Since it opened in 1994, Amazon has shown phenomenal yearly growth to become a retailer giant with sales revenue of nearly $136 billion in 2016, a 27% increase from the previous year. You may not think that such a large company would have much in common with your new startup, but the same principles that led to Amazon’s success can help you build a strong foundation for growth in your organization. Try borrowing these ideas to keep your company moving forward for better sales and long-term success.
Focus on Your Customers
Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos knows that the key to retail success is satisfied customers. When facing a business dilemma, Amazon takes a customer-centric approach toward finding a solution. This requires a dedication to quality products, excellent customer service, and providing a great value. To follow Amazon’s example, get to know your market. Focus your market research on learning more about your typical customers, and then use this information to better meet their needs. Work on forming a positive relationship with your customers to drive brand loyalty and increase your sales through word-of-mouth advertising. If every loyal customer pulls in just three more loyal customers, your growth becomes exponential. Whenever you make a decision, think of what is best for the customer even if it might not be the most profitable choice in the moment. Remember that dedicated lifelong customers bring in value for years to come.
Prioritize Experimentation and Innovation
Like most new businesses, Amazon started small, as an online bookseller. The company grew quickly as it moved along a business course lined with innovations. Regular experimentation and analyzing data from the results gave Amazon information about the best innovations to adopt for maximum success. Try that concept in your business by regularly implementing new ideas on an experimental basis. Collect data about your endeavours so you can measure their success. For example, if you decide to start selling products in a new arena, keep careful track of how much extra profit you make to help assess whether the experiment is a success or failure. If an experiment benefits your customers, you might want to keep it as part of a customer-centric mindset even if it is not the most profitable course.
Think About the Future
Just because something works now doesn’t mean that it’ll still be a viable business option in 10 years. Amazon remains flexible, offering new products and services as the world changes to best meet the needs of its customers. For example, Amazon rolled out Amazon Web Services in 2014 in response to the need for secure cloud computing platforms. Follow a similar approach by staying true to your business plan but remaining flexible so that you don’t miss opportunities. Continually ask yourself what innovations would benefit your customers. What do your customers want that no one else is doing well? Try keeping a vision list to work toward as time and money allows. By following Amazon’s example of placing customers first, experimenting with new ideas and keeping on eye on evolving trends, you can build a business that with longevity that is ready to adapt as necessary and grow into the future.