It’s hard to focus on growing your business when, well, it’s growing! But taking a step back from the day-to-day to focus on some long-term strategies is crucial for future business growth.
The time commitment may be a barrier, however, so below we’ve compiled some ways that you can focus on short-term business growth that won’t take too much time, and will help you plan the future of your budding business.
These aren’t quick one-and-done solutions. They will still take some time for you to think about and do properly. However, if you start now, they’ll have an immense benefit in the future.
Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
Remember the old coffee punch cards? You buy nine coffees and the tenth is free? This was one of the easiest and yet most effective ways a café or deli could keep your business long-term.
Nowadays, there’s more nuance to loyalty programs, but the key reasons why they work so effectively are still very much in place.
First, a loyalty program, at its most basic, works on human psychology: If you’ve already bought a product or service at a business and got a stamp, then you’re only eight away from getting a free one. If you visit another business, you’d have to start again.
This kind of psychology can keep a customer coming back to your shop, sure, but it’s much more than that. Building a great digital loyalty program can pay huge dividends in the future. It doesn’t matter what kind of industry you’re in. A loyalty program works in every angle. You just have to apply a little critical thinking to it.
Your loyalty program could include a free item after a purchase of a set number of purchases or booked appointments. Alternatively, it could be a discount or free gift after a certain dollar amount is spent.
If discounts aren’t your style, you could think outside the box and offer something unique to your business: A tour of your back-of-office or production lines. Free samples. Or my personal favorite: Get invited to a special loyalty-members-only dinner or function.
Not only are these great loyalty benefits that make your business stand out, but they’re also amazing opportunities for photos and shares on social media.
Identify New Market Opportunities
You might already be doing this, and you don’t even know it.
As part of your workflow, you’re probably looking at purchasing trends and inventory all the time. This data can also be used to figure out where your next market expansion should be.
For example, a cleaning company might realize that a lot of their bookings come from people moving out of rentals. Offering a special “deep clean” service could open up new angles of revenue and expose them to the market even more.
This is a great opportunity to package them up and offer them as a special combo deal. For customers who have never thought of buying the two together, you’re opening a new line of thinking.
Creating incentives for people to purchase more at your business is not a new strategy, and you’re probably already doing this.
But keeping a focus on this kind of consumer data will help your business generate a bit more revenue short term and create bigger exposure in the long term.
Wait For It … Franchising!
Yes you read that right, franchising.
“But how is that short-term?” You may be asking.
Because the things you can setup right now in the short term will have an incredible impact in the long term.
As a short-term business growth strategy, building on franchising opportunities means creating a repeatable, documented process for each of your successful business tactics.
This means minimizing ad hoc and manual processes, and replacing them with automated, process-driven and documented ones.
For example, you might be checking a competitor’s pricing each day and adjusting some of your website prices accordingly. This ad hoc behavior could be working short term, but it’s one of the things that can affect you in the long term if left undocumented.
Begin by writing down everything that you do when you undertake this task. Save and follow that process each day. If you find yourself having to change your process, make sure you update your documentation, too.
This short-term planning will be huge when you finally get to a franchising opportunity stage. You’ll already have each of your business practices documented, showing how you’ve been able to succeed in your market.
The repeatability of your success will be what potential investors or franchisees are looking for – they’ll be able to mirror your successful processes, and in turn, be able to succeed as well.
Having the right tools and software in place is also important for future business success and Thryv has the perfect solution for franchise businesses with multiple locations. Find out more by checking out Hub by Thryv.