Famed American writer, William S. Burroughs, once observed that,
“When you stop growing, you start dying.”
And for businesses, it’s hard to think of a more apt description of their lifecycle. After all, in industries that have any competition whatsoever, businesses must be constantly growing to avoid being overtaken by others.
But achieving a state of continuous business growth isn’t easy. If it was, every business would be able to do it—and you wouldn’t be here reading this article.
The truth, however, is that there are a variety of time-tested and proven approaches that businesses can use to achieve a state of continuous growth. And by putting them together to form a single all-encompassing growth plan, any business can put itself on the path to long-term success and sustainability.
Strategies For Continuous Business Growth
Here are five of the best strategies you can use to grow your business continuously.
1. Invest in Talent Development
If you were to examine some of the world’s most successful businesses, you’ll notice that most of them have something in common. It’s that they go to great lengths to attract the best available talent and to help their employees continually enhance their skills.
The reason for that is simple: businesses will only go as far as their employees can carry them. In other words, better, more capable workers mean more productivity and more growth.
In fact, 72% of learning and development (L&D) leaders acknowledge that L&D has become more vital for their organizations. For that reason, one of the key strategies businesses can employ to achieve continuous growth is to invest heavily in a talent development program.
By doing so, they can achieve some very important objectives, including:
- Improving workforce performance – helping the business to drive productivity gains
- Aligning workforce skills with business needs – making sure that the business is paying for workers capable of performing business-critical tasks
- Improving engagement and retention metrics – keeping employees interested in their work and preventing departures and churn
- Creating pathways of advancement – giving employees additional career opportunities through internal promotions (based on new skill acquisition)
In total, a high-quality talent development program enhances almost every aspect of a business’s operations. And that is an excellent way to create sustainable long-term growth.
2. Create a Sales Funnel
Any way you look at it, businesses can’t grow unless they have the financial means to do it. And that means most strategies that improve a business’s bottom line are pro-growth strategies. But it doesn’t mean that every effort at improving bottom-line performance qualifies as a strategy to create the conditions for continuous growth. For example, it’s possible to improve the bottom line by cutting staff—but that’s contraction, not growth.
To encourage growth, it’s necessary to look for ways to increase cash inflows without substantially increasing overhead. And for most businesses, that means improving sales performance.
One way for a business to do that is to invest in growing its sales department, giving it the resources to identify and pursue new potential customers. That will create growth, but it can come at a significant cost.
Instead, that investment is better spent on building and maintaining a sales funnel. Doing so is an excellent way to sustainably improve sales without adding a significant amount of overhead. The reasons are manifold.
The first is that a sales funnel helps to improve the ROI of a business’s marketing efforts. It does so by channeling new leads into a clearly-defined process designed to lead to conversions.
Optimizing marketing spending in this way can allow a business to spend less on their marketing without compromising results. Or better still, it allows them to spend the same amount of money while getting better bottom-line results.
A sales funnel also helps to ensure that there are always leads moving through the sales process, increasing the odds of a steady stream of completed sales. It’s that kind of revenue consistency that makes it possible for businesses to grow. It creates a financial foundation that allows the business to branch out into new markets and lines of business and secure in the knowledge that its core operations will remain strong.
But that’s not all. Reorienting sales efforts to support a sales funnel will also improve efficiency in the whole sales department.
For example, it allows the business to devote its top sales talent—the closers, if you will—to prospects already primed to convert. That’s the best possible use of their time, and it invariably leads to more sales. And then, the rest of the sales support staff can focus on keeping prospects moving through the sales process so those closers never run out of deals to complete.
The bottom line is that investing in the creation of a sales funnel sets a business up for long-term revenue growth, which is a prerequisite for the business to achieve continuous overall growth.