Many new businesses fail within the first few years because they lack the knowledge on how to plan for and maintain a steady growth pattern. Some businesses grow so quickly that they cannot keep up and others fail because they have over-invested in inventory and then cannot sell it quickly enough. This month’s blog article will discuss the 8 guidelines to growing your business steadily and how WAPPoint can help you financially through the growth phase.
With WAPPoint payment solutions, growing your business can be a lot easier than you think.
- Avoid Bad Debtors and Get Paid Quickly.
When starting your own business, you need to have all the right tools to grow. A recent study estimates that approximately 66% of customers prefer to pay by card and having a business without a card payment service can mean that you lose out on a lot of potential sales or could land up with a huge outstanding debtors list.
- Keep your expenses low.
Our PocketPOSTM or PhonePOS is perfect for a start-up business due to its affordability. We offer you incredible value-added services along with your PocketPOSTM credit and debit card machine, helping to keep your costs to a minimum.
- Business Needs Change, therefore look out for flexibility.
As your business grows, you might need to look at other card machine options. As we offer all the payment solutions under one roof and we offer flexible contract options, you can easily upgrade to your next type of card machine without the hassle of completing lengthy merchant applications.
8 GUIDELINES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Focus on strategic planning:
Always start with the end in mind. Write down what you aim to achieve and the time period you aim to achieve it in / set a financial goal and then work backward to set monthly milestones to achieve this. Create a budget so that your expenses don’t eat up all your profits. If you see your milestones are not being achieved or your expenses begin going over your budget, alter the milestones and assess whether the problem could be any of the following:
- You have not defined your business value proposition, make sure your prospective clients know it too.
- You have not made provisions for costs to rise as as you grow, work out your gross profit ratio.
- You may be competing too fiercely, try to define your niche market.
- Your sales team may not be able to achieve your sales strategy, find out what your customers needs are.
- You may not have a marketing strategy. It is more important than you know.
- You may have breakdowns in service delivery, create a service blueprint to define operations.
- Know your profit margins and stick to your budgets!
Plan your operations carefully:
You need to know what you can handle and by how much you can grow. A good steady growth average is between 15%-30% per year. Don’t try to achieve a 50% year on year growth rate if you cannot allocate the resources to achieve it.
Have a good marketing strategy in place and don’t just take it as it comes. When you have set clear goals for yourself and actively work towards them, you are far more likely to succeed.
Don’t compete on price, focus on value:
Being flexible with your pricing is great, but don’t sell yourself short by lowering costs too much. If you have a quality product or deliver quality service, do not drop your prices below market value as you will end up paying your customer instead of them paying you.
Do your research. You need to know what your customers want and how they behave/think when completing the purchasing decision.
Get the balance right by focusing on your existing customer relationships rather than only placing emphasis on getting new clients.
Build strong customer & supplier relationships:
The long-term growth of your company depends on loyal customers as well as good supplier relationships. Look after them and always maintain strong relationships with them.
You will always find some suppliers who have far better prices than many of the others, but make sure that they are reliable. What good is a better price if your stock never arrives on time or isn’t what you ordered?
Look after your employees and be passionate about what you do:
When your employees see your enthusiasm and excitement for what you do, it will give them a positive impression which can lead to loyalty and building your best brand ambassadors.
Your staff members need to share your values. Hiring staff is not only about filling a skill or task requirement. Human capital is as important as the money you used to finance the business in the first place.
A CFO once asked a CEO, “What if we invest in our employees and they leave us?” and the CEO answered, “What if we don’t and they stay!” The lesson to take from this is that you can work at keeping great employees but an unmotivated and underperforming team could mean the end for your business.
As your business grows from a one-person operation, you might need to employ others to help with the workload. Learn to trust your judgment and find ways to delegate more tasks and responsibilities to your employees. When you grow them, they will help your business grow.
Build Customer Loyalty:
Always try to go the extra mile for the returning customers, not just once off when you get new business in.
Creating a loyalty rewards program to show your customers that they mean something to you and that you value their loyalty.
Studies show that it costs companies about five times more to acquire new customers than it would to keep current ones. On average, loyal customers are worth over ten times as much as their first purchase.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Whether it is your logo, slogan, product that you created from scratch or even the colour scheme that you have built your business around, you should protect it at all costs. If you do not, then a competitor or copycat can stroll along and steal your brand equity or competitive position. if you offer something completely new, make sure you look into trademarks early on.
Manage Your Cash Flow
Your business could be profitable but that does not mean that you have enough cash flow. Many business owners lose sight of this during the growth phase. Take a look at how WAPPoint can help you to achieve stronger cash flows. https://www.wappoint.co.za/stronger-cash-flows-wappoint/
Accepting quick and easy card payments can increase your cash flow drastically. Talk to the WAPPoint team about adding eCommerce to your website or adding online payment methods to your customer invoices or get a card machine for your business today!