How to Choose the Right Growth Strategies for Your Business
If You’re Keen to Grow Your Business But Don’t Know Where to Start, This is for You.
Sometimes getting started on something new can be the hardest step.
It feels like that when you’re looking at the opportunity to grow your business.
There are so many things to try that it can be difficult to know where to start.
The good news is that with a little bit of thought you can make a decision, and once that first step is taken things will get a lot easier.
At Card & Gift Network I focus on 6 areas of growth:
Each one of these offers great potential to any business, and I’d love you to tackle all 6 at some point, but first you need to start with one.
But which one?
Well, the good news is that you don’t really have to limit yourself to one growth strategy at all.
Instead of 1 growth area you need to focus on 1 business goal.
You see many of the growth areas overlap and interweave, selling needs promotion, networking can lead to selling; your business and experience is unique to you, so how you grow your business will need a unique combination of strategies that suits you.
By focusing on 1 business goal, however, you can narrow down your focus and find the growth strategies to tackle first.
Choosing Your Goal
If you know your goals inside out then you can skip straight to the “picking your growth strategies” section, but if you don’t have clear goals for your business it’s a good idea to get that sorted first.
To pick a goal for your business let’s focus on 3 questions.
#1 ~ Where Are You Now?
Consider what’s happening in your business right now.
Your situation and your priorities should help shed light on what areas you need to develop.
Let’s consider the example of a NEW vs ESTABLISHED business.
YOU HAVE A NEW BUSINESS
Are you an industry startup or even just contemplating starting a card & gift business?
If yes, then RESEARCHING may be your first step.
Industry research, market research, customer research, competitor research and product research can all help you build a foundation for your business.
If you’ve been in the industry a while then you’ve probably got your RESEARCH done.
Do you have a new product range to launch? This could mean PROMOTION & SELLING.
Perhaps you need to source suppliers to help you offer a new product line? This would take you to SOURCING.
#2 ~ Where Do You Want To Be?
As well as looking at the present, it’s also important to consider the future.
Where do you want to be in 3 months? 6 months? Or a year?
If you’re a retailer you may want to get more visitors to your shop. PROMOTION & SELLING.
If you’re a designer-maker you may want to get your products in more shops. NETWORKING & SELLING.
if you’re a publisher you may want a member of your team to improve your SEO. LEARNING.
Your business goals need to take you from where you are now to where you want to be.
But what happens if you have a lot of different goals?
Well, that takes us to question 3…
#3 ~ What Will Have The Biggest Impact On Your Business?
3. What will have the biggest impact on your business?
For many businesses there will be lots of goals you want to pursue.
You probably want more customers and more sales, you want to grow your network and learn new skills.
That is great news, having all those options means your business has tonnes of potential.
Unless you have a team of people however it’s important to prioritise.
Consider what will have the biggest impact on your business.
Is it creating a new product range? Getting more retailers to stock your products? Having more of your website’s visitors buy something?
Whatever will make the biggest impact is where you need to start. That is the goal you should focus on first.
Picking Your Growth Strategies
Once you have a goal in your mind it’s time to pick the growth strategies that will help that goal become a reality.
Take a Quick Intuition Check
You know your business better than anyone, so your intuition is a great place to start.
Keeping your goal in mind, look at the list of growth strategies and have a quick think.
What does your gut tell you?
Are any growth ideas jumping out at you? Add them to your shortlist.
Perhaps there’s 1 or 2 you’re nervous to pursue but know deep down you should be spending more time on? These go on the shortlist.
& maybe there’s a growth opportunity that you know just doesn’t fit your business right now? Strike it off the shortlist!
A quick intuition check should narrow the list down and may even make it clear where you should start.
What to Do When Your Gut’s Telling You Nothing
If your gut feeling is elusive then you can bring method to your deliberations.
Look at each growth strategy in turn and consider if it can help you achieve your goal.
LEARNING – is there anything you need to learn to reach your business goal?
PROMOTING – does your goal require promotion?
SELLING – does your goal require any focus on selling?
SOURCING – do you need new suppliers to meet your goal?
RESEARCHING – are you lacking some insight that will help you reach your goal?
NETWORKING – do you need collaborators to help with your goal?
Once you’ve been through each of the options you should have a shortlist or perhaps one area of growth to focus on.
Narrow Down Your Shortlist
What Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?
If you’ve got a shortlist of growth factors and want to narrow things down even further it’s worth considering what should come first.
Don’t panic! In most situations, this won’t take you into a chicken and egg style never-ending loop.
You’ll just need to be logical and honest with yourself.
Let’s imagine you want to get more sales on your website.
This could mean
PROMOTING – getting more people to your website.
SELLING – getting more visitors to make a purchase.
RESEARCHING – finding new places to promote your website.
LEARNING – educating yourself on how to get the most out of those platforms.
Any one of these strategies is a good place to start if it’s going to move you towards your goal.
The one you choose first will come down to where you are in your business.
If you only have a small number of visitors to your website then logic says you need to PROMOTE.
If you’ve been promoting your website non-stop but it’s not working you need to RESEARCH new options or LEARN how to make your current tactics work better.
Once more this takes you back to your intuition… backed up with a lot of reason and logic!
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