Three Top Strategies for Growth in 2016

(and how to make them happen)

Keys to Growth

© depositphotos/dr911

This is the time of year when we all step back, see how the year went for our business, and then wonder how to improve things in the coming year.  My clients often ask me: “Where should I focus my energy?”  “How do I plan for successful growth?”

Of course there is no “right” answer to this question.  Depending on your personal goals, your business priorities will be different.  That said, I want to share three common areas that I focus on with many of my clients.  I think these are great ones for most businesses to consider.

Profit Growth

No surprise here, growing the bottom line is important to most of us.  But there are a few important considerations I’ll highlight.

A very common mistake I see is focusing on growing revenue, and assuming that this will translate to better profit.  A design firm recently hired me when they realized that their record sales growth had mysteriously left no extra money for the owner to take home.  This happens a lot, and it can be prevented.

From the onset, focus on PROFIT growth.  Make sure you know which types of projects and which types of clients are the most profitable (accounting for expenses AND for your own time).  Also, carefully evaluate each expense, and consider ways to cut back.  At the same time, you have to be willing to invest strategically in order to generate significant new profits.

Revenue Consistency

Most small businesses suffer from a “feast or famine” cycle.  The inconsistent cash flow is a major frustration.  The good news is you can overcome this.

I recently worked with a video production company that had endured feast or famine for years.  The owners were good at landing new projects, and great at delivering for their clients.  The problem was, when they got busy with client work, they stopped marketing.  And so when their projects ended, they found themselves with a lull in their work, until they could land new projects.

The key to consistent income is consistent marketing.  I helped the video firm develop a consistent set of marketing activities that they could do even while busy with client work.  And they found, in the subsequent year, consistent cash flow for the first time.

Think about your marketing priorities for the coming year.  Prioritize them so you’re not trying to do everything.  And then make a commitment to continue the highest-priority marketing activities, even while busy with client projects.

Stretch into New Areas

You started your business because you had big dreams.  Maybe you wanted to share your gifts with many people; maybe you wanted to bring home more money for your family; maybe you wanted to change the way things are done in your industry.  What step are you going to take this year to move toward your dream?

Many of my clients decide to go after a new type of client, or to pursue bigger projects, or to launch a new service offering.  Other clients are focusing next year on building their team, developing new skill sets, or finally writing their book.

Just be careful not to try all of these at once!  Pick one thing to focus on, and stretch your business over the coming year.

Share Your Thoughts

What are your priorities for the coming year?  What do you want to accomplish with your business?  Share your goals with us in the comments below.

And don’t hesitate to email me if you’re looking for personal help with your goals.

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