Apple started in a garage before taking over the technology industry and redefining how we communicate.
Amazon began as an online book retailer before transforming the online shopping experience.
Uber started as a ride-share service that would forever disrupt the taxi industry and how the world views transportation at large.
These companies share common factors that go far beyond technology alone. Each company has been able to grow a small, no name business into a household brand. And while this pace of growth can seem impossible to replicate, with the right strategy, it is possible to develop, expand and grow your small business into something larger and more significant overtime. Take some time to ask yourself the following questions to begin to establish what a growth plan looks like for your company.
How do you define your value proposition in a way that differentiates you from others?
Establishing your value proposition should be done when you first begin your business, but it must be more than words on a page. Staying connected to your value proposition and continuously reinforcing that message to your audience is vital to an effective growth strategy. As you grow, your value proposition must constantly be reevaluated. And that’s because new customers or potential target markets will need to understand who you are, what makes you different from the crowd and why you matter.
What are your key performance indicators for tracking growth?
Growth looks different for every business. Your focus must be on defining success for yourself and determining how to track performance overtime. We suggest choosing a few metrics that are defined, measurable and most importantly attainable for your company as you move forward.
By integrating your KPIs into weekly business operations and conversations, they will become more than far reaching goals. But take your KPIs one step further and customize them to various elements of the business. That way, whether an employee is in marketing or in sales, they can understand how their work supports overarching business goals.
Are you able to expand on your current revenue streams or develop new ones?
Amazon went from selling books to selling everything. Apple went from selling computer hardware to creating watches, phones and music. You may not be a billion (or trillion) dollar company like these industry giants, but you can learn something from their expansion models. New revenue streams are always possible, and new revenue streams are a fundamental factor in building out effective growth strategies.
Those who win at growing their business take an innovative approach to new opportunities —
the opportunities not yet seen by the competition. Evaluate all options for revenue expansion within your market, but don’t limit yourself. New revenue channels can come from entering into new geographical markets, service expansions or building out your product portfolio.
At the end of the day, you need to customize your growth strategy to your business and your market. By integrating these factors into your development strategy, you can create a confident growth plan that leads to results far beyond what you imagine.