Secrets to Building and Growing your Business

Many entrepreneurs dream of and work hard to grow their business in the hopes of one day being able to say they’ve made it. For those founders sweating it out in a cramped garage, working long days and scrimping on cup noodles, some manage to attain success, whilst others go back to the drawing board and start again.

Whilst having an innovative idea will definitely help, the three key things to a successful business are actually quite simple:

  • Identify a gap in the market and create a solution to fill this gap
  • Build a company that is filled with people who believe in your cause, is in line with the company’s values and hire managers with solid business skills and financial literacy
  • Develop a solid funding and sales plan

Identify a gap in the market and create a solution to fill this gap

This is the very first step in creating a business success story. Don’t just create or build a business for the sake of having a business. You need to truly know your market and understand what their worries and grievances are. Find out what they need and what they will pay for. Sometimes you might identify a gap but if no one is willing to pay for it, or not enough people are willing to pay for it, it will be an uphill battle trying to build a successful business.

When creating the solution, don’t stop talking to people. Keep talking to potential customers, people who are already users of a similar service or product, investors, manufacturers, those who have been in the industry for a long time, and not forgetting your family and friends who will not shy away from giving you absolutely brutal feedback. Once you have developed your solution, test it out. Test it out with your family and friends, and especially your target market. The more people you can get to test out your solution, the better.

Let’s take a look at Honee, a Melbourne-based salon management startup. Matthew Jones, its founder saw that there was no digital platform on the market that could connect salon owners with customers, so he created one. He consulted the industry and compared a variety of platforms to create a user-friendly app customers and his salon owners can easily use. Now, he gets excited when the salon owners on his platform tells him that they’ve been able to put their daughter in dance classes or send their kids to summer camp because of the extra revenue they were getting.

Build a company - not just a business

It is never easy building a company but the first thing to do is to make sure you have your company’s values down pat and hire people who live and breathe them. Make sure your leadership team leads with purpose and is not your old-school-authoritative-style-manager. Learn about different management styles in the diploma of business by visiting this website. If you want to focus on the Leadership side of business considering studying Diploma of Leadership and Management - more information about the courses here  

You will want to make sure that your leaders and heads of departments are also business savvy and financially literate so that they can help guide the business to where you want to take it to.

Hiring the right people is possibly one of the most important aspects of your business. Having employees or a team with the wrong attitude (a negative one) or the wrong mindset (a pessimistic one) will easily bring your house down.

If you’re not sure how you would build the right team or the right company, go out and learn. There are many business and management courses available that can equip you with the knowledge and skills you need. Don’t ever think you know it all and stop learning. Just as the market evolves and progresses, so does the knowledge and skills that come to the market.

Develop a solid funding and sales plan for your business

Developing a strong funding and a strategic sales plan is so very important. With ASIC reporting many businesses fail in the first year because of lack of funds is staggering. Be sure to over budget and not under budget. I would put a forty per cent buffer on what you think you because most of the time, you will need those extra funds. Especially for marketing. Register your Australian business here

Whilst the rule of thumb is that for every $1 you spend on marketing, you should be receiving $3 in revenue; your first few months will be far from this. You’re looking at a more realistic figure of $3 marketing spend for every $1 of revenue, unless your marketing plan is so engaging that it resonates with your target market so intuitively.

Know how to sell to your target market. The way you market and sell to pre-teens will be very different to the way your market and sell to the elderly. The way your market and sell a beauty product will be very different to the way your market and sell a tech product.

Look and learn from your competitors, especially the big players. They would have put a lot of research dollars into buying habits, the psychology of the customers and the buying cycles before rolling out their ads and sales tactics. Learn from their strategies and plans and improve it to meet your needs and your product or service.

Always remember that you can have the most innovative product, but if you don’t have a marketing and sales strategy in place, you are almost certain to fail.

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