Business momentum is the impetus that drives a company’s growth. When a business has momentum, it seems as if everything it does succeeds effortlessly. However, developing momentum usually has a price tag. Most businesses that leverage momentum lay a foundation with a well-crafted marketing plan highlighting their strengths.
However, companies without a considerable bankroll can also develop momentum. We’ll examine strategies for building business momentum if your company has limited resources ― but considerable creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
Starting a business can be challenging. But getting operations running smoothly and building momentum can make a business push itself to new heights, continually building on prior successes. Here’s how to foster momentum without a massive business budget.
Many businesses with a growth mindset focus on expanding the options they offer consumers. While this expands revenue sources and opens the company to a larger market, it comes with a potentially crippling problem: choice overload.
Choice overload (also known as “overchoice”) is when consumers have too many options. In many cases, choice overload leads to customer unhappiness. Offering the buyer too many options leads to “analysis paralysis.” Amid an overabundance of choices, buyers get bogged down comparing options, resulting in confusion. They may become frustrated and give up without buying. Eventually, new buyers abandon the business.
To avoid choice overload, examine what your business already does well. Distilling your core product to its essence simplifies your brand for consumers and reduces production, marketing and management costs. The more focused your company is, the more likely it will become a name people trust.
Listening to customer feedback helps your business adapt to consumers’ wants and needs. However, when your audience grows, you must consider various conflicting opinions.
Some businesses prefer to focus on loyal, long-term buyers. However, this choice alienates newer customers. While early adopters are essential to business growth, they shouldn’t dictate the business’ evolution. Entrepreneurs must examine a holistic picture instead of focusing on a small user demographic.
A new business should look at its target audience and see what those consumers say. Adapting to your audience means learning from the majority. While customer loyalty is essential, depending on it to shape your company’s destiny can end in disaster.
For your business to generate momentum, you must consider what most buyers want. That focus will propel your business by attracting more like-minded buyers.
How you measure your company’s acceleration will define its growth. Metrics like customer satisfaction and profitability are reasonable success measures. It’s best to use a metric your company already excels at to give your business a leg up on its momentum goals.
Don’t spread your business momentum goals across multiple metrics. Focusing on one metric requires fewer resources to drive the business forward. The other metrics will follow eventually, but the core axis your company is pushing needs all your resources. If you spread those resources too thin, your business won’t generate significant forward motion on your chosen axis.
Building momentum is not a function of a marketing plan with a massive budget. It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of customer and market needs ― and being agile enough to fulfill them better than the competition.
Momentum doesn’t happen overnight. It requires executing a carefully crafted strategic business plan that balances all the moving parts involved. Thus, what your business does today, you can return to build on at a later date, driving the business forward.
With each long-term strategic plan, your company puts more force behind its growth and generates more momentum. This constant goal-directed push eventually pays off, allowing the business to leverage its previous movement to fuel its future development.
A new business must always keep sight of its long-term strategic plan and build on its previous growth. It’s easy to get distracted by crises and let strategic plans fall by the wayside. However, when this happens, the company loses sight of its business goals and can’t generate enough momentum to move forward.
Momentum requires a business to perform larger transaction volumes. Unfortunately, most small businesses encounter a transaction-processing bottleneck. They often don’t expect momentum to lead to massive growth, so their transaction processor can’t keep up. Transactions fail, leaving disgruntled customers.
Transaction efficiency is integral to generating momentum because it’s essential to sales and profit. Businesses should use one of the best credit card processors to ensure scalability and reliability. Without a reliable payment processor, your business’ momentum will come to a screeching halt. Efficient transactions lead to satisfied customers and more sales.
You’re not building your business in a vacuum. While you’re busy generating momentum, your competitors are taking note. They can easily copy and tweak your strategies to fit their style.
Monitoring the competition gives you a heads-up when others start adopting your momentum-generating tactics. Negative momentum can also alert you to other businesses building on your successes. However, by the time you realize what’s going on, it may be too late.
Using momentum to push your business growth can have massive and explosive benefits. However, momentum is fickle. It could shift in a month if you don’t keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends. Momentum loss isn’t just about missteps; it can happen when you think you’re so far ahead of the competition that you ease your foot off the gas.
Many entrepreneurs set a soft success threshold, risking momentum loss. Resting on your successes gives your competition a chance to overtake you. Your company’s growth is tied to how well you can maintain its momentum.
When your business is in a “flow state,” and things are going well, it feels great. However, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and avoid the following common mistakes that can slow or stop your momentum.
Business is booming, and your customer base is growing by leaps and bounds. But are you gaining new customers because of heavy discounts impacting (or even erasing) your profit margin? Ensure your promotional pricing is temporary and you aren’t inadvertently setting customer price expectations too low.
Production must expand along with sales. If you’re a manufacturer, you may need to add more shifts, facility space, equipment and workers. Wholesalers must source more products from existing suppliers or add new ones.
Don’t get into a situation where the demand so outstrips the supply that customers get frustrated and end up leaving for the competition. Have a plan in place to expand production in step with your current and near-future needs.
Achieving your goals is wonderful, but it should spur you to create new goals. Competitors will watch you and try to replicate your success by copying your winning strategies ― and some may be better capitalized than you are.
Harnessing team innovation is crucial. Include innovative thinkers on your management team who stay abreast of technical developments and market forces in your industry. Encourage creative input from your team ― including your marketing department ― so you can stay ahead of the competition and continue creating new products and ways of doing things to meet market demand.
Even when things are going well, you will still sometimes make mistakes. If you take too much time analyzing a failure or trying to make it work, you will lose momentum. Instead of doubling down on your failing programs, products or marketing, resolve to fail quickly, learn the lesson and move on.
Just like in physics, when a business fails to build momentum ― or loses momentum ― forward progress slows and stops. And once this happens, it’s harder to start up again because you must deal with more friction and obstacles. When it comes to momentum, success breeds success in the following ways:
Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.