It goes without saying that our mission here at ThriveHive is to help business owners grow their business. It therefore also goes without saying that we talk to countless business owners each day who are trying to do just that. Business growth varies from company to company, but there are some common themes that apply no matter what product you create or service you provide. Whether you’re starting out fresh and inspired, or have been struggling and feel discouraged, these business growth basics will help you to put things in perspective and more importantly, to not give up.
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Most often, business owners are hoping that there is a quick fix they can implement to start bringing in hundreds of clients right away. Unfortunately, growing your business requires the good old fashioned hard work that it has always required, so it’s important to set the right expectations for your business growth.
When you know what lies ahead, you can set the right expectations for what you can put in at each step of the way, as well as for what you will get out of those efforts. You can also prevent yourself from getting discouraged and/or frustrated along the way, which will only impede growth.
To set the right expectations, you must first accept that true, reliable business growth is a long term process that takes time, money and consistent effort. It is incredibly rewarding to watch your business grow—not just because your business is growing, but because it is the result of all of the time and effort you are putting in.
There is no magic formula that will cause your business to boom overnight, and slow and steady growth is what works. So where, or how, do you start? Rather than a formula for growth, the key is to start with a foundation for growth.
Having a foundation in place doesn’t mean having everything done. After all, there is a lot to be done to grow your business—most of which is ongoing effort. Having a growth foundation means putting the pieces into place so that you can work steadily on building up each aspect of your business simultaneously.
One of the most important parts of your growth foundation is your marketing plan. Not just a general or templated marketing plan, but a custom marketing plan specific to your business. Every business is unique, and therefore every business owner should have a specific plan that enables them to invest wisely in their marketing efforts and get the expected results. If you want to be able to take meaningful action that translates into business growth, your absolute first step is a customized marketing plan that you can actually execute on.
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Another crucial aspect of your growth foundation is your marketing budget. By defining how much time and how much money you can spend on your marketing every month, you can start identifying a realistic timeline as to how fast you can attract clients, given the resources that you have.
Even if your budget is small, it’s still important to map out all of your expenses. It is only in getting a full picture of your resources that you will be able to invest them intelligently and grow them. For more help with your marketing budget, check out our marketing budget best practices.
Consistency is fundamental to growing your business. If you focus all of your effort on one marketing activity at the expense of others, whatever success you gain from that activity will likely be offset by losses from the others. Or, if you spend all of your time on a marketing activity that isn’t suitable for your business growth, that is valuable time and money down the drain.
It is important to work on various marketing channels consistently. Part of what makes digital marketing so effective is that the different marketing channels can facilitate one another. Make sure that your marketing plan has plenty of diversity, and that each aspect gets consistent attention.
It’s equally as important to be consistent across time as well. Ignoring your social media accounts or blog for a week makes it really hard to build your audience. It’s better to put a small amount of time in each day and to be consistent in your audience engagement than to have an unpredictable presence that your followers can’t rely on.
It’s important to stick to your marketing plan with consistency, because as mentioned above, business growth takes time. If you want to see the results you are looking for, you must stick to it long enough for it to work.
Mastering these basics of business growth is the key to setting yourself up for success. You don’t have to have it all figured out or have everything done immediately in order to see growth. The point is to start with the basics so that you can build from there. With a strong foundation, you will see the growth that you can trust and build off of.