Mastering Growth: How to Continuously Grow Your Business

January 30, 2024


Mike O'Rangers

Steve Jobs famously said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do and to never stop learning.” As a co-founder of Apple, it’s clear Steve loved what he was doing. He was willing to learn what he needed to make his dreams a reality. But what about you? Why did you start your business, or why do you want to start one? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you know how you want to grow your business.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you know where you want to go with your business. Maybe growth for you looks like landing 5 more monthly clients. Or, maybe it looks like hiring 5 employees and gaining 50 new monthly clients. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to have a plan to grow your business gradually. This will help ensure your business will grow at a sustainable rate and help you avoid having to take steps backward.

1. Embrace Continuous Growth:

Male creative entrepreneur making a branding plan for his small business.

Being a business owner is both challenging and rewarding. However, one of the biggest challenges is resisting the temptation to ease up and stop pushing toward your goals. As a business owner, it's crucial to continually embrace growth. Below are some key considerations to keep in mind as you work to expand your company.

Never Settle for “Done”

This one is a mindset shift more than anything. It's not about never finding satisfaction or happiness. Rather, it's about acknowledging that business growth, or growth in any area of your life for that matter, as a continual journey. 

In today's rapidly evolving world, standards and ideas are constantly changing. Instead of viewing your business as having reached its peak, consider it as keeping pace with evolving standards. 

This perspective will give you the confidence that, as the world progresses, you're equipped with the skills to guide your business's evolution alongside it.

 Invest in Education and Skill Development

Investing in education and skill development is crucial not only for personal growth but also for strategic business growth. Continuously refining skills is essential for both business owners and their teams.
As a business owner, consider the areas in which you'd like to improve. Perhaps you excel at designing your clients' sites, but find setting up a billing system challenging. In this scenario, seeking training in business administration could be beneficial.

If your business has grown to the point of having employees, contemplate areas where they can enhance their skills. Explore resources you can offer them to support their professional development and empower them to succeed in their roles.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have access to great training from my jobs, which have helped me excel in my role. Resources like books and online live training were available to me. Additionally, I was given access to platforms like Skillshare and Udemy. These platforms offer affordable courses for experts, where you can learn anything from Excel to cooking. I used my access to complete a course on Google Ads, which was a great skill to further my career in marketing.

Develop a Culture of Innovation

This one is huge, especially if you hope to grow to the point where you aren’t doing the day-to-day work yourself anymore. What I mean by that is you get to a point where you are no longer designing websites for clients; your attention is focused on building connections in the industry, landing larger partnerships, and maybe becoming a more influential voice in your niche.

If you want to get to that point, you’ll need to accept the reality that you will need to teach your team to make decisions and stand by them. Obviously, there can be limits to this, but what you don’t want is a team that can’t do anything without your approval.Give your team opportunities to share their ideas, try strategies they think may work, and take ownership when something goes wrong.

This may be tough at first, but having a team that is self-motivated and can navigate when something they try succeeds or fails without always having to come to you greatly benefits your business as it grows. You can check out this article by David Grossman on Employee Growth and Development Ideas for Leaders.

2. Leverage Connections and Community Engagement:

In the world of business, connections and community engagement play a significant role. By actively engaging with others and participating in community-driven initiatives, entrepreneurs unlock a multitude of opportunities. Let's explore why these aspects are so important for your business's growth and success.

Make Meaningful Connections

It’s important to understand there is a difference between networking and making connections. Networking involves interacting with others to exchange information and develop contacts. Connections on the other hand are the relationships formed as a result of successful networking.

This article from The Business Journals emphasizes that building meaningful connections is more valuable than simply networking. One main point to highlight is that these connections often lead to lasting friendships and alliances. This allows you to give and receive support, advice, and collaboration opportunities that extend beyond business transactions.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to go from contact to real relationships.

  • Be authentic and transparent in your interactions.
  • Be respectful and considerate of their time and boundaries.
  • Look for opportunities to collaborate and add value to their lives or work.
  • Be reliable and trustworthy in your actions and commitments.
  • Show genuine interest in their experiences, perspectives, and goals.

Give Back to the Community

Prioritizing community involvement isn't just about giving back, it's about creating a positive impact that extends beyond business. By actively participating in community-driven initiatives, entrepreneurs can create more meaningful relationships, establish a positive brand image, and contribute to the greater good. 

Here are a few ways you walk this out.

  • Identify local causes or organizations aligned with your values and mission.
  • Volunteer your time and skills to support community initiatives or events.
  • Offer mentorship opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs or students in your industry.
  • Sponsor or participate in charitable events or fundraisers that resonate with your business ethos.
  • Collaborate with local businesses or nonprofits to address pressing community needs and foster collective impact.

If you need some inspiration, check out this article about Max Kolomatsky. He is an artist who has gone viral on social media for taking the time to redesign company flyers and posters without anyone asking him.

