Growing Your Business: Steps to Success / 企業發展:走向成功的九步

Growing Your Business: Steps to Success

04 March 2013
Cover of pamphlet showing man smiling in front of store

Download pamphlet at right.

After all the hard work of writing a business plan, securing funding, hiring employees and purchasing inventory, you are finally open for business. Now what? The following steps will put you on a path toward success.

Revisit Your Plan

The first step to grow your business is to understand it, and the best way to understand it is to revisit your business plan. What is your business’s mission? What are its core values? What are its short- and long-term goals? Do they align with the mission? To be successful, your business’s mission must guide its growth.

What is your business’s current financial and market position? How do your products or services differ from others on the market? What are your profit or loss margins? Do they trigger cash-flow problems? What cycles does your market exhibit, and what kind of growth can you expect? Are there any major trends in customer behavior? Keeping up to speed with your business and its market will help position you for success.

Know Your Competition

Identify the best businesses in your field. What makes them excel? How does your business compare? By examining competitors’ strengths, you can pinpoint what sets them apart. Look for ways to incorporate their best practices.

You should also look at competitors’ weaknesses. Are they ignoring markets or neglecting customer needs? Find opportunities they are overlooking and take advantage of them.

Create a Positive Culture

To attract both customers and employees, cultivate a passion for your business in others. For example, demonstrate that your business is a responsible member of the community by donating proceeds to charity or manufacturing environmentally friendly products. If your business is committed to serving the community beyond just providing a product or service, your customers and employees will become committed to your business. Just make sure your social agenda aligns with your mission.

Continually surround yourself with talent and encourage them to innovate. Ask for their input and act on their suggestions. Define specific goals for growth — not only for the whole business but also for individual employees. This increases accountability, encourages employees to develop their skills, and highlights individual achievement. Establish a regular schedule for monitoring progress toward both your company’s overall goals and those of individual employees to make sure everyone stays on track. And reward achievement when goals are achieved.

Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Because the easiest customer to convince is the one you already have, the next step to grow your business is to enhance your customer experience.

Treat your customers as your most important asset. Listen to them. If they are making a purchase in store or over the phone, ask them to rate their experience. Not only will it provide valuable feedback, it will also make the customer feel heard.

Finally, give customers incentives to remain loyal. Provide discounts, free merchandise or rewards programs. If you run a cafe, for example, give your customers every 10th cup of coffee for free. This simple gesture will keep them coming back – and increase the likelihood they will tell their friends about your business.

Nurture Business Relationships

Growing your business is all about nurturing relationships. Being on good terms with your vendors makes it easier to obtain advantageous payment terms. You can ask for extensions, shortened timeframes or discounts on bulk purchases. Each of these improves cash flow and frees up capital for expansion. Positive vendor relationships can also give you inside access to market knowledge. Talk to your vendors about your product or service mix, discuss industry and market trends, and ask where opportunities lie.

Relationships with investors are also critical. Establish solid relationships with multiple financial sources, such as lenders, private investors, and private equity firms. Meet with them before you need money to talk about your mission, your goals, and your timeframe. Ask for input and update them on your progress. This builds a foundation of trust you can call on when your business needs capital to grow.

Expand Your Horizons

Once you have built strong relationships, consider expanding.

Can you add a product or service that complements what you currently provide? Will it appeal to current customers? Can you use current revenue and resources to make or offer it? Will it require little capital or financial risk? If the answer is yes, expanding your products or services may be right for you.

If there is a different market segment or customer need you can address, exploring a new niche may be your path toward growth. You could also expand your distribution channels with a website, a new location or an alliance with a complementary business.

Remember that expansion puts you back into startup mode; it is better to pursue only one expansion opportunity at a time. Be sure to make your current customers aware of your new product or service while you also work to attract new customers.

Raise Awareness

Now that you have everything in place, raise awareness through promotions, advertising and networking.

Before running a promotion or advertisement, clearly define your goals. Are you trying to create better brand awareness or to boost quarterly sales? Are you focusing on new customers or current ones? What is the best way to reach them? Answering these questions can help you craft better promotions and select the best media and messages for advertisements.

You are the best ambassador for your business, so you should try networking, a low-cost, high-impact way to raise awareness. Host or attend events and join organizations with people inside and outside your industry. Are there people in your community who know everyone, are the first to know about everything or always have the latest gadget? Cultivate relationships with these people and let them know about your expansion into a new niche. But remember to do your homework if you want to impress them with your expertise.

Engage Your Community

Social media offer a variety of tools to help you inform and connect with new and existing customers. To extend your business’s reach, engage your community online through social media.

