The end of the year is rapidly approaching.
By now you should have more than enough data from across the different areas of you business to be able to draw some conclusions. What went well in 2022 and what didn’t? If you haven’t already made some significant progress on your plans for 2023 then you should be starting right now.
How’s your 2023 growth strategy looking?
Read on for some ideas.
2022 and the end of the pandemic
A lot has happened this year.
We’re just about on the other side of a pandemic that changed so much for so many people. In the past three years, many of us took a fresh look at our lives, careers and changed direction.
Whole departments left or were let go. Many were re-hired in a different configuration. Some businesses crumbled, while others shone and grew beyond their expectations. New companies were birthed, with new solutions to problems that may not have existed at all just a few years prior.
Now we have businesses calling their employees back to the office. Physical markets and those which depend on the movement of people are optimistic for 2023.
With central banks across the world repeatedly raising interest rates in response to inflation, there is more than enough cause for concern that we may be on course for a global recession in 2023. Historical indicators of global recessions are rearing their heads again. Every day we’re reading news of mass layoffs as corporations begin to slash costs and get ahead of what looks to be a difficult period.
Business owners would do well to consider a number of strategies for 2023 in order to give themselves the best chance of growth.
Here are some fresh ideas for approaching your 2023 business growth strategy.
Revisit your positioning
No other growth activity you undertake will prove fruitful if your positioning is off.
This doesn’t mean solely reworking your messaging, your marketing or even your branding, although these all play a part.
Reviewing and working through your positioning at regular intervals is advisable anyway. But shifts in the mindset and behaviour of your target audience during times of change can make this even more important. It’s essential to always be aware exactly who your best and most loyal customers are, so be sure to undertake a detailed review of this and use it to realign and reposition your products and services.
- Why are these customers so loyal?
- What is it about your offering that they cannot live without?
- What features and benefits are most important to them right now, and why?
Put these benefits front and center, while finding a way to position yourself as the only viable solution to the problems you solve.
Your messaging, marketing and sales language will all become so much easier to write and communicate, plus your new customers will be happier as they will essentially get what they came for.
Seek operational excellence
New opportunities will always arise and there are a multitude of growth tactics detailed in this article which you could choose to employ.
But your ability to capitalize on these will very much depend on two business currencies:
Money and time.
Winning back either of these will put you in a better position, so carving out some time to identify operational inefficiencies will be time well spent. Working with your team to streamline and improve processes or cutting unnecessary spend can drastically improve efficiency. If you’re using an agency type model, consider working through a process of optimizing your utilization rates.
There are a plethora of software solutions that can automate or semi-automate low-value tasks, giving you and your team back time that can be reinvested into revenue-generating activities.
A company that is able to do more with less is always going to be in a better position than one that isn’t. This is something you should be striving for regardless of the state of the economy. But in times of recession, it becomes even more important.
Take advantage of an economic downturn
The cold hard truth is that during a period of uncertainty, some businesses will suffer and fail.
As sympathetic as we may be to this happening to fellow business owners, it can also present us with opportunities. Some companies will be even more desperate for your trade. Others will lose or shift their focus, leaving openings.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind.
If competitors fall
- What will happen to their best talent? Is there an opportunity to swoop in and offer someone a role in your company?
- What about their client base? Are you able to offer them a readily available alternative when their go-to supplier suddenly collapses?
- Asset sales – for businesses closing down and liquidating, their assets may be available to purchase at below market rates. Do your due diligence and contact the appointed liquidator or insolvency practitioner.
Commercial real estate is already in a state of flux, still adapting to remote working. Corporations are assessing their need for large offices, with layoffs contributing further.
If you’re a longstanding tenant or have a lease renewal coming up, a recession can give you additional leverage to negotiate preferred terms with your landlord. The market probably looks significantly different now to when you signed your lease, so you have good reason to enter into a renegotiation.
Agreeing to a new, longer term lease at a reduced rate or with additional perks would provide your landlord with security and a sustained cash flow.
Similarly, deals with other suppliers can be approached in a the same way.
Everyone will be wary of losing long term clients, so may be open to negotiating terms again.
Win the attention war & provide constant value
When budgets are slashed and businesses are looking to make savings, marketing is often one of the first items to go.
Competitors might sit back and wait for things to stabilize. Others will be unsure of prospects appetite to purchase, so will work on retention instead.
This can give you a huge opportunity to win the attention war and even increase your marketing activity.
Being active in a less competitive space can mean the cost of advertising and marketing can actually decrease, meaning your dollars go even further.
The best thing you can do right now is to stay front of mind and keep providing value.
There’s little you can do to control whether there is a recession on the horizon, but you can be ready. Establish a relationship with your current audience. Keep providing them with content and value.
Become more active in your sector & create strategic partnerships
In times of change or uncertainty, we all look to our communities for support and ideas.
The isolation created by the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of connection. Never in my professional career have I felt my peers and competitors so open to speaking than in the last three years. A common threat to our regular way of life has brought us closer.
When an economic downturn approaches, we will once again look to our communities for support and reassurance.
This provides all of us with the opportunity to offer our experience to others.
By becoming more active in relevant industry organisations, groups, online and our local communities, we have an opportunity to make deep and meaningful connections. During this period, make an effort to engage wherever possible and be active in supporting others.
Relationships are key to growth in any industry, so forming strategic partnerships with similar or adjacent businesses & thought leaders will create opportunities for business growth for many years to come.
Combine business growth strategies to win
When it comes to business growth, a holistic approach to choosing and implementing the correct strategy is recommended. By utilising a combination of the strategies detailed above you’ll give yourself the best chance at growth in 2023.
And while there’s no silver bullet when it comes to business growth, having a comprehensive plan and being prepared to execute it flawlessly will take you a long way.
More about me
I’m Kayvan and I help businesses grow through collaboration.
I write about business strategy & growth, workshop facilitation, collaboration and innovation.