Guest Post By Sylvia Browder, founder of National Women on the Rise and CEO of Browder Consulting Group (Learn more about Sylvia at the end of this post)
If you are like most women in business, you are looking for new strategies to stimulate growth. Whether solutions to better communicate or how to best manage employees, here are 5 Proven Strategies to Accelerate Business Growth:
Expand thru Alliance Partnership
An extremely effective strategy for expanding your business is by forming an alliance with non-competitive companies. This gives you an instant marketing presence in front of potential clients. Do you know other companies to whom you share mutual customers with? You should be running, not walking to find who they are and how you can team up and benefit from each other.
For instance, say you are a broker… idea partnerships would include Realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies, appraisers, insurance agents and home builders. The key to this is to learn as much as you can about each partner’s business so that you can promote it as you would your own. This new strategic alliance will enable each of you to grow more rapidly as you have a sales team working on your behalf. It makes so much sense to work smarter and not harder!
To find businesses that complement yours, jot down every linked product or service that you don’t offer but that is related to what you do.
Here are 3 D’s for a Sound Collaboration:
•Draft an agreement outlining expectations of the partnership
•Develop a bond with your new alliance partners
•Decide how marketing activities will be initiated between partners such as handing out marketing material at various networking functions, exchanging banners and links on websites or share a big marketing project.
Build a High Performing Internal Team
Your employees are the lifeline of your business. Treat them well! Promote a healthy and professional culture so that they share your company’s mission, vision, goals and metrics. In addition, challenge and hold each employee accountable to achieve outstanding results. This requires serious dedication and commitment on your part, but well worth it.
Here are 5 ways to invest in your employees:
•Provide a competitive wage
•Develop a benefit package
•Allow flexible schedules
•Offer professional development thru education and training
•Create advancement opportunities
By providing security for your employees, you’ll have a dedicated and loyal team. This can lead to long-term success of your company.
Join Women Networks
Many of us know the value of networking. As women, it is important to support each other. A great way to do so is by joining and participating in women networks. There is nothing like socializing with like-minded professionals! Networking is one of the most powerful and cost effective marketing tools and lead generation for small businesses.
There are many advantages to joining networks that are targeted and designed by and for women.
For instance, you can:
•Make connections and grow your business
•Learn from industry leaders
•Get answers to your most pressing issues
•Form lasting personal and professional relationships
•Network, brainstorm and empower others in their business pursuits
Go Green Business
Many women are choosing to adapt sustainable and Eco-friendly business practices. Managing a green business is environmentally smart and good for your business’s bottom line as it allows you to conserve resources and cut down on waste… thus, saving you money!
Here are 5 Go Green Tips:
•Read email from your computer. Avoid printing to save on paper.
•Use electronic invoices and statements. This saves on postage.
•Scan and email instead of faxing. Again, saves on costs of paper
•Turn off equipment when not in use. This can reduce energy costs by up to 50%.
•Use natural light during the day. Substantial savings on your power bill
These are small and simple ways to go green – but can yield big results!
Pay It Forward
The purpose of Pay It Forward is merely taking the focus off of oneself and finding a way to render an act of kindness that will positively impact another life. With success comes a responsibility to help or support other women. For example, since 2004, I’ve spent countless hours as a volunteer SCORE counselor and personally mentor aspiring entrepreneurs.
Here are 3 ways to pay it forward:
•make a donation to a non-profit agency
•offer to do pro bono work on a project where your skills are needed
In conclusion, due to challenging times, it is important to learn to think outside of the box for innovative ways to grow your business. Once you find strategies that work, the outcome can result in an abundance of customers and increased revenue.
Guest Author: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting firm. In her role, she helps women in business grow and succeed. She is founder of ‘National Association Women on the Rise,’ a membership association for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. The association’s mission is to provide professional and personal resources while uplifting and empowering women entrepreneurs in collaboration, education, mentoring, spiritual and peer support, leadership and networking.