What's one of the most commonly named goals among business owners? It may be a lofty goal, and unless it is paired with specific aims and objectives, it's also a pretty vague one. Many companies want growth.
If you want to grow your business, what is your vision for the company? What do you hope to achieve? What do you need to do to be ready - and how will you measure your preparedness?
A clear vision of what growth looks like for your business - and why it’s valuable - will make the difference between success and failure, growth and recession. It's important to meet with your team on a regular basis to discuss your objectives for the future.
Start with your goal, and then break it down into objectives that will help you to reach it. Be specific: growth itself as a goal is pretty vague. Streamlining processes and equipment is specific. Offering a new service is a specific objective, and so is creating a new strategic marketing plan to reach more of your target audience.
Remember, your goal also needs to be attainable. Sometimes, enthusiasm can blind us to the attainability of the goals we’re setting – or to the attainability of the timeline in which we’ve set them. But that won’t happen to you, right?
Lastly, be sure your goals and objectives are relevant and time-based. Are these objectives really going to help you reach your goal? And does the goal truly make sense for your business at this time, in the current market? What is your deadline for achieving this goal?
Have a living, breathing plan
Narrow your list of potential S.M.A.R.T. objectives to those with the best return-on-investment or ROI. Then, create a working plan to accomplish them. Put it down in writing to serve as a reminder as well as to reinforce your commitment to succeed, and refer back to it frequently.
Business managers can use social media to gain feedback and increase personal accountability. Once you’ve set your objectives, it’s important to make them a part of your everyday routine.
Although it takes more than just this to be a success in business, these are some essential principles that you can begin implementing right away as you begin your journey toward growing your business:
Timing is everything
The timing of your product or service must be right in the marketplace. If the market isn’t ready and you are way ahead of the market, then you must possess the drive and the willingness to sacrifice in order to make that product or service work.
You'll have to choose to either wait for the market to catch up (requiring the resources to survive during that period, and accepting the risk of emerging competition), or you’ll need to adjust your offering to something more palatable to the market’s current readiness.
All about that brand
Today’s economy requires business leaders to create positive memories for customers and partners or customers will turn to a competitor in search of a better experience. The emotional attachment that links customers to your product, as opposed to any other, translates into sustainable growth.
You also want to reinforce the brand image within your company. Make sure employees at every level of your organization work and behave in a way that reinforces your brand image.
Choose the right audience
The surest road to product failure is to try to be all things to all people. Your objective is to make your audience feel an emotional attachment to your brand. Who is your target audience?
There are few barriers to entry in an age where anyone with wireless can cheaply and quickly access the enabling technologies needed to execute their business model. It comes down to creating the right operating blueprint that connects the dots between your business model and the application of accessible technologies.
The stressors can be relentless. But if you’re not happy, healthy, and motivated, you can’t create a business model that provides a positive market experience. You also set the tone for everyone who works with you. Nobody wants to do business with a grouchy, bitter, and exhausted owner.
Therefore, investing the time and effort to adequately take care of your physical and mental well-being will further increase your chances for long-term success. Mental health is not just about going to the gym to let off steam. It’s about achieving a state of mental calmness to see you through the relentless challenges—but that’s a whole other topic.