Take a look at this video below to see Max in action.

Think about your own business. What are some fun and creative ways you can make an impact in your community with your unique skill set?

3. Prioritize Content Creation and Brand Building:

In the previous article of this series, we touched on the value of creating good content and building your brand. We want to briefly revisit this topic, as it is incredibly important for business growth.

Create Valuable Content

Having valuable content is important for a few reasons.

First, it helps in engaging your audience effectively. This ensures that they remain interested and invested in your brand's message. Be sure you have a compelling narrative and use storytelling techniques. This will make your content more relatable and memorable, developing a deeper connection with your audience.

Second, it enhances your brand's credibility and authority in your industry. By consistently providing valuable insights, information, or entertainment to your audience, you position your brand as a trusted source of expertise. This will help with establishing yourself as a thought leader in your niche.

Third, it contributes to increased brand visibility and awareness. When your content resonates with your target audience and provides them with genuine value, they are more likely to share it with others. This will help organically expand your reach and attract new followers, customers, or clients to your business.

Continue to Grow Your Brand Authority

It’s worth noting that as you consistently create valuable content and develop a strong brand identity, your brand authority will grow over time.

Assuming you are doing quality work for your clients, here are a few things to help elevate your brand authority beyond that.

Establish Yourself As a Thought Leader:

You can start on this one by sharing industry insights, expertise, and valuable knowledge. Create and distribute authoritative content such as blog posts, case studies, and webinars that demonstrate your brand's expertise. You can even go as far as to launch a podcast series. The point here is to go beyond small bits of social media content. You want to step into the world of long form informative content.

Gather Customer Testimonials and Reviews:

This is what’s known as social proof. Encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences through testimonials, reviews, and user-generated content. This is by far the best way to showcase your brand's track record of delivering value and earning customer trust. If you want more insights on social proof and why it’s so important, check out this article from Sprout Social.

4. Provide Exceptional Service:

Let’s clarify what we mean by exceptional service. We are talking about serving your customers beyond delivering a great website, logo or design. Take time to really understand the needs of your clients. Make sure you are providing good communication and transparency regarding the status of their project. Also be sure to give them room to share their thoughts and concerns, so you can address them.

While most people are good at this when their business is just a 1 or 2 person operation, implementing this even at larger levels will completely set you apart from the competition.

Think about companies you have had a great experience with. What made it so good? Why would you recommend them to a friend? 

There are a few companies that come to mind for me. As a musician, I love gear: guitars, amps, effects pedals, you name it. My favorite place to shop for gear is an online retailer called Sweetwater. Yes, they offer all of the same products most other stores do, but ask anyone who has bought from them and they will tell you that the customer experience they received was second to none.

Whenever I read reviews of products on their website, people will often spend the first sentence talking about how great it was to shop with Sweetwater. Give this article a read if you're interested to see how they used customer service as their growth engine.

5. Streamline Operations for Scalability:

“Trying to manage a business without proper operations is like trying to play a violin with a cat – after a while, you'll realize it's not the cat's fault.” – Bernard Kelvin Clive.

While that’s funny, there’s an important lesson to be learned. It doesn't matter how good you are at your skill, how friendly you are, or how hard you are willing to work. If you try to scale up a business without the proper systems in place, you’ll realize that your growth came at the price of consistency and quality.

As you scale up your business. Here are a few systems you should consider implementing to help you advance past Excel sheets and DIY accounting.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System: A CRM system helps businesses manage interactions with current and potential customers. It tracks customer interactions, manages leads and sales opportunities, and provides valuable insights for improving customer relationships.
  • Project Management Software: Project management software helps businesses organize and track tasks, timelines, and resources for various projects. It improves team collaboration, enhances productivity, and ensures projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Inventory Management System: An inventory management system helps businesses track and manage their inventory levels efficiently. It provides real-time visibility into stock levels, automates inventory replenishment processes, and minimizes the risk of overstocking or running out of stock.
  • Financial Management Software: Financial management software helps businesses manage their finances, including accounting, budgeting, invoicing, and financial reporting. It streamlines financial processes, improves accuracy, and provides insights for informed decision-making.
  • Human Resources (HR) Management System: An HR management system automates various HR tasks, including employee onboarding, payroll processing, performance management, and compliance tracking. It enhances HR efficiency, ensures regulatory compliance, and improves employee satisfaction.

Embrace the Journey of Growth:

We want to emphasize that when you want to grow your business, it's more like running a marathon than a sprint. While there will be times of smooth sailing, there will also be unexpected challenges along the way. Instead of fearing these challenges, see them as opportunities for growth and learning. It's normal for obstacles to come up as you build your business, so embrace them as part of the journey toward success.

Looking for some extra encouragement? If you haven't already, check out the first post in this series.

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Mike O'Rangers