You have a product that people want, you’ve been able to successfully market it, and now you want to grow your business. How can you keep doing more business, while having enough time to enjoy your company? You’re probably thinking like this because you’re exhausted from hustling and worrying about making money. So you decide to take a break and enjoy life. Let’s assume this is a luxury you can afford, and let’s also assume you want to stay true to your entrepreneurial spirit and continue running your business. You don’t need to worry about paying your bills or rent anymore, and you have enough money to invest in growing your business.
Let’s use a real-life example from my own experience. When I started my e-commerce store, I would often struggle with deciding what to sell and how to price it. In the beginning, I would put products on my site that I thought would be profitable, and I would set the price high to get customers. However, once I started getting a decent amount of sales, I would try my best to not sell any more of those products because I knew they were a losing proposition. Instead, I would sell products that were profitable, even though I wasn’t sure how long the profit would last, and I would price those products low to retain as many customers as possible.
This was a difficult mindset to maintain, especially since it’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking only about the present. However, when you’re deciding how to market a product or service, you need to consider the long term as well. In the early stages of my business, I would frequently check my Google Analytics, and when I would find myself dipping into a red zone, I would panic. I would think, ‘Oh my gosh, how am I going to pay my bills next month?’ Fortunately, I overcame this fear and now when I look back, I see it as a necessary step to take. Because if I can’t trust my data, then how can I trust my feelings?
Set A Realistic Growth Strategy
When you’re deciding how to grow your business, you need to have a realistic growth strategy. Just because you want to grow doesn’t mean you can. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who want to scale their business right away, but in most cases, this isn’t possible. Why? Because you’re taking on too much at one time. You might be able to scale your production line, but you’re going to have to adjust your staff and the way you operate otherwise. This is where a lot of businesses crash and burn. They get so focused on growing that they completely disregard the little things that make their business special, and this is why you need to be realistic about your growth strategy. Set a medium-term and long-term plan, and don’t be afraid to revisit it.
Diversify Your Product Line
Over time, your product line is going to grow, and it’s going to become unwieldy. How do you handle this? You can’t keep expanding in the same direction, which is why you need to explore other options. The first step is to look at your entire product line, and see what you can do to make it better. Can you create a niche for yourself by adding new products or expanding into different markets?
For example, I have a product that’s designed for food businesses, and I sell a lot of kitchen appliances. However, I’m actually working on expanding into hair-care products as well. This is a completely different market, but it’s one that I feel is ready to be explored, and with my existing product line, I’m well positioned to do this. If you work in a field where you feel like you can easily switch to a different product, then there’s no reason not to. It’s a good idea to look for a mentor who is experienced in your field of work, and see if they can give you some tips on how to expand into other markets. Otherwise, you’re going to have to learn as you go, which can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Just remember, you’re always better off being diversified rather than concentrated. It’s easier to expand your customer base, and easier to sell more products if you have more options to choose from. This is why you need to be thinking about what else you can sell instead of only focusing on the one thing that brought you success in the first place.
Build A Team
No one man (or woman) is an island, and that especially applies in business. You’re going to need a support team if you want to make it to the top. Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. You can outsource many of the tasks, but ultimately, you need people to help you make the company successful. There are a lot of different roles that you can play with regards to team building, and the first step is to identify the positions you’re going to need, and then start looking for people who can fill those roles. If you’re looking for product developers, for example, then you can find a few people who are experienced in coding, and can create the different product variations you need to offer. Then there’s the marketing side, which is a lot more complex, and you’re definitely going to need a dedicated person for this job. You’ll also need a person to take care of the finances, and this is where a business partner comes in handy. Having a team is going to make a massive difference in the way you operate, and the way your business grows. If you’re operating by yourself, you might feel overwhelmed, and spread too thin. Having team members who can share the workload, and bring their specific expertise to the table is going to make a huge difference in the quality of your work, and the way you get things done. Plus, you can always use team members to consult with when you’re having problems, or want advice about a specific topic.
Don’t Forget The Little Things
As I mentioned before, growing a business is demanding, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking only about the large things, rather than the small things that make your business special. Can you offer free delivery for new customers? Is there a loyalty program you can introduce? Can you offer a money-back guarantee if the product doesn’t work for the customer? These are all things you might wonder about, but instead of answering them, you focused on increasing your sales, and as a result, you lost sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself, rather than just focusing on the numbers, because sometimes, the numbers can lie. If you look at my own business, I was so focused on increasing my sales that I completely forgot about things such as website loading times and product quality. It was only when I started getting serious about SEO, that I noticed my sites weren’t as accessible to customers as they could be. This resulted in lower conversion rates, and in some cases, it took multiple attempts before the customer would actually buy the product. So you see, it’s important to not only look at the big picture, but it’s also important to keep an eye on the small things as well. The better your product, the better your sales. Keep this in mind.
Create Different Pricing Structures
Depending on your product, and how much you’re able to sell at one time, you might want to create different pricing structures. For example, let’s say you’re selling skincare products, and you have a popular item that costs you $500, but only sells for six months before the customer finds another need. You might want to create a special financing plan, where you offer an interest-free loan for six months, with payments made over a period of three to five years. Just because you have a limited product line, and only need to move a small amount of units to make a profit doesn’t mean you can’t create different structures for different products. Just do some research, and see what works best for your specific situation. If you’re in need of a cash infusion, and have a limited amount of time to do business, then you can offer limited payment plans and even discounts for investors.