Many businesses fail before they complete five years and have the chance to achieve key business milestones. The reasons that these businesses fail are varied from market trends working against them to unfortunate economic changes to reasons completely outside their control. Yet a large number of businesses fail because of reasons that were within their control. Milestones are necessary in order to succeed.
What are important milestones in the development of a business?
1. Set up an Effective and Profitable Business Model
One of the first and most important milestones of business growth is the development of a business model. It can be understood as the story of how your business works and the methods that it uses to make a profit. The business model includes your company’s purpose and values, a market analysis, operating procedures, marketing strategies, financial projections, cost structures, target clients or customers and an understanding of what the customers value and how you can fulfill their needs on a budget that is viable for you.Your model should contain goals for your business. Revisit your business model periodically to measure its success in comparison to your goals and make the necessary adjustments.
2. Gain Repeat Clients
You wouldn’t have a business without customers to keep your business operations running. So here is another one of the important milestones of business growth. Focus your efforts on gaining and holding on to repeat customers from your prospective and existing customers. Start with the goal of gaining your first repeat customer and work towards increasing the number substantially. This business milestone can be achieved by engaging customers, actively communicating about what you have to offer and following up after purchase.
3. Create A Compelling, Realistic And Scalable Marketing Strategy
Developing a fool proof marketing strategy with specific goals is perhaps one of the most crucial milestones of business growth. Your customers need to be aware of your product, your brand and your reputation in order for them to purchase from you. The right marketing strategy will help you showcase your products, set objectives and deadlines and measure the progress and success of your campaigns. Your plans could include the launch of new products or reaching a target number of visitors on your website. As your business expands you can consider outsourcing your marketing to professional firms.
4. Hire and Train a Solid Team
Even if you have started out as a one-person operation, at some point you will expand and will need to hire and train a team to handle day to day operations. This is one milestone of business growth that will grow your business by leaps and bounds. Plan and create training programs that will ensure that your employees are equipped to drive your business’s success. Do not be in a hurry however to reach this milestone, else you will end up hiring someone who isn’t right for the job and your business.
5. Gain Authority in Your Industry
By the time you are set to achieve this milestone, you have a great team in place and making a decent profit. This is one of the later milestones of business growth which involves becoming an authority in your industry. Using the internet is the fastest route to becoming an authority even if your business isn’t entirely online. The secret is to create content that your customers will need and appreciate and give it away for free. Speak at events and industry-wide conventions. You will be considered knowledgeable by your customers and peers and over time will become a sought after authority.
6. Reach a Significant Number of Sales
Once you have developed a profitable business model, created a scalable marketing strategy and put together the perfect team you have achieved most of the important milestones. You now have to look towards the milestone of reaching a significant number of sales. Setting specific sales goals will prevent you from stagnation. It is also a good way to propel you towards your target growth. Decide on an ambitious yet achievable financial target for your business and strive to achieve it.
How to set business milestones
1. Set Your Goals to Become Milestones
Small business milestones are essential to achieving the goals of every business. Plan a way to measure your key performance indicators to chart progress.
2. Set Dates
Setting of deadlines before which you need to meet a milestone will ensure that you remain focused and on track. Let each milestone have start and end dates.
3. Determine Your Budget
Milestones may have expenses related to them. These expenses might include labor, materials or marketing costs. Decide on the amount of money you need to and are willing to spend to reach each milestone. Factor this amount into your budget.
4. Assign Responsibilities
Partners and employees can also assist on your journey towards achieving your business milestones. They should be updated regularly on your business goals so that everyone is on the same page. Delegate responsibilities to each person to censure that the milestone is reached successfully.
5. Review the Results
Once the milestone has been achieved, review the process that allowed it to happen. Continue with the practices that were successful and discard the ones that slowed down. Make adjustments to improve operations that are lagging.
Milestones allow you to visualize your company’s future and measure your progress as you proceed towards target goals. They are the baby steps that keep your target on track. We at Accounovation are passionate about helping our clients grow profitably. Get in touch with us at Accounovation.com for a free consultation on how we can assist you with bookkeeping and accounting services.