Growing your business is often compared to playing an instrument, excelling in a sport, or learning a new skill. It has specific steps, requires ongoing effort, and constant refinement.
As a small business CEO, you’re the only one up at night, working weekends, or struggling to solve problems that you didn’t anticipate. This is why it helps to have a blueprint for success—so you can grow your business like a pro.
Define Your Who
Talk with every successful business owner or entrepreneur. He or she will tell you that the biggest success comes from defining a precise target market.
The funny thing is, many owners don’t consider their market, with this at first. Instead, they start with a “what.” The “what” may be a particular kind of software, a service, or a product. The “who” question is often answered with a wave of a hand, and a brush-off, saying, “Everyone needs this!”
If you hear yourself saying “everyone” is a potential customer, then take notice. While your market may be large, break it into distinct segments. Each segment of your target market will respond to different marketing messages, media, and timing.
When you’re growing, look at your customers and define your ideal customer. This may be someone who is a fan, loves your products, and raves about them to others. It may be a blend of a couple of customers who are loyal to your brand and enjoy spreading the word about your valuable business. This is the “who” you would like to have in multiples.
Use this ideal customer to define your target audience. It will help you stay focused, and it will make it much easier to organize all your marketing efforts.
Understand Your Why
Business experts often advise understanding your “why” as a core ingredient of success. Why are you getting up early and staying late? Why are you so committed to getting your products to market? Why do you believe your services or solution is so vital and beneficial?
When you understand your “why” you have a key to unlock immense passion. You know the real reason why you are in business. This gives you an edge that people who are filling in the hours will never achieve.
Grow Your Team
Naturally, there is only one of you. You are the CEO, founder, and as the saying goes, “Chief Bottle Washer.” If you’re doing everything and anything, you are limiting yourself to being a one-person band.
To grow your business like a pro, you’ll want to grow your team. You may have all the skills of marketing, finance, copywriting, sales, and customer service. But there is still only one of you.
Since there are 24 hours in a day, and more issues than one person can handle, make a list. Look for a marketing agency, accounting firm, and IT support agency to get the support you need to grow your business exponentially.
As you grow, you’ll continually want to revisit your team’s needs. Perhaps this will include creating a winning sales playbook, hiring administrative support, and outsourcing customer service. Growing your team can enable you to grow your business.
Track, Iterate, and Refine
Growing a business is like playing an instrument, excelling in a sport, or learning a skill. That’s why it’s so important to pay close attention to the process while keeping your eye on the goals.
This kind of balance enables you to see what’s working, and what could be improved. Much like playing an instrument or a sport, you will have a set of skills to practice. You’ll gain proficiency, and will invest in continuous learning.
All the while, you’ll track results, iterate new solutions, and refine your approach. Use your creativity to make growing a business a living, vital process.
Take Time for You
Many professionals are finding that the current workplace has changed, leading to more working from home, working remotely, and exploring hybrid arrangements. If you are feeling that your work-life balance could use some help, take some time for yourself.
Practice the art of self-care by adopting daily and weekly rituals. These are very flexible, and you are the ultimate decision-maker of what helps you to relax, refresh, and recharge.
If you enjoy being in nature, take a calming walk. If you prefer being inside, explore meditation or practice yoga. Whether you are just starting or have been running a small business for years, taking time for yourself may be the most important decision you make.