In working to scale a business, you may have arrived at this post looking for that magic answer. The one thing you’re forgetting as an owner that will push you far and beyond any goal you have set for the year ahead.
The reality though is that growth in life and business (yes, we’re expanding our areas of influence here) isn’t typically a factor of one thing and one thing alone. It, well, grows over time as a factor of many moving parts — gradually optimized as individual departments for the sake of contributing to a greater whole.
Many of these growth tactics won’t come as a surprise. And you may even have a working foundation in place for some if not all of these areas. Regardless, business growth in these instances becomes reliant on your willingness to review what’s already been implemented, own mistakes, iterate and try again.
Here are four unassuming tactics to consider for growing your business in the new year.
Expand Your Team
In theory, if you have more people working toward the goals you’ve set, you have more hours and a larger experience base to play with. In theory.
The caveat here is that having employees doesn’t automatically equate to getting more done. This is especially true if you subscribe to the idea that time is actually a thing you can manage. If anything, you should be looking through the lens of managing focus.
You can exponentially increase business growth with an extra set of hands, pending you’re methodical about who to hire. You may be able to get as much done at less of a cost by hiring a virtual assistant or freelancer. Think strategically through what it is you’re hoping to get out of a new hire and the impact it will have on your ability to get things done rather than simply aiming to put bodies in seats.
Focus Your Marketing Strategy
When you’re not a marketer by trade, the vagueness of a phrase like, “focus your marketing strategy,” will likely elicit its fair share of eye-rolls. Marketing in and of itself is so multi-faceted and time-consuming. Not to mention the fact that it’s really easy to do poorly.
Rather than doing everything and anything from a marketing standpoint, use your competitors as a benchmark. What are they doing well? What are they not doing well? The answers to both of these questions can highlight opportunities for you to swoop in and either copy or fill a void.
Additionally, be realistic about what you can feasibly tackle from a creative standpoint with the team you have. It takes a lot more time and effort than you’d think to write an ad people want to click on or an email they want to open. And you’re going to get a lot more out of doing a handful of things really well than you are trying to do all the things mediocrely.
Maximize Your Effort With Tools and Services
When you’re in the grind as a business owner, it’s not always obvious to question whether your effort is optimized. You’re usually just trying to crank out as much as you can as quickly as possible — not brainstorm around the best way to do so.
You’d probably be surprised though at how much more you could get done by plugging different tools and services into the equation. You may be comfortable managing all of your financials in a giant, multi-tabbed spreadsheet but something like QuickBooks might be a more practical investment. The same could be said for hiring a third-party agency to manage your SEO or a store on Amazon.
Cruising along with processes that are “good enough” will set the precedent for what you should expect in return. Recognize when it’s time to throw in the towel on areas of your business that require outside expertise and/or technological support. You have to give something in order to gain growth out of your business — even if that means taking yourself out of the equation.
Organize, Document, Repeat
If Marie Kondo’s tidying up empire has taught us anything, it’s that organization is underrated. And that there’s a difference between comfort with the uncomfortable and joy.
As a business owner, you can only use time as an excuse for so long in relation to organization and process documentation. You’re building the foundation for your long-term goals today in the actions you take and while it’s good to just get by, it pays to think in terms of thriving instead.
Work through every department under the operations umbrella (e.g. finances, business development, human resources, etc.) and document goals. Then think through processes — i.e. what would a third party need to know relative to each if they were to come on board and take it over? While great to have for potential future hires, this exercise can also quickly emphasize areas of your business that would benefit from a reboot.