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Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Ways to Develop Your New Business

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It’s not easy to make the leap from small business to big business. In fact, the odds are against small business owners. Research shows that only one-tenth of one percent of companies will ever reach $250m in annual revenue. If that’s not big enough for you, here are five strategies to build your business.

1. Build your business through goal setting and monitoring.

No business stays static, so in order to constantly improve, you need to set goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Have a current year as well as a three-year business plan, measure your progress against those plans and make adjustments when necessary. If you don’t have goals, you have no way of measuring yourself. “When everyone understands in a very crystal clear way what the overall goals of the organization are, it allows everyone to rally together and take pride in successfully accomplishing them,” said Michael A. Olguin, President of Formula PR, to Inc. Magazine.

2. Build your business by developing new products and services.

Being innovative is the way companies survive. Once your core products and services are successful, always think of the next step, which could be selling complementary products or services or targeting an entirely new market. Robert G. Cooper writes in his book, Product Leadership: Creating and Launching Superior New Products, "The new corporate motto is 'innovate or die.'”

3. Build your business through customer evangelists.

The best spokespeople for your business are happy customers who want to share their enthusiasm for your products and services. These “brand evangelists” are engaged customers who are passionate about your company. Tap into this enthusiasm by offering a refer-a-friend campaign which rewards them for their loyalty, and brings you additional business in return.

4. Build your business through outsourcing.

There’s no business owner who can do it all, so hire people to handle the tasks that aren’t necessarily in your skill set. Not good with numbers? Hire a bookkeeper. Hate HR tasks? There’s a freelancer who can likely take care of that in just a few hours per month. Here are three categories of tasks to consider for outsourcing in order to be more efficient in business:

Executive Level: If you need financial advice but can’t afford to hire a full-time CFO, consider hiring a consultant to analyse your finances and ensure your bookkeeper is doing a good job.

Specialized Knowledge: This type of outsourced provider could work on a project basis such as a website designer or provide support only when needed such as IT.

Repetitive Tasks: It may not be the best use of your time, but someone has to do it. Hire a temp or student to help with repetitive tasks such as data entry and shipping inventory.

5. Build your business with modern marketing tools.

One of the challenges business owners face today is monitoring the conversation about their industry online. Keeping up with competitors, trends, key players, or even just keywords that are important to our businesses can be a daunting task. However, there are several monitoring tools to help you stay in the know:

Mention: Mention goes far beyond a Google Alert, which only sends an email if new online content containing your keyword makes it into the top ten Google News results. That also means it doesn’t monitor social conversations, where is where a lot of the action is happening. Mention actually crawls the web for mentions of your business and sends a detailed overview.

Followerwonk: This tool is helpful for growing your audience and reaching out to influencers on Twitter. Similar to how Facebook Audience Insights uncovers traits about your Facebook followers, Followerwonk helps you paint a picture of your Twitter followers. You can even find out when they are online, so you know the best times to connect.

Feedly: Keep up with all of your favorite industry blogs and news sites with Feedly, which organizes RSS feeds important to your business.

IFTTT: This online platform stands for “If This, Then That” and is an automation dream. You connect your social channels and create “recipes” to connect those products and apps to each other. For example, IFTTT will monitor a specific content feed (perhaps one from Feedly) and when a certain tag or phrase is mentioned, it tweets the article from your account.

There’s certainly no secret to business growth, but the recommendations here could help you gain traction to propel your company to another level.

This article was contributed by BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from online media group Dynamis.


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