How Business Growth Definitions Have Changed
Business growth definitions have shaped how we think and strategize on improving revenue or raising the bottom line, but how do we need to mold our thoughts to adapt in the internet age.
Social media, email, websites, funnels, and new innovations consistently change how we approach our small businesses and new definitions of business growth are needed.
Let's take a look at traditional approaches to business growth and how they have changed to include strategies and methods from new online channels.
The Traditional Definition
The core of the business growth definition has really remained the same.
A measure of the enterprise's success by either raising the top line with product sales or service income, or raising the bottom line by minimizing costs.
Large or small, a business needs to make money.
This is different from the stages of business growth which involve where a particular business may be in their growth cycle and could help identify specific areas that need attention for growth.
But more traditional definitions and leadership models will often look at the same problems in business growth with less efficiency because of lack of knowledge around what's available to them.
Lets think about a strategy of trying to get your business into new markets for instance.
30 years ago you could look at this area of growth and brainstorm ideas like advertisements in magazines, tv, movies, radio etc.
If you had a product you could get it into different retail stores in different cities and states.
All of these options are either expensive or time consuming for a business. Especially small business entrepreneurs who often do all the marketing themselves.
But look at penetrating different markets in today's world.
Sure, you could try and get ads into movies, tv, radio, and magazines and plenty of businesses still do...
Well, plenty of larger businesses still do....
But why would you really want to?
You are able to run a Facebook ad to millions of people for a fraction of the cost and speak to your audience more effectively than at any other point in marketing.
And with Amazon, ebay, etsy, shopify, you can get your product in front of millions of eyes daily.
This is just one small example of how business growth has changed and how our approach as small business entrepreneurs is creating a demand for change.
This doesn't mean we need to forget everything that has been taught before us but use the old with the new to create definitions that help entrepreneurs see how they can grow and scale with what's available today.
What It Means Today
I just talked about finding ways to get into new markets and how much more accessible it is than traditional methods and that's all true but the real trick is melding them together.
I'm not sure if everyone does their grocery shopping anymore with Instacart and other platforms available but if you remember shopping on Sundays there are always little stands set up offering free samples of products in the store.
Sometimes you will get a product that isn't in the store quite yet but trying to get into the store and they set up a stand to offer promotions on their products.
This is a traditional way of penetrating a new market but what is fantastic about this method is the face-to-face connection you make with every single person who could be buying your product.
This is what is missing from an online connection and a common mistake entrepreneurs make when thinking about business growth.
It isn't about just growing...
It is about connecting, building a community, providing real value!
Care about the people you connect with!
This is how brands were made without the internet and how we need to think about these online platforms.
A popular method for online business growth is SEO.
There are a lot of different aspects of SEO but one of the main problems I catch people getting caught up on is the technical part of SEO.
Either the site isn't fast enough or they need to optimize page speed or their bounce rate needs to decrease...
And then I take a look at these sites and they offer no valuable content to their audience!
It's essentially a billboard on the internet.
For some reason the internet has caused us to think that real communication and connection with your audience is dead and we are connecting with robots instead.
Real business growth will always depend on the ability of a business to connect with its audience.
Learn the traditional methods of business growth and consider how these can be incorporated with social media, email campaigns, online advertisements, etc.
What Does The Future Look Like
Business Growth definitions will remain true at their core but will constantly need readjusting to new innovations from the internet.
Business models will need updating with better and better funnels created for memberships and premium content.
Small businesses will need to look towards geographical locations that are gaining more and more access like Africa or Asia.
New currencies are being invented through decentralized banking systems set up on the internet like Blockchain or Bitcoin.
As technology pushes innovation and more and more entrepreneurs take to the internet to run their enterprises, business growth definitions will ultimately need some redefining.
Take what has been learned through traditional business growth definitions and adapt to meet the challenges of today's world.
If you are not including the internet in your plans for business growth you are far behind the curve at this point.
You might not feel it today but you will certainly feel it tomorrow.
The key is to not drift too far to one side but balance what has always worked with what is working now.
I have to admit I love writing about business growth and development for the online small business!
I don't feel I know enough yet so writing these blog is great getting to research more and more and learn so much about the dynamics between what's been working with what is working.
If you have any thoughts or comments I'd love to hear them and continue this conversation! You'll see the comment section below this post.
Like or share this post if you felt like this caused you to get some thoughts you didn't anticipate.
Get in touch with me if you need help with your online presence and want to get some more growth happening for your business!