Which social networks are most popular with your target audience? Do they provide access to populations you hadn’t considered before? Each platform is different; familiarize yourself with their benefits and drawbacks before diving in.

Finally, remember that social media is about engaging customers in a conversation about your business and its products. Reply to messages and comments. Don’t be afraid of criticism — acknowledge it and take steps to address it. Involve followers by asking questions, running contests and offering exclusive promotions. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, try running a contest to name a new menu item. Use images and videos to catch the most attention, and don’t forget to include links to your website.

Work Smart

You have built solid relationships with your employees, customers, vendors, investors and community members. Use these relationships to boost revenues. Call on their expertise to streamline your business processes. Encourage current customers to upgrade to a better product or purchase a complementary one. Convince business partners to add your product or service to their sales pitch.

Another way to work more efficiently is to adopt new technology. Talk to vendor and others in your community to find out whether there are tools that can help you streamline your operations. For example, maybe there is software to help you keep track of your inventory or to track customers’ buying habits. Weigh the cost of the new technology against the possible gain in productivity. While it may cost to adopt new technology in the beginning, it may pay off in the long run.



Read more: http://iipdigital.ait.org.tw/st/english/pamphlet/2013/02/2013022514...

This site is managed by the U.S. Department of State. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.


檢視次數: 31

該討論的回覆

企業發展:走向成功的九步

2013.03.05
活頁資料首頁上一位男子在店前微笑

下載右側活頁資料(英文)

在經過艱辛努力完成商業計劃、融資、招聘和訂單後,您終於可以開始營業了。接下來該怎麼做呢?以下步驟可帶您踏上成功之路。

復審計劃

發展企業的第一步是要理解它,而理解的最佳方式就是回過頭來重新審視您的商務計劃。企業的使命是什麼?核心價值是什麼?短期和長期目標是什麼?這些目標與使命一致嗎?要獲得成功,必須確保企業使命能夠指引業務發展。

您企業當前的財務和市場地位如何?與市場上其他同類産品和服務相比,您的産品和服務有何不同之處?您的盈利或虧損率有多大?它們會導致資金流動問題嗎?您的市場有什麼樣的週期,增長前景如何?消費者行為有無顯著趨勢?時刻掌握您的企業狀況和市場行情將有利於成功。

了解競爭對手

找出您所在領域中的最佳企業。是什麼讓他們出類拔萃?您的企業與之相比如何?通過探究競爭對手的長處,可以讓您確定他們成功的原因。設法將他們的最佳做法引入您的企業中。

同時,您也應該了解競爭對手的劣勢。他們是否忽視了市場或客戶的需求?找出他們忽視的機會並抓住這些機會。

營造積極的企業文化

要吸引客戶和員工,就應培養他們對您企業的熱忱。例如,通過捐獻一部分盈利給慈善機構或以環保的方式生産産品,來展示企業是社區中有責任感的的一員。您的企業如果致力於服務社區,而不只是單純提供一種産品服務,您的客戶和員工將對它更加忠誠。要確保您企業的社會活動目標與企業的使命協調一致。

始終將有才能的人團結在身邊,鼓勵他們創新。徵求他們的意見,並根據他們的建議採取行動。設定具體的發展目標——不僅有整個企業的目標,也有員工個人的目標。這將增強責任感,鼓勵員工提高技術 能力,並突出個人成就。針對公司的整體目標和員工的個人目標制定定期的進度監督,確保每個人都不偏離方向。在目標實現時給予獎勵。

培養客戶忠誠

最容易被説服的客戶是現有客戶,因此,發展企業的下一步驟是改進客戶服務。

將客戶視為最寶貴的資産。傾聽顧客反應。在他們進店購物或通過電話購物時,邀請他們給消費經歷評分。這不僅能讓企業獲得寶貴的反饋,而且還可以讓客戶感到公司聽取他們的意見。

最後,通過向客戶提供優惠保持忠誠度。提供折扣、免費商品或獎勵計劃。例如,如果您經營一家咖啡店,可向客戶提供每第 10 杯免費的優惠。這一簡單的舉動將使他們成為回頭客,並使他們更有可能向自己的朋友介紹您的商務。

發展業務關係

要想壯大企業,發展各種關係十分重要。與供應商保持良好的關係將使您的企業更容易獲得有利的支付方式。您可以向供應商請求延期支付,縮短時間週期或是對大宗採購給予折扣優惠。所有這些都能改善現金週轉,騰出資金用於擴大業務。與供應商維繫良好關係還能讓您深入了解市場行情。與您的供應商討論您的産品或服務組合,探討行業和市場趨勢,詢問機會所在。

