If you want your business to succeed, achieving exponential growth is a good way to start. This means that you constantly expand your market and reach new heights in terms of revenue, reach, and returns. Not every business strives for exponential growth. Lifestyle businesses are among the businesses where the primary goal is to replace the owner’s income with self-employment income. There’s nothing wrong with starting a lifestyle business, such as this, but if you have stars in your eyes, you want something more. You want to not only replace your income but grow your business to support your community by employing others and providing products in addition to those already in the marketplace. If you hope to acheive this kind of business, we have the tips you need to achieve exponential growth.
How exponential growth impacts the economy
As I said, not every business owner aspires to such a grandiose outcome while still contributing greatly to the economy, with 99.9% of all US businesses representing small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses make an incredible difference on the economy; accounting for two-thirds of all new jobs and 44% of the national GDP (gross domestic product) in the US. An even bigger contribution comes from small businesses in the form of innovation; accounting for 16 times more patents per employee than larger businesses. Most of these innovative businesses set their strategy to achieve exponential growth. Think about some of the giants in our economy, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and others, who started as small businesses run by entrepreneurs who saw possibilities for exponential growth and ran with them.
If your dream is to become self-employed that’s a great dream and you’ll help both your family and the economy. But, if you dream bigger and want to make a splash, read on to learn how to achieve exponential growth.
Tips to achieve exponential growth
1) You need to have a clear and concise vision.
This means that you know exactly what you want your company to achieve and where you see it going in the future. More than a vision, you need a plan that implements that vision or you have little hope of seeing your vision come to life.
To develop your vision, start by thinking about your long-term goals for the business. What do you want to achieve in five years? Ten years? Once you have a general idea of where you see the company going, start fleshing out the details. What products or services do you want to offer? Who is your target market? How will you reach them?
A great way to think about success is to offer something not available from your competition. We call this a sustainable competitive advantage when you offer something unique to the marketplace and can support your advantage over the competition over time. You can develop a sustainable competitive advantage through innovation and new product development by using strategy tools such as a product positioning map like the one below to identify opportunities. Software now allows you to create these perceptual maps in 3-dimensions so you can map consumer attitudes toward existing products along multiple axes that reflect several different characteristics that impact purchase decisions.
Once you have a solid understanding of your vision, develop a well-researched, data-driven business plan and communicate it to everyone on your team. Make sure they are all on board with your goals and are invested in helping you achieve them.
2) You need to set SMART goals.
To achieve exponential growth, you need to set specific, measurable goals. These act as a guide to direct action and help you track your progress and ensure you stay on track to reach your vision.
To start setting goals, sit down with your team and brainstorm what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term. Once you have a list of potential destinations, start narrowing them down. Which ones are realistic? Which ones will have the most significant impact on the business?
We often talk about setting SMART goals where SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. An example of a SMART goal is:
Increase revenue by 10% over the next quarter
Once you have a few solid goals and a business plan, create detailed action plans to bring your plans to life. What steps do you need to take to achieve these goals? Who is responsible for each task? When do you plan on completing them? By breaking down your goals into smaller steps, you will make them much more accessible. Below, you see a template for creating action plans relevant to marketing, although your situation will likely require adaptation around this template and for different types of actions.
3) You need to invest in your team.
Your team is one of your most valuable assets, so investing in them is important. Hiring the right people, managing them effectively, and training them distinguishes successful businesses from those who fail. Investing in your employees results in:
- Customer satisfaction, since a happy employee leads to a happy customer [source]
- Engaged employees are more productive and make fewer mistakes
- Employees who are satisfied with their work are less likely to leave your company, resulting in lower costs to hire and train new employees plus they outproduce new employees as they learn the job.
- When employees are happy, they actively participate in improving your operation
- and, lots more
One way to invest in your team is by providing training and development opportunities. If you want your team to perform better, you need to give them the chance to learn new skills. This could include sending them to conferences or workshops, enrolling them in online courses, or hiring a coach or mentor. But, providing learning opportunities outside of those needed to perform their role in your company also makes them feel better about themselves, resulting in improved performance. Also, even skills unrelated to their role may contribute something in the future.
Another way to invest in your team is by offering incentives for achieving goals. This helps motivate them to reach new heights and grow the business. When they hit their targets, give them a bonus or some other type of recognition.
Providing opportunities for employees to have a voice within your company, called participative decision-making, improves engagement and eases change management.
4) Set your team up for success
If you want your team to be productive and happy, you need to create a comfortable work environment. This means having the right tools, resources, and space to foster a positive business culture and support teamwork. To start creating a comfortable work environment, make sure everyone has the resources to do their job. This includes the latest software, adequate workspace, and any other tools they might need. If you need more space and don’t want to waste too much money on building, consider using Modular Genius for your office projects. Also, consider casual conversions as part of building team cohesion, rather than as a way to waste time. These casual conversions build esprit de corps and ease potential conflict that can arise, especially in tense situations. You also help foster cooperation and encourage new ways of thinking.
In addition to providing the right resources, you also need to foster a positive culture. This means creating an open and supportive environment where everyone feels valued. Encourage collaboration and open communication, and make sure everyone feels like part of the team. Think of the manager as a cheerleader, coach, or another type of supporter rather than the bureaucratic head with all the power. By creating a positive culture, you encourage your team to stick around and contribute their best efforts to helping grow the business.
If you want your company to achieve exponential growth, you need to have a clear vision, set measurable goals, invest in your team, and focus on your customer experience. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to success.
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