Impetus4: Step 4
Growing Your Business
Step Four of the Impetus4 programme is about growing your business and moving forward towards those long-term goals.
You are actually doing it – you have your own business and if you have reached Step Four of the Impetus 4 programme hopefully you have a few customers and sales under your belt and things are progressing nicely.
But now is not the time to rest on your laurels and put your feet up if you are serious about growing your business. There is still work to be done to reach your long term goals.
It can be difficult when you are in the thick of running your business to focus on the next step – but Impetus4 is here to help.
Growing your business means seeing the big picture
Now is the time to ensure your focus remains on the big picture. If you went through Step One of the Impetus 4 programme you will have taken some time to examine your “why” – the reason that becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business is so important to you.
Go back now and look again at your motivation and keep it at the forefront of your mind as you set about growing your business.
You will face new decisions everyday and it can be easy to become overwhelmed and not know which way to turn. But understanding where you are trying to get to will help guide you in the direction you need to take.
Marketing to grow your business
As in Step Three when you were just getting your business off the ground, marketing will continue to be a priority in the ongoing success of growing your business.
Keeping existing customers is always easier and cheaper than finding new ones, but to grow you will need a constant flow of people buying what you are selling, so take a look at Impetus4’s marketing articles and resources for inspiration on how you can use such things as SEO (search engine optimisation), video marketing, social media and content marketing to drive the growth of your business.
Now your business is established and you are making a name for yourself, capitalise on it by offering yourself up as an “expert” spokesman for your niche. Offer to write a column for your local newspaper or trade magazine or become a guest speaker at local business events.
Go to our Resource Centre now to find everything you need to build a winner’s mindset and start your Impetus4 Success journey.
As we said, keeping existing customers is easier and cheaper than finding new ones, so concentrate on looking after the ones you have.
Do what you say you are going to when you say you are going to do it and attempt to exceed customer expectations on every front.
In this way, choosing your business over your competition will be a no-brainer and your customers will become advocates for your business, telling their friends and family and effectively doing some of your marketing for you.
By looking after your customers, you can go a long way to guard your reputation, which, in business, can be everything.
Remember, your reputation takes years to build but can be destroyed in minutes. Guard it with your life!
Time to delegate?
As you secure more clients and your business grows you may reach a stage where you can no longer do everything yourself.
It’s important to remember not to run before you can walk and concentrate on keeping costs low, where possible, but if you are to focus on the bigger picture, at some point you are going to need help with some of the day-to-day business tasks.
Before you rush out and start hiring new staff, it may be worth considering outsourcing or using freelancers to keep costs low, or maybe even approaching your local college to see if students would be interested in completing set tasks which would look good on their CV.
Hiring staff brings with it a whole new host of responsibilities as a business owner, so it’s worth doing some research before you place that recruitment ad.
You will need to take into account things like PAYE, pensions as well as other HR issues such as contracts.
Be a leader
Taking on a team of employees also requires you to take on a new role as a leader.
Instead of getting your hands dirty with the day to day tasks that allow your business to thrive – although there may still be an element of that – you need to take a step back and trust your employees to get on with the job.
Your role now is to ensure they have everything they need to make your business a success and to motivate them to achieve your goals.
This can be a hard adjustment to make – it can feel like handing your baby over to a nanny and you may worry your staff are not as invested in your business success as you.
Of course, this is true to a certain extent, although by developing your leadership skills you can lead them to where you want to go.
However, it is important that you remain in touch with the core of your business and stay connected with customer feedback.
Even if customer service is one of the tasks delegated to an employee, do not take their word for how your business is being perceived by your clients. Be proactive in overseeing your business results and keep an eye on the prize.
Don’t struggle alone
Although there is a lot of help out there to get your business off the ground, that support can melt away as you become more established.
This does not mean you are alone in growing your business.
Consider joining business or trade groups where you can keep abreast of the news and trends that affect your business as well as build relationships with other business owners who are willing to share their experience and expertise.
You could also try to find a business mentor willing to guide you and hold your hand on the rollercoaster ride that is running your own business.
You can also join online groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as Impetus4’s own Inner Circle, where you will meet others on the same starting a business journey.
Impetus4 Inner Circle
Find out more about Impetus4’s supportive Facebook Group and join to receive the support of other aspiring and successful entrepreneurs.