與投資者的關係也十分重要。應與多個資金來源——例如貸款機構、私人投資者和私人股本公司——建立牢靠的關係。在您的企業尚未需要資金前就開始與他們接觸,討論您企業的使命、目標和時間表。向他們徵求意見並將企業的進展向他們通報。這將在雙方之間建立信任,便於您在企業發展需要資金時及時獲得支援。

拓展業務

在您與各方建立起牢固的關係之後,考慮拓展業務範疇。

您是否能夠增加新的産品或服務來充實現有業務?這對當前的客戶有吸引力嗎?您能否使用當前的收入和資源來生産或提供這些新産品或服務?這樣做是否不需承擔多少資金或財務風險?如果答案是肯定的,擴展産品或服務可能是正確的選擇。

如果您可以從不同的方面滿足市場或客戶群體的需求,那麼開闢新領域可能是您的發展之路。您還可以通過網站、新的經營地點或者與其他能夠互益的企業結盟來拓展經銷渠道。

請記住,拓展業務使您回到創業的起點狀態;最好是一次僅尋求一個擴展機會。在努力吸引新客戶的同時,確保讓您的現有客戶了解您的新産品或服務。

提高知名度

既然您的企業已經步入正軌,現在需要通過促銷、廣告和社交聯絡來提高知名度。

在您實施促銷或廣告計劃之前,明確界定您的目標。您是要力圖打造更高的品牌知名度還是要提升季度銷售額?您是瞄準新客戶還是現有客戶?接觸他們的最佳方式是什麼?回答這些問題將幫您制定更好的促銷計劃並選擇最佳的廣告媒介和廣告主旨。

您是自己企業的最佳代言人,因此應當儘量參加社交活動,這是提升企業知名度的一種低成本、高效益的方法。舉辦或參加有業內外人士參與的活動,並加入相關組織。您所在的社區是否有人脈廣泛、消息靈通或總是緊跟最新科技産品的人士?與這些人建立關係,並讓他們知道您拓展新業務領域的計劃。但請記住事先做好功課,以便您的專業知識能給他們留下好印象。

與社區互動

社交媒體提供了各種可用來幫助您向新客戶和現有客戶傳遞消息並與之互動的工具。可以通過社交媒體與您的社區線上互動來拓展業務覆蓋範圍。

哪種社交網路在您的服務對象中最流行?它們是否能讓您接觸到不曾包括在原設想中的群體?每個社交平臺都各不相同,在選擇投入之前熟悉它們的利弊。

最後,請記住使用社交平臺的目的是讓您的客戶參與有關您業務和産品的討論。應回復留言和評語。不要害怕批評,承認不足並採取措施改進。通過提問、舉辦競賽和提供特殊優惠來吸引受眾。例如,如果您擁有一家三明治店,可嘗試舉辦一個為新品味命名的競賽。使用圖像和視頻來吸引最大的注意,別忘了加上指向您網站的連結。

聰明地經營

現在,您已經與您的員工、客戶、供應商、投資者和社區成員建立了牢靠的關係。利用這些關係來增加銷售額。請求他們提供專業知識來優化您的業務流程。鼓勵現有客戶購買更好的升級産品或附加産品。説服業務合作夥伴將您的産品或服務納入他們的銷售宣傳中。

另一種可以提高效率的經營方式是採用新技術。與您的供應商和社區內的其他人士討論,了解哪些工具能夠幫助您優化運營。例如,有些跟蹤庫存或客戶購買習慣的軟體可能會幫上您的忙。權衡新技術的成本及其可能帶來的效率提升。儘管採用新技術在一開始會增加成本,但長期而言可能物超所值。



Read more: http://iipdigital.ait.org.tw/st/chinese/pamphlet/2013/03/2013030514...

《美國參考》提供有關美國當前對外政策及美國社會與文化的資訊,由美國國務院國際資訊局(U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs)製作。 本網站與其他網際網路網站的連結不應被視為對其內容的認可。

This is a website for the people of Formosa and the Pescadores by the people of Taiwan Civil Government organizations.

Links

台灣民政府

  1. 台灣民政府官網
  2. 台灣民政府舊官網
  3. 台灣民政府組織建構圖
  4. 台灣公民權利法案
  5.  Facebook (臉書)
  6.  Twitter (推特) -
  7.  YouTube (優兔;你的電視)
  8.  Google+ (G+ 專頁)
  9.  Plurk (噗浪)
  10.  Tumblr
  11.  Pinterest

活動

© 2018   Created by admin.   管理小組

成員徽章  |  報告問題  |  服務條款