While a unique and competitive product or service is vital to growing a successful business, there are many other foundational elements that a business needs to have in place that are often overlooked. Without these essential components, you may find that your business growth is stunted.
It can be difficult as a business to invest your valuable time and money into something that doesn’t give you a direct and measurable return on investment (ROI). However, these are important aspects of any business that will improve the overall ROI and provide you with long-term growth.
Whether you are an established corporation that is struggling to grow, or a new business trying to do everything it can to be successful, here are some of the foundational components that your business needs to be successful.
#1 Business plan
Many people will jump into business with a rough idea of what they are doing and what they want to achieve. Start somewhere and keep moving but make to create a detailed business plan. A business plan created after thorough research has been conducted into the product or service you wish to provide, your customer’s wants and needs, the industry, your competitors and possible financial forecasts will give you a springboard. It will also detail your business objectives and goals, and what steps you will need to take to reach them. It is essentially a roadmap for all departments of your business, including financial, marketing, and operational activities that will guide you to success. It will also create a roadmap that ensures everyone in your business is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
It is an important document that will help you build and grow a successful business, and it is vital if you are trying to secure investments for your business. This is because if you are a new business, you will not have a proven track record to show investors that you are worth investing in. A business plan will show them that you are organized and know how you are going to be successful, and shows them that their investment in you is worthwhile.
#2 Customer persona
Customer personas, also known as buyer personas, are a documented representation of your ideal customers. This is an extremely useful resource for all businesses to have, as it will guide all departments in your business, including your marketing, customer service, and product development teams in creating activities that will resonate with your customers. You should conduct thorough research into who your ideal customers are, how old they are, what their occupation is, what they like doing, what their hobbies are, where they live, what problems you can solve, and much more. This will help you create intentional marketing campaigns and products that are best suited to your customers. You will know them inside out and be able to make your business much more competitive and attractive to your ideal customers.
Without a customer persona, you will waste a lot of time and effort trying to please customers that you know nothing about. This will leave you doing a lot of guesswork that won’t give you the results that you desire.
You should prioritize creating a buyer persona as early on in your business journey as possible, so you can personalize your business as much as possible to better serve your customers.
#3 Good customer service
The way you treat your customers will have a huge impact on their perception of your business and their decision to invest in you. Customer service will directly shape your business into something successful or break it. There’s a reason why customer service is a priority.
Ensure that all your team is fully trained and understand how they can be helping you want your customers treated. They should be familiar with the customer personas, so they can personalize the service they are providing to meet their needs.
Customers are more likely to invest in you and share their experiences with their friends and family if they receive excellent customer service. It is no longer enough to provide good customer service. You need to make sure that your team is going above and beyond for each customer, personalizing the service they provide, offering more than the bare minimum, and giving them a reason to return to you and make another purchase.
You should also ensure that as a business, you have a variety of ways that you can be contacted. Depending on who your ideal customers are, you may choose to have a walk-in service at a local store, a dedicated phone line to be called on, an email service, or a live chat available on your website. Live chats are one of the most popular customer service options available in 2022. This is because customers spend a large portion of their time on their smartphones, and live chat offers them the opportunity to chat with you directly and get the answers they want instantly. They are quick and easy to use, which is extremely beneficial in a society that thrives off instant gratification. Before you set up live chat options, you should do your research to find the best chat application for your website to ensure it serves your customers well.
Whether it is the technology that you use in-house, such as hardware, printers, and machines in your product development, or technology to map your customer journey, you must use the most up-to-date technology in your business. If you use outdated technology or no technology at all, you will quickly fall behind in your industry. It is a common mistake for businesses to stick to their old ways and not want things to change. While you might be an expert at your current systems and processes, you could be limiting your business’s growth and opportunities. Be sure to review your technology and be honest.
There are a plethora of technological advances on the market today that only continue to evolve and grow. If your competitors are using the latest technology and you are not, you might find that your business is inefficient and lagging in the industry. Technology enhances and changes the way that you serve your customers, develop and implement your products and services.
Without up-to-date technology, you might also find that you are not able to keep up with your customer needs, and your business is left unprotected to cyber threats. Much of today’s technology has been made to help enhance your products and services, make them safer and more secure while creating practices that are more efficient and affordable.
Without technology, you will hinder your business growth.
Many businesses will only take calculated action. While this is important, it is just as important that your business takes risks. Risk-taking in business will encourage innovation and enable you to surpass your competitors. When you take a risk in business, you might find new ways of working or an innovative way to serve your customers that you can take advantage of that no one else will try because of the risks involved. You will be the only business in your industry with that strategy, which can also help build your authority and become a thought leader. As a result, your credibility and reputation will skyrocket.
If taking the risk does not work out, it is not a failure. The great thing about taking risks is it will always work out. If it doesn’t give you the answer you wanted, you can learn a valuable lesson from the risk, which will enable your business to grow.
Networking is often overlooked when businesses are trying to grow, as you cannot always see the direct impact it has. However, networking is a powerful tool for any sized business to utilize. Networking enables you to meet new people, both business owners, and customers alike, and form meaningful relationships with them. They might be your ideal customer, or they could be someone in a related field. All connections that you can make within your industry are relevant and important.
It will help you to grow by expanding your connections and your ability to seek out new customers. It will also provide you with the valuable opportunity to learn firsthand more about what people want and need, so you can continue to improve how you serve your customers. Networking can offer the opportunity to work with other businesses and individuals in related fields, so you can expose yourself to their customer base.
Many people also find value in collaborations, which means expanding your reach to a warmed-up market. When another business recommends you to their loyal following, you will quickly win new customers. These kinds of collaborations can be mutually beneficial to both businesses and help you both skyrocket your growth.
Growing a successful business is hard work. Make it easier on yourself by laying the right foundations.