Did you know that only 1 in 2 small businesses make it past their first 4 years? It’s a worrying statistic considering that 98% of businesses in Australia are defined as a small business. The sector is obviously the bastion of the economy. As such, we should expect a higher rate of immortality. In addition, we need to work towards increasing the number of small businesses that make it to the premier league of entrepreneurship.
While you may not be keen to be the next unicorn of the country, growth is both a strategic imperative as well as responsibility. Why the latter? You may be a small part of the wheel that keeps the economy running but nonetheless an important one. In a fragile and uncertain economic environment, we can’t afford a missing part. In this article, we highlight the things you need to know and do to drive growth. They can appear to be common sense. But this should not dilute their importance.
1. Develop a marketing focus
Marketing is the engine that drives growth. However, small business owners tend to overlook it. It’s not uncommon to hear this remark “We’ll do marketing when we have the money.” You might be able to generate sales and revenue without it but they may not be sustainable. Marketing, in essence, is all about telling the world why you exist and what you can do for them. Without it, it’s analogous to blinking or waving at someone in the dark hoping to get his/her attention. You won’t!
2. Build and nurture a customer relationship
We are time-poor creatures, your customers and prospects included. A day is no longer sufficient to do the multitude of things that sits on the to-do list. In the past, a customer or prospect could afford the time for coffee or lunch. But now that inflated to-do list leaves them with hardly any room for you. Enter social and digital marketing media. With the right help, you now can be as savvy as big businesses in making marketing technology work for you.
3. Get help
There are two facets to this, namely, hire the right talent and outsource some of the business functions. It takes a village to raise a child. The same principle applies to grow a small business. It’s impossible to either have all the knowledge or time to do it on your own. Get help! Over time, the business may undertake more functions on its own.
Success is as much as what you know as it is who you know. No, it’s not about getting favours, although it helps. But more importantly, it is about tapping into the knowledge, experience and the people they know who may need the solution you offer. Networking is probably the oldest marketing tactic around.
Driving business growth is hard work. It requires commitment to make it happen. The 4 factors discussed above should get you growing. To learn how we have been helping small businesses go big, connect here.