Guest post by Payman Taei, Visme.co Founder
Important considerations for growing your small business.
Growth, in and of itself, is always the sign of a healthy business. In theory, you should be a little bit larger (and stronger, and more successful) today than you were yesterday. At a certain point the results of all of your efforts begin to generate their own momentum, growing into something that is ultimately much more powerful, and closer to your long-term objectives, than when you started.
Along those lines, one key thing to consider is: growing too quickly is often just as disastrous for a company as not growing at all. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that until it's far too late. But both slow growth and rapid growth lead to a massive number of small business failures every year. The good news, both are also easily avoidable with the right perspective.
From a small-business-owner's standpoint, your efforts really need to be focused not on growing as quickly as possible, but on growing at the right pace for where you are on your entrepreneurial journey. If you truly want to help create a more sustainable level of growth for your business, there are eight key things to keep in mind.
1. Find and Adhere to Your Authentic Purpose
One of the keys to a more sustainable level of business grown involves not just nailing down what you do, but why you do it. This "why" should become the central part of the majority of your messaging moving forward, allowing you to connect with your audience in a deeper and more meaningful way.
2. Use Visual Communication to Drive Messaging
So much of your success in terms of growth will involve getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. But you also have to keep in mind that 81% of all people only actually skim the content they read online - they read at most 20 to 28% of words in something like a blog post during an average visit.
The solution? Use visual communication to drive your messaging and really send those important points home. Not only can collateral like visual presentations made with tools like Visme (which I’m the founder of) help make complex topics easier to understand, but they'll strike an emotional chord with your audience, too.
3. Look for New Ways to Improve Information Retention
Never forget that when people read information, they only remember about 10% of it just three days later. When that information is paired with a relevant image (as it would be in an Infographic), image retention jumps to a massive 65%. Because of this, you should always be looking for new ways to improve information retention - especially ones that lean heavily on visual materials.
4. Explore New Opportunities for Monetization
The "old school" ways of doing things are quickly becoming irrelevant, thanks in no small part to the digital world that we're now living in. Because of this, you need to explore new ways to monetize the content you're creating - like by taking those videos that you're already creating and publishing them to a wider audience using sites like Uscreen, for example.
5. Focus on Customer Retention
Never forget that it is far more cost effective to continue to sell to a customer that you already have as opposed to bringing a new one into the fold. According to one study, reducing your customer churn rates by just 5% could even lead to an increase in profitability of between 25% and 130% depending on your industry.
6. But Don't Forget About Employee Retention
Experts have long agreed that one of the best indicators of sustainable growth in a company involves the level of employee retention that they enjoy. Focus on not only finding, training and retaining the best and brightest people - but keeping them there. Create the type of company that people want to work for and rest assured they will.
7. The Technology Factor
Another one of the best ways to guarantee a more sustainable level of business growth can be summed up in one single, beautiful word: technology. The best way to improve the way your business operates is through action and insight, and the best way to accomplish both of those things at the same time involves having the right technology at your side.
Use customer relationship management systems (CRMs) that allow you to better understand your customers and, as a result, what you can do for them. Make sure all of your solutions are integrated with one another in a way that is both scalable and flexible.
Not only will this give your employees the ability to work "smarter, not harder," but it will also generate the most essential benefit of all: better outcomes for all members of your audience across the board.
8. It's All About Customer-Driven Processes
Finally and most importantly, make sure that your company is built from the ground up with your customer in mind. Everything you do should be motivated by making it easy for your customers to make contact, have meaningful interactions, or complete a purchase. Start with the customer need and work your way backwards to how you're going to give it to them - end of story.
The fact is, Rome wasn't built in a day and your hugely successful company won't be either. Sustainable growth is an important thing to master for any organization, particularly a small business or new venture. But never forget that growing too quickly can be just as disastrous as not growing at all.
By remembering who you're serving about all else, making an effort to really nail down why you do what you do and using visual communication to improve qualities like image retention and messaging, you'll go a long way towards generating the level of growth that can sustain you today, tomorrow and beyond.
Guest Post by Payman Taei, Visme Founder
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.
Editor's note: JKM is not an affiliate of Visme nor HindSite Interactive and has not received compensation for publishing this guest post.