunity to bridge you with potential clients.
If you are given the chance to present your business to the audience, by all means accept it and have the performance of a lifetime.
Networking events not only open up prospects for your business but these can potentially open new avenues for other opportunities as well.
These strategies are nothing new but only a handful consistently abides by them. And these are the ones who remain passionate, committed and dedicated to taking their business to new heights.
Brett Russo is the founder of OutsourceWorkers.com.au. He helps entrepreneurs outsource work and reduce costs by hiring affordable personal assistants.