Business growth is vital to the long term success of an organization. Growth allows it to obtain assets, attract new talent and finance investments, which can ultimately lead to increased profits, new opportunities and an increased market share. However, driving growth is easier said than done. It’s an ongoing process that necessitates thoughtfulness, hard work and dedication, and there’s no magic formula for guaranteeing the success of a business.

That said, there are certain practices that companies like yours can implement to give themselves the best possible chance of growth, three of which we’ve explored below.

1. Effective data management

Why effective data management is so important

All businesses rely on data. Whether it’s for forecasting sales, finding new customers, managing marketing efforts or mapping a company’s performance, there’s no doubt that data is king in the corporate world, and key to growth. As a result, all companies have — or at least should have — some sort of system for managing this, and this system needs to be effective.

However, many enterprises house their data across disparate databases. According to a survey conducted by NewVantage Partners, just 39.3% are managing data as a business asset, with only 30.0% having a well-articulated data strategy for their company. Bad data management can have a range of repercussions, including data redundancy (owing to issues like duplication), insecure data (due to inadequate security processes) and data inconsistency. All of this can jeopardize the information in question and stunt an organization’s growth.

How to ensure effective data management

The most obvious way to manage this data more effectively is by investing in a dedicated data management system. Providing a centralized view of your data (instead of having it across multiple databases), it helps to eradicate the aforementioned issues.

However, you don’t necessarily need to obtain a whole new system altogether. If, like millions of other businesses worldwide, you use Excel spreadsheets to manage your data, it’s still possible to continue relying on the Microsoft software as a database.

One of the main issues with using Excel in this way is that spreadsheets are typically saved locally as flat files. This makes it extremely difficult or impossible to access the data contained in these files to analyze it. However, with EASA Sheets, you’re able to add “full database functionality to Excel spreadsheets”. Here, the data within every instance of the spreadsheet generated by every user is captured into an included relational database located on your corporate network or cloud, allowing anyone to access it and perform full data analysis, among other tasks.

2. Smart recruitment policies

Why recruitment is so important

Good recruitment is one of the most important steps towards positive business growth. Hiring the right employees leads to improved productivity, saves time and money, positively impacts the rest of your team, and leads to greater customer satisfaction, all of which can help facilitate growth. Hiring the wrong employees has the opposite effect. From a purely financial perspective, the average cost of a bad hire is estimated to be between $25,000 and $50,000.

Alarmingly, almost half (46%) of hires are considered failures by the point they reach their 18-month milestone, which adds up to a staggering amount of money lost and a huge impediment to company growth. Even if your own company’s successful recruitment rate is higher than this, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to hiring new staff.

How to ensure effective recruitment

As well as using traditional avenues like job boards, social media and referrals to source candidates, thinking outside of the box can help you find the right staff. For example, some of the best candidates could be working in completely unrelated industries to yours, but could possess the transferable skills, experience and personality required to thrive in a particular role.

Instead of always looking externally for new hires, see if there are any opportunities to promote from within. After all, these individuals will already know your team and the business as a whole, which not only increases their chances of succeeding in the new role, but reduces onboarding time and hiring costs.

3. Customer surveys

Why customer surveys are so important

Customers are the lifeblood of your business, so maintaining their satisfaction is of utmost importance. Customer surveys can be a powerful tool for doing just this, as information gathered from them about what you are and aren’t doing well can be used to tailor your offerings accordingly. This will not just help you to keep existing customers, but attract new ones.

How to conduct customer surveys

When designing a customer survey, first consider the purpose of doing so. Are you looking to gain feedback on a particular product, or are you scoping interest in a new one? This will inform the type of survey you put out — for example, it could be a brand perception survey or a market research survey.

When it comes to actually creating it, be sure to follow questionnaire best practices, such as asking one question at a time, mixing open-ended questions with multiple choice ones, and avoiding complicated jargon. You also need to think carefully about distribution channels and what exactly you’re going to do with the information gathered. For a more detailed guide to writing customer surveys, check out this article by Delighted.