Getting your business to a point at which it’s continually growing is a huge accomplishment. When positive traction becomes the norm every quarter, the desire to keep picking up speed only increases. But for many entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to capitalize on momentum and keep growing. That’s especially true if you spend most of your days trying to get the fundamentals taken care of, and aren’t able to take the time to focus on business strategy.
If you haven’t had time to consider growth strategies, or want to spend the New Year focusing on ways to keep the momentum going, you can explore lots of ways to keep your business propelling forward. Here are some considerations and tactics to help you find opportunities to strengthen and expand while the wind is at your back.
1. Create robust, updated customer profiles
Get back to basics with your consumer profiles. Perhaps you created a consumer profile when you first launched your business, putting together a sketch of your archetypal customer’s age, gender, occupation, hobbies, and purchasing considerations. But when was the last time you updated it with new information that you have about your demographics internally, and data from the market externally?
Although you may have gone through the exercise at one point in your business’s lifecycle, your customer persona is something that you should be evaluating and re-evaluating often. Consumer tastes change with trends, technology, age, and far more.
And, even if you’ve revisited your persona recently, your work isn’t quite done yet. Get more detailed with a deeper dive into their psychology and consumer behavior. For instance, where are they most likely to encounter your brand for the first time? How do they think about competitors in your space? What are the tastes of the people with whom they surround themselves?
You already have customers who love your offerings, and may even be gaining traction in new markets. So, to keep the momentum going, make sure you know as much as possible about your customers. Understanding customer characteristics that go beyond demographic information and purchasing decisions, and making sure the info you have is update to date, can help you see where you can bolster your offerings, expand into new areas, and better market yourself for new and recurring customers.
2. Understand what drives your financial decisions
With things going well, you might have a budget you think is doing the trick for you. And you may be right! But the reality of running the day-to-day operations of your business means that you could be missing big opportunities to make more money with better margins and lower operating costs.
With the foundation of a strong budget that’s working for you, capitalize on your financial momentum by doing a high-level analysis of your spending habits, cost inefficiencies, and areas where you can save money and boost growth. Consider working with a financial professional on a broader review of your business’s financial psychology (in other words, the reasons why you made specific financial decisions). This can offer insights that yield positive changes for your cash flow.
Remember that pros, such as accountants, aren’t just there to help you to prepare for audits and taxes. And, taking a proactive step to review your finances when they’re strong can put you in a position to get out in front of any looming financial trouble down the line, including unforeseen market turbulence.
3. Evaluate your trade credit terms
For some businesses, trade credit terms are a kind of set-it-and-forget decision. After all, if you’ve been billing all clients on a net-60 basis, for instance, and operations are mostly going smoothly, why change things?
Creating different trade credit agreements could actually help your business grow, especially in terms of cash flow. Take a look at how long it takes on average for customers to pay your invoices. Say that you offer net-60, but most customers pay within 43 days. You could try net-45 terms with new customers to see if you’re able to get cash in hand faster without any pushback. You also might be able to create incentivisation programs, such as offering early-payment discounts, to get your invoices paid faster.
If you’re able to make even a few tweaks to your standard net terms, you could find that your cash flow is more consistent. And, having extra capital around is a major piece of being able to capitalize on the momentum you have going.
4. Take the fear out of marketing and advertising
You probably haven’t been as successful as you’ve been without strong marketing and advertising. Still, even business owners with a ton of momentum can be nervous around deploying certain promotional strategies; the risk of incorrectly spending money—and too much of it—runs high. And if done inefficiently, marketing may not yield enough data to hit the right consumers, or to demonstrate its success to business owners making the investment.
But, if things are going strong, now is the time to really consider the upside of making some bold and informed marketing and advertising moves. To capitalize on your momentum, be sure you have a strong infrastructure for advertising analytics, with the capability to target certain demographics with your ads. Consider working with an outside consultant who can help you learn how to look at the right numbers in your data dashboards, and guide your strategy so you can safeguard as much as possible against spending money inefficiently.
Additionally, consider exploring alternate channels that previously felt too risky to touch. Perhaps you’ve started to be interested in the uptick in direct mail advertising, but have been too nervous to try it. Or, maybe a pop-up shop could really expose people to your product, but you’re worried about the cost. If you’re doing well with a steady foundation of existing customers, it just may be the right time to take your promotion strategy to the next level.
Although it may be easiest to let yourself just go with the flow when business is going strong, commit to making an effort to capitalize on your business’s momentum. Consciously making decisions and taking up new initiatives while you’re on the upswing can supercharge your growth going forward.
Table of Contents