While it is harder for a company to grow in a climate of economic uncertainty, if they adopt the right strategy, entrepreneurs can thrive, regardless of economic conditions.
Here are seven steps to stay on the path to growth.
1. Diversify your clientele
If you get the majority of your income from one or two clients, your business could be at risk if they are in financial difficulty.
A BDC study shows that even modest diversification leads to better financial results, no matter the size of the business. The most diversified companies record, by far, the fastest growth.
2. Do not neglect your best customers
While it remains important to diversify its customer base, it is wise to pay special attention to its best customers. By cultivating links with them and ensuring their loyalty, entrepreneurs can continue to grow with them.
Knowing your clientele also means being aware of market trends. Ask yourself what key consumer trends you should follow and act accordingly to continue to be the preferred supplier of your best customers.
3. Take the lead in marketing
No product or service sells on its own, especially during a recession. And word-of-mouth sometimes proves to be insufficient for the expansion of a company. You must define and promote what sets you apart .
Consider designing a well-defined marketing strategy that identifies your target audience, uses relevant tactics to reach it, and uses quantifiable measures to analyze your results.
4. Take a step back to focus on the strategic objectives
It is easily absorbed by current activities at the expense of the strategic plan. This attitude can lead to failure. It is essential not to lose sight of one’s mission or values when making routine operating decisions. Know what your strengths are, what your goal is and how you intend to reach it. Be sure to document, update and share your strategic plan .
5. Emphasize a positive attitude in your staff
Every employee needs training and coaching to understand your strategy and promote the company spontaneously at every opportunity. When you hire candidates, look for those who have the right skills, but also the desired attitude.
6. Constantly monitor your cash flow
Most entrepreneurs focus on managing results by closely tracking sales, gross margin and expenses. But they often do not care about cash flowmanagement . You should plan monthly financial developments and monitor your progress during the year. It is also important to offset short-term and long-term needs with short- and long-term sources of revenue.
If you see any difficulties on the horizon, talk to your banker immediately. Never catch him with bad news.
7. Find the balance between entrepreneurial instinct and factual analysis
Try to cultivate enthusiasm and spontaneity in order to react quickly, but prepare and base your decisions on facts rather than instinct. Do not make the all too common mistake of ignoring market feedback or fact analysis.
Modify your methods before they become obsolete. Be receptive to the warning signs of trouble. Evolve and grow by optimizing your systems and adopting best practices and the latest technology.