21 Ways To Grow Your Business in 2021
If you could achieve anything in your business, what would it be? Do you want to increase profit, reduce overhead, improve productivity, work less, attract more customers?
The start of any new year brings with it fresh priorities, new chapters, and exciting opportunities. After last years chaos, the slate can be wiped clean in readiness for new goals.
Now is the perfect time to get clear on exactly what you want to achieve this year, to evaluate how your business is performing, and plan new strategies for growth.
If you’re looking to grow your business in the year ahead, here are our top 21 ways to grow in 2021.
1. Work more ON your business
The person most likely to have the greatest potential to grow your business is you, the business owner, which is why it’s vital that you spend more time working on your business rather than in it.
A hundred other people can manage staff, stock, admin and more. If you’re stuck doing all the things, who’s driving the business? Who’s working on setting a vision, achieving your goals, and driving growth at the highest level?
Write down all of the jobs/tasks you do in the business, and then go through and highlight all of the ones that aren’t working towards achieving your goals. Who would be better suited doing those tasks?
2. What did you learn from 2020?
We know you’d probably rather forget that 2020 even existed, but before you go any further, you’ve got to finish off 2020! Whether it was your best or your worst year ever, you either win or you learn.
Take out a piece of paper and write down what were your wins for the year in business and personal. What were you proud of? What got you excited? And what lessons did you learn along the way?
Just as important is what didn’t go the way you wanted it to? Write down what lessons you learned from the failures and disappointments for the year. What can you improve on?
Then celebrate the wins and the lessons you learned, and charge ahead for the year to come.
3. Refine Your Growth Strategy
Spend time really evaluating how your business is performing and plan new strategies for growing your business. Your businesses growth strategy guides your path to success, so it’s crucial you work on it.
A growth plan lays out how you want your business to grow and the steps you’ll take to achieve that development. A strategy helps you focus on what is most important, and forget about the rest. Because at the end of the day, if we didn’t prioritise and tried to do everything, we’d burn out and not achieve the business and the lifestyle we’re aiming for.
Review and realign your growth strategy with your goals for 2021 to ensure you’re focussing on your priorities, and set you up for success.
Stuck? At Synergy, we’re here to help every step of the way. Our highly experienced business advisors are here to assist you to identify opportunities, overcome challenges, develop processes, and refine strategies.
4. Protect Your Cash Flow
Many small businesses leave their cash flow management to chance, but cash flow is crucial to business survival and mastering it will propel you towards business success. One of the first places to look when you want to grow your business is ways to improve your cash flow.
So what are some of the ways you can improve cash flow?
- Increase your income – run a marketing campaign, improve your conversion rates with better customer service, messaging, and a deeper understanding of your customers.
- Be clear on client payment terms and stay on top of overdue payments. For large projects, set up milestone payments.
- Take a look at your cash flow strategy before making any major purchases or hiring new staff.
- Encourage customers to pay faster by making it easier to pay or adding incentives.
- Review your banking products.
- Reduce overheads or stock levels
Review your cash flow management strategy and prepare cash flow projections by assessing your accounts receivable and accounts payable workflows. Write down three ways you can improve your cash flow, and then choose one to start working on straight away.
5. Invest in Training
If you only do what you know, how will you improve and grow your business?
Training yourself and your staff brings about a whole lot of benefits. You get higher productivity and more innovation, improved consistency across the business, and attract great employees. Training can help build loyalty and upskill employees which helps to reduce turnover
Whether it be training in customer service, marketing, finance, technology, or administration, by improving your employees’ skills, they are going to be better at their jobs, which means more business for you.
Identify what skills are missing from your business that would be the most beneficial and fit with your priorities and goals. Then get an employee to research what training is available both online and in-person.
6. Increase Productivity
There are plenty of ways for you to increase productivity, without having to make large scale changes.
Start by writing down workflows for repetitive time-consuming tasks like invoicing, data entry, tracking and nurturing leads, email, social media scheduling, hiring. Look at ways to automate or put processes in place so you can free up time for you and your team.
Is there a new product or service that your customers keep asking you about that you can offer? Is there a partnership you could explore further that would put you in-front of a new audience? Is there a new way of doing business that would help you to scale?
Stop to consider in what ways it would be beneficial to your business to diversify and what ways would it be worthwhile exploring.
8. Get Your Taxes Under Control
Business taxation is complicated and ever changing. You need to stay on top of the rules and regulations that apply to you and your business if you’re going to be compliant and minimise your tax.
We know how stressful tax compliance is for many businesses which is why we work closely with our clients to plan and implement customised strategies that minimise tax liability, increase profits and protect your assets.
Book an appointment with your advisor to regularly review your tax strategy.
9. Standout to attract and sell more
Most businesses don’t standout because they don’t know how to talk about their business in a way that connects, engages and compels people to act.
They get swallowed up in the sea of sameness which is why they struggle to attract more customers, they find it difficult or time consuming to sell, and often end up attracting too many of the wrong people.
To differentiate themselves from their competition, how many businesses use the words leading, best, family-friendly, excellent customer service, quality, expert, delicious, award-winning, etc. Most! Which means they’re blending in, not standing out.
Your brand messaging is key to standing out and it’s not a matter of putting together a few words about benefits and features. There’s a formula behind all successful messaging which goes so much deeper. Your messaging is what attracts attention, captivates your audience, and makes it much easier to sell.
Listen to this podcast episode “Why your brand isn’t getting people’s attention.”
