The World Bank has described 2018 as a positive year for business globally, with economic output to grow by almost 4%. While this is a modest estimate, it seems to be the beginning of a general upward trend towards stable and consistent growth. Hence, 2018 might be the most important year for putting your business on the growth path by making the right adjustments. Here, we talk about 8 things you must analyses about your business in 2018 so that you can grow rapidly in the coming years.
1. Online Content
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In the 20th century, people believed that customer was king. In the digital economy of the 21st century, it is content that is king. If you want to drive large numbers of customers to your online store, then engaging and relevant content is the only way to do that. If you want to build up your customer base in 2018, then focus on creating customer-relevant content for all your online platforms. Be it your website, social media pages or YouTube, you need to engage your customers everywhere and hold on to their imagination. Writing blog posts, product reviews, tutorials, informative articles and press releases are some of the most effective ways of increasing online traffic this year.
2. Profile Your Customers
If there is one thing you change about the way you analyse your customer base, then the 80/20 rule should be it. Basically this rule encourages you to focus on the crucial 20% of your customers that drive 80% of your business revenue. Yes, you will have to focus on the big-ticket customers who buy in huge volume and buy regularly from you. This doesn’t mean that you neglect other customers. Certainly, you should focus on them so that they may grow into high-volume buyers. But allocate your limited time and attention to those who are responsible for a significant part of your annual revenue.
3. Plan Your Growth Today
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Make 2018 the year when you actually started to turn around your business. How do you do that? By planning for the future needs of your business today. Think five or ten years into the future. Who will be your competitors? What technology will your customers be using? What kind of music, food, fashion, jobs, etc. will be popular? All of these questions will inform your choice of products, technology and marketing strategies for the future. Align your products, marketing decisions and customer profiles and you will see a clear strategy for future growth emerging before your eyes.
Franchising is not a new trend and has been around for quite a while. But it is one that continues to grow and is in fact more relevant to the present times. More and more people are amassing capital, but are not willing to take a lot of risk with it. Memories of the 2008 financial crisis are still fresh in their minds. Franchising is the most convenient option. If you have a successful business model, you can reach out to such people who want to start their own business but don’t have the right idea. Offer your business model and make them partners in your growth. This might be the quickest way for you to expand into new markets.
5. Launch Loyalty Programs
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Your customers have more options today than they did a decade ago. You cannot afford to take them for granted. Companies everywhere are investing heavily in developing customer loyalty programs. These strategies can range from simply club memberships and points-based discounts to more experiential offers that engage customers at an emotional level. Building a loyal base of customers increases the risk of switching over to a competitor because they have already invested so much in your brand and identify with it emotionally.
6. New Ventures
Profit is the reward for taking risks. As an entrepreneur looking to grow their business in 2018, it is important that you explore new opportunities all the time. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose which emerging technology or product niche to exploit for the future. In 2018, some of the hottest new business growth opportunities include virtual reality, application development, financial services, and home remodeling services. You can invest in any of these areas after evaluating how these fit into your overall business model and philosophy.
7. Be Conservative
This might seem like strange advice especially after encouraging you to take risks, but the point is to be aware of what you are getting into. In 2017, we witnessed the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and the block chain technology. Within a few months, we saw the value of Bitcoin crash and investors losing millions of dollars. As the digital economy grows rapidly, there will be many similar technologies and trends that will offer high levels of uncertainty as well as high potential for growth. You need to be wise and anticipate the implications of these for your business. There are benefits of being early movers into a business opportunity, but one must not put the survival of the business at risk.
8. Focus on the Competition
Nobody should want a world without competitors. They can be a valuable source of business ideas and can even give you insight into what you are doing wrong. Therefore, in 2018 learn to look at your competitors as sources of knowledge and insight. Understand their strategies to identify gaps in their service and where you can step in to offer something of value to your customers. Don’t follow a been-there-done-that approach. Competitors can always surprise you with something innovative that you should have come up with.
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