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 Review compiled by Courtney Braham LUCRO  Marketing Assistant

So, you’ve started a business, and managed to make it through the start-up phase, invested a lot of time and money to get where you are today. What’s the next step? How are you going to successfully grow your business in the right direction? Below are 5 realistic yet simple ways to grow your business;

1. Don’t own your business run it

This is the part where you transform from a business owner to an entrepreneur. You need to ensure you have an active presence in running ‘behind the scenes’ of your business. You have made it through the hardest part of starting a business but you still need to put in the same amount of time and effort  (if not more) to get the results and profit you desire. The business may be able to stand on its own but it still relies on you to grow. Focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest. You need to grow your strengths as this is what makes you and your company different, this is your U.S.P (unique selling point).Consider your strengths as what you specialise in. Work fast and efficient - what could be more satisfying to a potential client if your turn around time is better than that of your competitor AND your products/services are of a higher quality?

2. Advertising – The most obvious one!

Firstly, you need to identify exactly who your target market is, who is interested in the services/products you offer? This is where the ideal customer avatar comes into play: businesses create an avatar to get a better understanding of what makes people tick. It is important to only advertise your products/services to those who would be interested in them. This will save you time and money and assist in generating quality leads. You should know by now that we have evolved into a digital world, over 3 billion of the world’s population have an internet connection! Therefore you must consider your website as your ‘online office’. In less than 3 clicks your target market should know who you are, what you are sell and your prices. Don’t waste their time with essays on the history of your business – they’re not interested! Remember one of your main goals should be to create the ultimate customer experience for all of your clients and especially your potential clients, so make it easy for them. Answer this one question “Why should they choose you?”- Now make that your new slogan!

3. Choose the best team –and be picky!

You cannot do everything on your own. If you are not able to give up some of your power then your company will be on a quick downwards spiral. Remember you need to focus on what you’re good at and that will entail you delegating the ‘less important’ tasks to your staff. However, in saying this, you need to have employees you can trust and rely on; your staff represents a big part of your company image. People will judge you and the company based on the quality of work and service your staff deliver. To have good staff one must be very selective in who they hire, pay particular attention to their qualifications and experience (do your checks), also analyse whether or not they would fit comfortably into the staff culture, you want to build a team that works well together! As the owner of the business you need to find a balance between being the team leader and managing the team, some days you may find that you have had to have a firm control on situations and other times you can sit back and let your staff take care of the matter – again it all depends on whether you can fully rely on your staff. Basically the business should still be able to effectively run with or without you, this is when you know you have selected a good team! Read more about the 9 ways to improve your hiring process.

4. Be ready for change – It’s inevitable

For your company to survive it needs to be transparent and flexible to change.  Technology is one of the main reasons you must always be prepared for change, it is the single most influential factor controlling consumer behaviour today. So what can you do to be prepared for change? This can be done by pre-planning, keeping track of the latest news and trends relative to your industry and of course keeping up to date with the technology. There are many tools and devices that can contribute enormously towards the success of your business- if you incorporate them correctly. Get your clients involved in the process by sending them a survey asking how you could better your services. Also, as your business grows your target market may change, therefor it is important to constantly analyse their behaviour. Always look for ways to improve. Below is a short list of the top websites that will assist you in keeping up to date with news and trends relative to your industry;

5. Network - It’s not always WHAT you know but WHO you know

Networking can create an endless amount of opportunities for your business, it is believed to be one of the most powerful marketing tactics for generating leads, making new connections and building trustworthy relationships. Business Networking is a realistic yet valuable way to develop your knowledge, learn from the success of others and build your pool of influential connections that you wouldn’t have necessary been able to meet/talk to. Through referrals, face to face meetings/events or email/website exchange, businesses are forming mutually beneficial alliances to gain ultimate recognition and credibility across similar cliental fields. Most businesses participate in networking to generate quality referrals as these can be considered as a done deal if delivered and dealt with correctly, make a point of including networking as one of your most important tasks. Read more about the 10 essential tips to business networking.

See also why your small business needs an accountant.