Guest post by Jacob Haney, Research Optimus.
Surviving the initial stages of a new business is one of the most difficult steps, but that’s when things really start to get interesting. You have one of two choices: either rest on your laurels or grow it even further. So many people choose the former because they reach a certain comfort zone but that’s a mistake. The key should be to set your business up for the future.That’s the only way to avoid the pitfalls associated with failure. The truth is that the moment you rest on your laurels, your business has already started on the path to failure.
This article is going to focus on signs that you should look for that show your business is ready for the future. Are you ready to achieve entrepreneurial greatness?
Sign #1: It’s Getting Referrals Galore
Referrals are one of the key components of long-term success. When a business starts getting a steady stream of referrals, then it proves that they are doing something right. It shows that consumers trust your brand. Finally, it proves that your business is growing in a completely organic way.
Word of mouth has always been the number one way for a business to establish itself for the long-term. It’s a time-tested strategy for growth that started a long time ago.
Sign #2: You Don’t Have to Be There
Our business is our baby. We gave birth to it and nurtured it through infancy. But there comes a time when the child grows up and can thrive without us. Business is no different. It must reach a point where it can thrive without you at times. That means that its structure is strong enough that it doesn’t rely on any one thing – including you.
Ask yourself the following question: if I take a week off, will the business continue to run smoothly? If so, then you know it’s ready for the future. It means that you have a strong foundation.
Sign #3: Marketing Works Wonders
Effective marketing is a key component to the growth of business. One of the most common mistakes that new businesses make is they lack a marketing plan. Marketing is a business’s number one income generator. It’s an investment you make now so that you can earn more profits later. A business cannot simply wait to find new customers.
If your marketing is successful and consistent, then that’s a sure sign that your business is ready for the future. Successful entrepreneurs understand that marketing must be a priority to achieve long-term success.
Sign #4: The Press Wants to Cover the Business
The press is the key to customer relations. When they start writing stories about your business, then you know it’s set up for the future. If journalists are approaching you to write stories, then that’s an even bigger sign. It means that they see you as a leader in your industry.
Look at it from their perspective. Media are often swamped with requests for press releases so if they are openly seeking business; it means a lot.
Sign #5: Finding Ways to Improve Overall Services
Finally, if you have developed a process that strives for the constant pursuit of improvements, then you’re in good position. Remember that a business resting on its laurels is already on the road to failure. Your business plan should be updated several times per year so that it’s constantly improving.
All companies must create a culture of constant improvement. Utilize customer feedback to improve products and services. Build better brands. More importantly, involve customers in the entire process.