How to grow a business in 15 actionable steps: your guide
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 12 September 2022
Published 3 January 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
There are many benefits of starting a personal business, including high-income potential, self-employment, opportunity to expand and flexibility in the job. As beneficial as it can be, starting and growing a business can be challenging and involve taking risks. If you're interested in starting or growing a business, it might help to have an idea of the practicable steps you can take. In this article, we offer 15 tips that can show you how to grow a business.
How to grow a business
It might be beneficial if you practise the following steps if you're thinking of how to grow a business. This might be towards starting and growing your own business or contributing effectively to the development of a business you work with. The steps include:
1. Set a goal and plan towards it
When starting your business, identify your vision and understand the goal you want to achieve. Besides making profits, your business might also focus on establishing itself in the market. You can also consider breaking your goals down into actionable steps to support your business growth more easily.
2. Craft a business plan
Create a practicable business plan as soon as you're able. Regardless of the size of your business, aim to create a plan which could help prepare you for the future. Once you know what you want to achieve with your business, try to write it down and form strategies around it. Your business plan could include identifying your target market and business goals or outlining your financial information and growth strategies. Business plans can allow you to determine your business needs, such as the employees, equipment and other things to help run your business successfully.
3. Employ the right people
Hiring good staff is very important when considering your company's growth trajectory. This action may ensure continual growth in your business, particularly if you work with a dependable and determined set of employees. Allocating tasks to your workforce can also free up time and energy for yourself, allowing you to think more fully about how to develop your business.
4. Be ready to adapt to changes
The ability to adapt to changes is one factor that could help you run a successful business. It's an active approach to development that could help your business grow quicker. Adaptability may also involve trying out different approaches to business to find out which works best for you and your company.
5. Focus on your customers and understand their needs
While conducting market analysis, find out about the ideal customers for your business. For example, look for patterns in customer concerns, such as the services and products your customers prefer, what they typically purchase and other quantitative factors. Knowing your customers' needs can help you understand your target audience better and may help you in deciding what to offer.
Related: What is customer satisfaction?
6. Grow your team
Growing your team involves increasing your sales, your customer base and your customer services. As you provide your customers with exceptional services, try to be mindful of your team's overall quality. Staff members that try to present a new perspective or idea, even if it challenges yours, can be helpful for your business growth. You also might have evaluations at intervals to see which qualities are lacking amongst your team, so you can rectify this with new hires. You could also create customer loyalty programmes to maintain your customer base.
7. Go digital
In the modern world, the Internet has a significant influence on business growth. Learn to take full advantage of the Internet and social media to advertise your business. Leveraging the Internet requires very little experience. You could own a website and create content that drives traffic to that website. Nowadays, many shoppers conduct research online and may find your site, so ensure that the bulk of your content is easy to read.
You can add pictures, links to blog posts and other relevant information about your business to your website. If you create a social media post about your business and a customer gives it a positive comment, it might get the attention of other people in their network. Consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertisement.
8. Attend networking events
To grow your business, it's imperative to build partnerships with the right people in the industry. Attend your industry's networking events and connect with people in the same business as you to share ideas and create a positive impression on them.
Networking is a way to contact like-minded people whose views of the industry you can use to help your business grow. Having a strong network can serve as a lead to employees, new customers, partnerships or even investors. Networking is also a great way to get updates about current trends in the industry, share industry insights and learn the best industrial practices.
Related: Networking tips for job seekers
9. Get involved in corporate social responsibility
To begin with, your business could be about solving problems. As you begin to fulfil your business goals, look for ways to contribute positively to causes that help make the world a better place. You could publicly express your support to communities, donate to various organisations, sacrifice your time to fundraisers and offer sustainable products to help the environment. It could also involve supporting NGOs like providing basic needs for the homeless or donating to cancer research. Some consumers may prefer to buy from a business that is passionate about the wellbeing of people.
10. Invest in your growth and raise funds
At a business startup, you may make little or no profit. Ensure that you're reinvesting whatever profit you make back into your business. You could invest in marketing, advertisement, expansion, new equipment or your own workforce. If your profits are lacking, look for a way to raise funds. Raising funds could be through seeking investors. Banks and other financial institutions can also be of help by giving out business loans.
11. Research your competitors
Researching your competitors is an important step to take while starting up your business. Look for things they do that work for them and how you can make your business stand out. Assess their businesses' strengths and weaknesses to see how you might gain more customers. For instance, their weakness could be the high price of their product. You may seek to lower your price in a way that won't significantly affect your business. Proper research of your competitors could help you develop a better business strategy and aid you in breaking through into the industry.
While planning for a business, always leave extra room in your budget. There may be things you forgot to account for or overlooked while planning, which backup resources can help with. Running out of resources during a project can leave you in a difficult position. Even the smallest things can derail your budget and business plan. Another way is to implement risk mitigation strategies that can help your business in the event the market changes or fresh developments emerge, with competitors assuming new positions in the market.
13. Showcase your professionalism
Showcasing your expertise can help you gain more customers. Displaying how well equipped you are in your line of business can build people's trust in you and make them want to work with you. For instance, you could host webinars, provide resources, conduct research studies and even run a question-and-answer session on your social media platforms to enable people to enquire about your business. You're not just displaying your expertise but also growing audiences who may later become your customers.
14. Expand and diversify your business
Learn more about the ways you can diversify what you can offer as a business owner. Identify new opportunities and take advantage of common problems in your business niche. You can also look to produce complementary services for your existing ones.
15. Have a brand
To stay profitable and show growth in a business, it's critical to maintain your image and support that image with results. Having a brand can increase your chances of attracting investors and customers. It could also help attract financial support from financial institutions. Networking, strategic design, relationship management and marketing make it possible to create a cost-effective strategy and maintain an identity.
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