Maintaining a consistent profit across your business is already challenging, let alone the difficulties that arise from growing and upscaling your operations. As you respond to the market’s increasing demand, you must innovate to increase revenue and support the increased size and base of your footprint. Grow your business to expand your expertise, survive and ride the industry trends, and unleash your valued employee’s potential by instilling a growth mindset.
Ideally, all businesses should be prepared for growth, but to trigger sustainable and meaningful growth in a capital intensive manufacturing business, there are a few key strategies you will need to consider as you embark on your journey. Here are some methods that you may not have thought about, yet are imperative to implement if you wish to meet your customer’s demands and take market share from your competitors.
Listen to Your Customers
This is how you innovate. Knowing your customers and what they might like gives you a bottomless pool of ideas for innovation in your product and service. As consumers are always changing, it’s necessary to often check on their opinions and insights. Listening to your customers can help you make smart business decisions, such as what to stop doing and what to do more of.
“Client feedback may be the most important information you ever receive about your business.”
Client feedback may be the most important information you ever receive about your business. Make use of it and always anticipate how they will feel, act and think. Measure your customer’s satisfaction to determine your customer’s expectations. When you genuinely listen to them and implement changes, you will start improving costs, revenue, alongside providing the best experiences for all your customers.
Be Visible Online
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and customers must be able to find you on the web. Having an interesting, engaging and optimised online presence will help you attract new customers. Being active on social media and other online platforms encourages people and businesses to contact you and choose to engage with your products. In 2020, an online marketing strategy is incredibly important and an invaluable outlet to help grow your manufacturing business.
Study Your Competitors
Researching and studying your competitors gives you insight for innovation on your own products, services and marketing. Learn from what your competitors have accomplished in the past and avoid their mistakes. Consider the factors that made your competitor’s expansion successful.
Study your competition by making a list of competitors, speaking with their former employees (if possible), running an analytics test and signing up to their email lists to experience their sales funnel. Improve your current processes through a combination of industry research and audience monitoring.
Add a Specialty
To get ahead of your competitors, focus on delivering a better or a distinct, service or product. Establish your niche to open new doors and drive growth to your business.
Here are some ideas:
- Add a level of conveniences, such as fast delivery or free returns.
- Make your product eco-friendly, add new flavours or unusual ingredients.
- Focus on your branding: Make yourself seen as the coolest, most traditional, or most reliable product through branding.
Experimentation can lead to valuable new opportunities, but make sure to conduct a thorough evaluation of your new ideas without compromising the quality of your existing products and the standard of your service.
Streamline Production and Waste
Reduce waste and streamline work processes. Maximise all your resources, from your hired talent to every piece of equipment and inventory. Stay connected to your workforce and pinpoint where friction and waste occur. Record everything about your product and services. Keep track of the progress and any instability.
Get every team involved to make recommendations and initiate change in their processes and establish standards to cut down on waste. Get rid of the cause of the waste first, and you’ll be building strategies around the optimal performance of your teams or departments. Improved quality in your production reduces the need for recurring quality control checks.
Maximise Your Working Capital
Business finance is not one-size-fits-all. Your requirements will change as your business grows and changes over time. A lack of working capital often hamstrings manufacturing companies. Larger orders sometimes require additional funding to fulfil, as the customer does not pay you until up to two months after. If your business is expanding, you’ll need a flexible funding facility that scales with your business as you continue to grow. A working capital finance facility, sometimes known as an invoice finance facility, is a commonly used solution for growing businesses as it’s based on the sales/revenue that your business makes each month and not on the bottom line profitability.
Examine these tips above to grow and make your manufacturing business more profitable. You may need time, strategy and financing to accomplish the above, but it’s worth it in the long term. TIM Finance can help you expand your manufacturing business with flexible funding solutions, including working capital finance.