Navigating growth: Lessons for success
Unlock the secrets
Across the US, entrepreneurs and business owners face a multitude of challenges unique to their industry and the moment. In spite of it all, research shows they remain optimistic about growth. In an era of economic and geopolitical uncertainty, it begs the question: What’s behind their positivity?
Research holds the answer. See the overview below or download the full report for free to learn what small business owners are up against, and what the most successful among them are doing. Let their strategies be your guide as we explore actionable ideas that just may offer the advantage you’ve been looking for.
Embrace agility by leaning into lean
To Leaders, adopting an agile business model is nearly a non-negotiable goal. Businesses that rank agility as “most important” significantly outperform those that don’t — 68% of Leaders who highly value agility are in the top quintile of financial performance. Of those who don’t strongly agree, only 32% experienced similar financial success.
Since time and money are scarce, moving quickly, accurately and cost-efficiently is essential for growth. As a result, many business owners are turning to lean and agile methodologies like Six Sigma and just-in-time inventory management.
Importance of agility to running a business
Boost brand awareness and the bottom line
Half of respondents say that marketing strategy is a major obstacle to growth — 50% chose it from a list of 20 internal and external obstacles, tying it with supply chain issues as a major challenge.
Top 5 obstacles to growth
But why? Generational differences may hold the answer. Millennials are more likely than Gen-Z to see marketing strategy as a major obstacle — 70% versus 50%.
It’s important to note this doesn't mean that modern marketing is off limits to business owners of any age. It just requires getting more comfortable interacting with customers on different platforms and most importantly, becoming a content creator — just one of several marketing efforts Leaders use. See more below.
Leaders' top 5 tactics
Expanding their e-commerce presence
Optimizing their online profiles, making it easier for potential customers to find them
Sharing and showcasing expertise through blog articles that are optimized for SEO
Utilizing paid search and other digital marketing tactics
Conducting surveys and allowing feedback from their customer base to help shape their next steps
Adopting new marketing tactics isn’t going to help business owners overcome their strategy-building challenges overnight. But they can serve as actionable steps toward a comprehensive plan that yields greater brand recognition, more customers and bigger profits.
Broaden the scope of innovation
Leaders realize that they must take a broader view of customers’ interests than the products they’re currently selling. As a result, they’re much more likely to develop new sources of non-traditional revenue than Cautious Adopters — 23% versus a scant 8%.
New sources of non-traditional revenue can be pretty straight forward. Here are some examples:
Consider a blended workforce
Finding qualified workers is a challenge for most business owners. But some are using freelancers to fill the gap. Nearly one-third of respondents hire freelance staff to supplement their employed staff. Not surprisingly, retailers are significantly more likely to hire freelance staff than restaurants or other industries (59% vs. 33% and 25%, respectively). And over half of Leaders (53%) hire freelancers, significantly higher than Followers and Cautious Adopters.
Likeliness of hiring freelancers
Half of owners are “quite” or “very” willing to invest in technology to support their businesses. Only 5% are not at all willing to invest, and another 11% are “hesitant.” Leaders are most likely to rely on technology to reach their goals.
They’re intent on improving operations, hiring and finding ways to work better that only the right solutions can help them achieve. Whether it’s about finding new customers through strategic marketing, boosting cash flow through improving operations or developing offerings for a new target market, only powerful tools will do.
Willingness to invest in technology for business
Unlock deeper insights
Whether you’re a start-up, have been in business for years or sell to people who have, leveraging these insights can help you build a successful business strategy. Download the free report to access the complete findings.Download the free report
A business without technology is just like a person without oxygen.Motorsports retailer CEO
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