Business momentum is the impetus that drives a company's growth. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania equates this to businesses seeing everything they do succeed effortlessly. Momentum can make a business push itself to new heights and build on its successes. However, developing momentum usually has a price tag. Most businesses that leverage momentum do so by laying the foundation with a well-crafted marketing plan highlighting their strengths.
That doesn't mean that companies without a considerable bankroll can't develop their own momentum, though. Here, we look at how a business can establish a decent momentum with only a handful of resources.
1. Find the essence of what you do best.
Most businesses see growth as reaching out and expanding the options they offer to consumers. While this does give the company access to a larger market, it comes with a potentially crippling problem. According to BehavioralEconomics.com, choice overload (also known as overchoice) results when the consumer has too many options. In many cases, this overload of choices leads to customer unhappiness. In this case, offering the buyer too much leads to them stalling on actually buying anything. Eventually, it drives new buyers away from the business.
As an alternative, you could look at what your business does well already. Distilling your core product down to its essence can also help you by keeping your business's production, marketing and management costs down. The more focused your company is, the more likely it is to become a name that people trust.
2. Listen to the majority.
Listening to your audience's feedback is the preferable way to adapt your business to the consumer's wants and needs. However, when your audience starts growing, you'll likely have many conflicting opinions to consider. Some businesses prefer to focus on the buyers that have been with the brand for a longer time. The downside of this choice is that it alienates newer customers. While they are essential to a business's growth, the early adopters shouldn't dictate the business's evolution. Entrepreneurs should look at the holistic picture instead of focusing on a small demographic of users.
A new business should look at its customer base and see what most of its consumers say. Adapting to your audience means learning from the majority. A business isn't a democracy. While loyalty is appreciated, depending on it to shape your company's destiny can end in disaster. For your business to generate momentum, you need to look at what most of your buyers want from the product. That focus will propel your business by attracting more like-minded buyers.
3. Build momentum on a single axis.
It can be tempting to try to build momentum dynamically. The metric you choose to measure your company's acceleration will define its growth and what it becomes known for. One of the best ways to determine that is to see what your business is already doing well. Metrics such as consumer satisfaction and profitability are reasonable measures of success. Using the one that your company already excels at gives your business a leg up on its momentum goals.
Don't spread out the business's momentum goals across multiple metrics. Focusing on one metric has the upside of requiring fewer resources to drive the business forward. The other metrics will eventually follow suit, but the core axis that your company is pushing needs all your resources. Spreading those resources too thin will lead to the business failing to generate any significant forward motion on your chosen axes.
4. Plan for the long term.
Momentum doesn't happen overnight. It requires a plan to execute correctly because of all the moving parts involved in the process. Thus, what your business does today, you can come back to build on at a later date, driving the business forward. With each plan, your company puts more force behind its growth and generates more momentum. This constant push toward the goal eventually pays off, allowing the business to leverage its previous movement to fuel its future development.
As many businesspeople will note, plans are sometimes buried under real-world drama. Strategic plans are developed and then fall by the wayside as departments evolve and change. Eventually, your business may start looking at moves to preempt or deal with crises instead of following the long-term plan. When a company starts doing this, it loses sight of its goals, and it cannot generate enough momentum to push forward. Businesses that get to this point stagnate. Therefore, it's essential for a new business to always keep sight of its long-term strategic plan and build on its previous growth.
5. Remember the importance of transaction efficiency.
Momentum requires a business to perform a larger volume of transactions. Unfortunately, most small businesses encounter a bottleneck when it comes to transaction processing. When these companies formed, many didn't expect their momentum to lead to such massive growth, so their transaction processor expected far less traffic from them. This limitation means that, after a certain point, transactions fail, leaving disgruntled customers in their wake.
Transaction efficiency is an integral part of generating momentum because it's essential to its sales and profit. Without a reliable credit card or payment processor, your business could lose the benefit of all the momentum you've generated so far. Efficient transactions lead to satisfied customers and more sales.
6. Keep an eye on the competition.
You're not building your business in a vacuum. While you're busy setting up momentum, your competitors are taking note. Whatever you can do, your competitors can easily copy and tweak to fit their own style. You may be pioneering the idea of how you use momentum to grow your business, but you aren't the only entrepreneur who wants to build their business along these lines.
Keeping an eye on your 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, of course, but by the time you realize what's going on, it may be too late. Remain aware of your competitors and their movements in the industry. Keeping your customers satisfied while staying ahead of the competition is far more effective than recovering customers you lost to the competition.
7. Remember that momentum can shift in an instant.
Using momentum to push your business growth can have massive and explosive benefits for a company. However, momentum is fickle. In the space of a month, it could shift against you if you don't keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. Momentum loss doesn't only come from making the wrong steps; you might just think that you're so far ahead of the competition that you can ease your foot off the gas a little.
Many entrepreneurs set a soft threshold for where they consider their business a success, but this risks losing that momentum. Resting on your successes offers your competition a chance to overtake you. Your company's growth is tied to how well you can maintain its growth momentum.