With 2016 coming to an end, now is the time to look toward 2017, and to focus on business growth. It appears many small business owners have a renewed sense of optimism, and are doing just that. According to a recent survey of more than 1,300 entrepreneurs, 69% of them anticipate revenue growth of more than 25% in the coming year.* However, achieving this kind of growth is no easy task.
These goals are admirable, however for today’s small business owners, not just setting goals, but also identifying the key factors of growth and success are paramount. In 2017 a small business will need to adapt to a continually changing and challenging economic environment, and it must find a way to achieve sustained growth if it wants to thrive. Not only is sustained growth necessary, but this must be real growth, not just simply keeping up with inflation.
The question is, as a small business owner, do you have the right strategies in place to achieve this level of growth?
For those of you that don’t, I offer five proven strategies that can maximize the performance of your business and help it thrive in 2017.
- Assess the health of your business with financial analysis. Understanding your current position is the key to creating good strategy. Through an in-depth dissection of your financial statements you will discover potential cost savings, find hidden inefficiencies, and identify growth opportunities. Make sure you also undertake Ratio Analysis, and Benchmark using Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
- Achieve operational efficiency to maximize profits. There is a difference between an effective operation and one that is efficient. Efficiency increases productivity, keeps wasted time and effort to a minimum, and lowers costs. Making improvements to your everyday systems and processes will help you achieve operational efficiency and maximize your profits.
- Plan for future growth and success. If your business is to grow and prosper it must have a clearly defined mission, there must be direction, and specific goals to be achieved. A strategic plan will prepare your business for the future in a proactive and adaptable way. Without a strategic plan, a business simply operates from day to day without any clear path for its future.
- Identify your ideal customer. I often hear business owners complain that they are spending thousands on marketing and not seeing any return. In many cases, they’ve never defined their target market or ideal customer. Once you’ve done this properly you’ll be able to effectively move the marketing process forward.
- Get help where you need it. This strategy is simple, but rarely heeded. There are very few small business superheroes out there. We are all mere mortals, and most anyone who’s running a successful business will tell you they’ve had lots of help along the way. You are the expert in your business, but you may not be an expert in financial analysis, operational management, strategic planning, or marketing.
Remember, to get your business from Point A to Point B and Beyond, you must work on your business, not just in it!
2016 Confident Endeavors * Source: LinkedIn-The State of Small Business Growth 2016.
Dominick N. Biangone is a business strategist, CEO of Confident Endeavors, and a member of the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants. As a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of business leadership experience in Strategy, Marketing, Sales, and Operations, he has expert knowledge and skills in all facets of the business life cycle, and leads every project personally. Contact him via email at Dom@confidentendeavors.com or call (843) 384-4846. For additional information visit www.confidentendeavors.com