4 Simple Steps to Grow Your Business

This is a guest post by Helena Murphy from The Guide To Growth

So you've done the hard bit and taken the leap into full-time entrepreneurship. 

Things are going well, they're steady and you don't want to rock the boat too much.

But deep down you know you need to keep moving forwards, you need to grow, and if you are impatient {like most entrepreneurs} you want to do it quickly. 

Now the question is how? With so many resources out there and so many marketing channels you could pursue, how do you know what is going to move the dial the most and make the biggest difference to your business and your bottom line?

 

Step One: Ask Your Customer

 

This might seem basic and obvious, but I’m amazed how many entrepreneurs are doing things in their business and implementing new strategies when they haven’t actually asked their customers if it is something they want or would buy. 

You should be surveying your customers and getting feedback at every opportunity. Sending survey emails, asking questions on social media and establishing a community around your brand are all ways you can do this.

One of my favourite ways of gaining feedback as well as fostering brand loyalty is to create a business mastermind or insider group of brand ambassadors. This can be 5-10 customers, or people you would like to be your customers, who you physically meet with on a regular basis to get their feedback on your product or service and brainstorm ideas. 

If you want to know whether you should launch a new product, new design, new service, new workshop or even re-do your website - ask your customers and trust me, if they want it, they’ll tell you!

You can take this a step further with your marketing too. A simple email saying, hey - I was thinking about starting a podcast, what would you like to listen to?, will let you know if this is something you should be pursuing.  

Or, thank you so much for engaging on my Instagram account, I’d love to know more about what you like about Instagram and what you’d like to see more of, in exchange for your input and feedback here is {{insert free gift/download/discount}} as a thank you!

Or even reaching out and asking your customers when they would like to hear from you via email and what kind of content they would like; all are great ways to not only gain that all-important feedback, but also build a community and enhance brand engagement. 

Of course, the caveat with this is that you have to listen and implement the feedback you’re given! 

 

Step Two: Do more of what is already working

 

Again, this may seem obvious, but I find that a lot of businesses don’t actually know what is working for them. Instead they have a scatter-gun approach to marketing rather than establishing a clear growth strategy for their business leveraging the two or three things that are working really well, doing more of them and taking them to the next level. 

To do this, you need to establish effective ways of measuring your activity and again, make sure you are analysing the results and taking on board the feedback. 

My favourite tools for measuring activity are Google Analytics and Hubspot which is my CRM system where I track, manage and monitor client leads and activity.

 

Step Three: Think BIG

 

If you are serious about growing your business, then you need to think BIG. My favourite exercise to help my clients, and myself, to think bigger is to answer the following question:

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? 

How big could your business really be? And what could you achieve or do if you go there? What difference would it make to your life and the lives of others?

This opens you up to possibility and stops you dwelling on the fear of everything that could go wrong. 

Now ask yourself what is the one step you could take today to get yourself closer to that goal? What step could you take tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day? {Hint - see step one}

 

Step Four: Push the Boundaries

 

The final step to grow your business, is to step out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve not done before. If you want to stay where you are, keep doing things the same way you’ve always been doing them. If you want to grow, then you have to change.

Now this isn’t about reinventing your business or your personality, as to suggest that I would be contradicting everything in the first part of this post. 

This is about doing one thing outside of your comfort zone; doing something you’ve never done before and seeing what happens. This might be hosting a Facebook Live or a webinar, it might be attending a networking event or reaching out to an entrepreneur you admire and asking if you can buy them lunch and ask their advice, or it might be reaching out to someone and suggesting a collaboration. 

Remember - Old ways won’t open new doors. 

These steps work in a cycle, and if you follow them on a loop, I promise your business will flourish! 

 

Next Steps:

Sometimes as entrepreneurs we can’t see the wood for the trees and we need to take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture and take a more holistic view so we can clearly see the path ahead. One of my favourite tools to help me gain an overview of a business is to complete a growth plan. I’ve created a special Growth Plan template for you to fill out for your own business here>

Download Growth Plan

 

About Helena:

Helena Murphy is an award-winning entrepreneur, business coach and investor passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs grow sustainable and profitable businesses. 

Helena empowers people to take control of their financial future and build a business and life of freedom and meaning. She is an active investor in retail and technology companies and has been featured in several prominent national and international media outlets including The Herald, The Scotsman and The Daily Mail.

When she’s not working around the world with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, Helena can be found practicing yoga, drinking coffee in her local Italian cafe and googling her next travel destination.