The rush of new business building can be thrilling. You dream of achieving success and launching a successful organization doing what you love. However, once you navigate business formation, you need to know what to do next. Solid business plans and strategies will not materialize without some careful preparation. The uncertainty of what to do next is common. However, it can also lead to many entrepreneurs failing to get their businesses off the ground.
To grow your business and experience long-term success, you need to create a plan to build and grow. You need to have a path that will allow you to acquire more customers and increase your profits. If you started a new business and are wondering what you should do to take your organization to the next level, read on to discover the key parts of business building.
What is a business strategy?
Your business strategy consists of the actions you will take to achieve your business goals. It requires you to define what you want to accomplish with your organization and how you want to reach those milestones.
With a business strategy, you’ll have a framework that helps guide your business decisions. You’ll also have a better idea of your market and how to effectively reach your target audience. By outlining your goals, you have something specific to work toward, rather than just a broad idea of success. In fact, research indicates that setting goals helps people perform better and achieve more. Goals inspire us to put in the effort to reach the milestones we’ve outlined for ourselves.
A business strategy will be unique, depending on your niche. For example, a freelance writer might have goals related to portfolio development and customer acquisition. On the other hand, a local plumber may have goals related to reviews on Yelp and building a local customer base. Consider the goals and milestones that matter most to your business and use them as a guide to help you move forward effectively.
10 Strategies for Building a Business
A number of elements and factors go into a successful business building strategy. We’ve summarized 10 strategies that every small business owner should consider. These strategies are:
Business Building Strategies:
- Set short- and long-term goals
- Pinpoint your target market
- Study the competition
- Acquire the tools needed for success
- Determine your management system
- Focus on customer service
- Track your sales and cash flow
- Set your priorities
- Stay tough
- Go above and beyond
1. Set short- and long-term goals
As discussed, setting goals encourages us by providing a specific direction toward success. However, these goals need to follow a few criteria:
- The goals need to be specific.
- The goals need to be challenging.
- The goals need to motivate people to do their best.
To build your business, you want a combination of short- and long-term goals. The short-term goals will help you accomplish smaller tasks while working toward your long-term goals. They help you stay motivated and achieve that important sense of accomplishment on your path toward long-term goals.
For example, a freelance graphic designer might have these specific and challenging short-term goals:
- Creating a website to highlight their portfolio
- Developing a LinkedIn profile to tap into their social media network
- Securing their first paying customer
These goals can work toward longer-term goals, such as:
- Increasing freelance income by 30% after six months and 60% after a year
- Matching a traditional job salary by two years
- Making the leap to running a full-time graphic design business by two and a half years
This strategy provides a framework that keeps your eye on the end goal while still celebrating accomplishments along the way.
2. Pinpoint your target market
One of the most common reasons that failing businesses list for their demise is the lack of market demand for their product. To avoid joining this group, ensure you have a solid understanding of your target market, knowing what they want from the product they buy and the gaps in the current offerings that you can fill.
Identifying your audience will also make it easier to effectively create a marketing plan, as you know who you want to reach with your message. You’ll find it easier to bring in new customers and build loyalty around your product when you know who to reach.
3. Study the competition
Knowing the competition can improve your ability to engage with potential customers. When you look at the products on the market, you can see how well they fit the needs of current customers. You can also see if there are any particular gaps in this type of product line. Identifying these gaps can help you determine the optimal niche for your product and business.
The competition can also help you build your business model. For example, knowing what other plumbers in the area charge or how other roofing companies structure their services can help you set your own prices to be competitive and determine the type of services you want to offer. You will know how to market yourself to differentiate from others in your field and attract customers.
4. Acquire the tools needed for success
The tools you use while business building can have a significant impact on your overall success. If you want to build a business as a local electrician, for example, a bookkeeping software or system can help you manage the finances of your business more effectively. You’ll also find it easier to prepare your paperwork when tax season arrives.