“You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” Tony Robbins
10. Understand Your Customers Better
Quite simply, the better you understand your customers, the easier it is to sell to them, and the more likely you are to grow faster with less effort.
Understanding your customers better will help you to adapt your products or services to see demand, improve your messaging, make it easier to choose what marketing tactics will be most effective, essentially saving you money and at the same time increasing sales.
You need to keep on top of the changing needs of your customers. How they shopped, worked and lived in January 2020 is quite likely not what is their reality now.
Talk to your customers to learn more about who they are, what are their problems, what results are they looking for and how do they want it? Keep note of what words they use when they talk about your products or services. How do they want to buy and communicate with you?
11. Up Your Customer Service Game
Sticking with the customer theme, how’s your customer service? Is it outstanding, or is there room for improvement? Be honest.
If you go the extra mile with your customers, they will not only remember your business, they will recommend it. Word of mouth is powerful (and free!) and great customer service will ensure return customers, and attract new ones. It also works to reduce complaints and refunds.
Write down and start taking action on some simple ways you can start improving your customer service?
12. Take Care of Existing Customers
It’s much cheaper to sell to your existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. About 10 times cheaper! So nurture them, communicate with them, make them feel special, and they will be more likely to choose you and even to buy more.
What are three ways you could improve relationships and engagement with your current customers?
13. Improve Retention and Referral Rates
Still on the subject of customers, encourage their loyalty and improve retention and referral rates by offering memberships, rewards, discounts or promotions (such as special deals for being a great client!). Letting your customers know they are appreciated really helps establish loyalty and referrals! Why else do you think so many of the hugely successful big businesses do it?
What is one offer you could make to exisiting customers to improve retention and referral rates?
14. Take Care of Your Staff
If you have staff, make sure you take the time to show them how much you appreciate them. Have some fun and encourage excellent communication. It’s a simple strategy, but one that will convert into a happier and more productive workforce.
What is one thing you could do in the next 90 days to bring together your staff and promote a happier workplace?
15. Up Your Marketing Game
Most businesses waste a bucketload of money on marketing by doing all the things like social media, websites, advertising and making things look good. The problem is that they have weak foundations, don’t standout, don’t communicate their true value, and have very little strategy behind what they do. So what happens then is they struggle to see the growth they want because they keep getting overlooked and overshadowed no matter how much money or time they spend on marketing.
And the opposite is true. Those businesses who don’t invest in their marketing get left behind and miss out on so many opportunities. Make no mistake, if you want to grow your business, great strategic marketing is essential.
Undertake an audit of your marketing to identify what you need to do to supercharge your attraction, engagement and sales rates. DOWNLOAD this fantastic marketing audit checklist.
Develop a marketing strategy that prioritises what activities you concentrate on. Learn how to better understand your audience, differentiate your business, and the words to use to make you standout and sell.
Don’t know where to start? Contact your advisor to find out how we can help.
16. Website Goals
Chances are, you already have a website, but when was the last time it was updated? Not just the factual details.
Review every page of your website – or get someone else to – to see what works and what doesn’t.
- Does the first frame of the home page tell the reader exactly what you do and what makes you different?
- Do you have an about us page that talks about real individuals and the story behind the business?
- Is it filled with new testimonials, real photos of you and your business, a call to action on every page, up-to-date information, and content that sets you apart from the rest?
- And lastly, is it written and designed for SEO and user experience?
17. Connect on Social Media
The whole purpose of social media is not so you can put up posts about your business. It’s about connection. You need to entice your audience to engage with you and then you need to engage with them by responding promptly to their comments, asking questions, and making your social media presence about more than just your products and services. You need to provide value in order to connect.
Take a look at your engagement statistics and incorporate ways to connect with your audience.
18. Gather More Testimonials
Good reviews are social proof you can use in your marketing to build trust and help to convert new customers. Testimonials are a powerful marketing tool you can use on social media, on your website, even in-store or in your office. And they’re free!
Start off by asking your most loyal customers, your biggest fans, to put into writing or video, why they use you and what they like about your business.
19. Give Back
Sponsorships and participating in community events to raise funds for a cause will raise your business profile and and give back to the community that already supports you.
Take a look at any sponsorship or community events you currently are involved with. You can’t sponsor everything so choose causes that align with your business and your values.
20. Build Your Network
It’s not what you know, but who you know. Invest in building networks as it allows you to develop relationships with other people and encourage them to refer customers to you. You might not like networking, but believe us, it is amazing the opportunities that networking can offer!
Look for networking opportunities that work for you and commit to attending at least one a quarter.
21. Work/Life Balance
As a business owner it is way too easy to let the lines between work and home blur. Chances are you decided to go into business to give you freedom and all too often you end up getting trapped by the never ending workload.
Set work-time boundaries. You will be way more productive, less stressed, and fresher, if you set yourself limits. And if you find that you just can’t get everything done within working hours, start using the 4D’s of effective time management – do, delete, delegate, defer.
Try some, or all, of these tips on how to grow your business and stick to what works best for you. But the biggest thing is you need to take action if you want to change anything. Stay on course and focus on what is working and ditch those that aren’t.
Be patient. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Come see us. Let us help you refine and implement your business goals for 2021. It’s your time to grow!
Find more great tips, stories, and other seriously useful information in our Business Resource Centre.
Disclaimer: Whilst this publication has been carefully prepared it is written in general terms and is intended as general information and to provide commentary. It does not purport to be comprehensive or render any advice. No one should rely on information contained in this publication without first obtaining professional advice relevant to their specific situation.
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