The tools for success can also apply more directly to your job, such as upgrading to a more reliable internet connection as a freelance writer. These types of investments help you run your business more effectively and do a better job of serving your customers. This will help you acquire repeat business and begin to grow your customer base.
5. Determine management systems
A business’s management system is as unique as the people involved. No two people will have the same techniques for motivating and encouraging employees and nurturing business growth. However, determining a business administration strategy can help you build an effective management system that fits your goals.
Although each person’s management system will differ, here are a few strategies to help you build your work environment:
- Consider your operational goals, as you want your style to align with company goals.
- Reflect on your personality and consider how you prefer to interact with others.
- Ensure your system focuses on providing encouragement to employees and motivating them to do their best — micromanaging doesn’t work well.
- Don’t forget about the practical considerations of your business. If you only have one employee, you likely need to give them a wide range of freedom and flexibility so you don’t do everything yourself.
Determining your management style plays a critical role in building a business. It will guide your hiring decisions, as it’ll help you find people who are a good fit for your target business culture. It will also help you make decisions in the moment. When faced with a management decision, knowing your management framework will help you make a consistent decision and move forward effectively.
6. Focus on customer service
Customer service plays a critical role in your business. Businesses that place the customer experience as a foremost concern generate four to eight times the profit of other businesses in their industry. This is because customers place a high value on their customer experience. In fact, 96% of customers report that their experience plays an important role in their brand loyalty.
To build a positive customer experience, focus on providing each client with personalized attention to the best of your ability. Learn about their pain points and let them know how you can help solve them. A professional attitude and a personal touch can create a positive impression.
Create a brand culture that demonstrates you care about each customer as more than just a number on the balance sheet. This will drive repeat customers, positive reviews, and positive recommendations, which will contribute to business growth.
7. Track sales and cash flow
Closely tracking sales and cash flow will help you keep a close eye on the finances of your business. This will let you know immediately if your business begins to struggle, giving you the opportunity to pivot and find more funding or adjust business practices to increase profit. It will also let you know if your business and pricing model work effectively. If you can see your sales rates and they don’t generate enough profit, you will need to make adjustments.
Tracking your sales and profits can also help you see patterns and trends that inform the rest of your business practices. If you notice rises and falls at a particular time of the month or months of the year, it becomes easier to plan and budget for your business to account for these changes.
8. Figure out priorities
As a business owner, it can be tempting to try and accomplish everything at once. However, this generally results in entrepreneurs doing a variety of things poorly or incompletely. Instead, business growth occurs better when you learn to prioritize. You want to focus on the tasks that have the most meaning for you and your organization — those that will help you reach your goals and propel your growth. This will save you time and energy for the tasks that have the most value.
9. Stay tough
Running a startup takes skill and plenty of perseverance. Entrepreneurship means you will encounter multiple late nights, many priorities fighting for your attention, and the daily stress involved with trying to build a business. Here’s what you can do:
- Know how to say no to projects that don’t align with your company goals. This will save time for projects that will help you achieve your milestones, so stay tough in your resolve.
- Know how to bear the stress, as it can come from a variety of places, so you can stay mentally tough.
- Know that part of being mentally tough means giving yourself breaks, taking care of your physical and mental health, and setting goals that can help you through the challenging times.
10. Go above and beyond
Running a small business is about building relationships between you, your customers, and any employees. Remember the passion you feel about your field and why you got involved in building your business originally. Go the extra mile to help your business succeed and reach that next goal you’ve set.
Also, go the extra mile for your customers, demonstrating your concern for their pain points and your desire to serve them. Finally, go the extra mile for your employees, increasing your accessibility and letting them know that you value their input. Together, these traits will help you build your business.
Build your small business today
Successful business development requires hard work and perseverance, but when you take the necessary steps, you set yourself up to thrive. If you’re interested in starting, running, or growing your small business, ZenBusiness makes it easy to manage the paperwork involved.