New businesses start and fail every day. The modern entrepreneurial market is more competitive than ever, and if you want to establish and grow your business in today’s world, you need a lot more than a good idea or product. Marketing and sales are the single most important thing you should focus on. If your product is not selling, then your business will not be able to grow.

In order to grow your business, you need to first gather as much data as you can about your product, your competition, the latest trends and developments in your field, what existing customers are being drawn to, and all other market research you can gather. This information can be leveraged to scale your business as it readily provides you with data-driven answers to how you can expect your business to grow.

1) Develop a Business Plan

No business can be successful without a well-conceived and executed business plan. If you intend to seek investors, then your plan becomes crucial to raising the capital you need.

There are several parts of a business plan, each of which details different aspects of growth and potential within your company. The first section is the executive summary, where you present an overall view of what makes your business stand out, how you see it growing, your competition, why your business is better than your competition’s, your potential pitfalls and your plans on how you can overcome those problems. The executive summary is the most important part of the business plan, and some investors may request to just see this instead of your whole plan.

Other sections include the opportunities you will find yourself presented with, a financial plan that clearly explains why you need a certain sum to grow your business, a section on how you intend to execute the growth of your company by using the data you gathered through conducting market research for your business. You should also include a section on your business’ internal management, and what makes your team more likely to bring you success versus your competitors. You can also include an appendix if you want to present additional information or pictures that you could not fit into any other section of your business plan. Most importantly, your business plan should be concise and to the point, so that you can ensure that your investors actually go through the whole plan properly.

2) Understand Your Audience

One benefit of working on a business plan is that it requires you to conduct market research. One of the areas you should be researching while gathering data is on who your customers are and what they are spending their money on. If your business sells health products, then your target audience becomes people interested in buying health products.

Before you launch your product, you should first gather data on what your target audience wants. Once you have established what your customers are buying from your competition, you can devise a market strategy that is conducive towards bringing you success.

3) Create a Loyalty Program

Returning customers are exactly what every business needs if they want to establish a long term presence in the market. This can be done by establishing a customer loyalty program. A loyalty program provides certain benefits to returning customers. One way to do this is by offering information on sales and discounts to existing and returning customers through a mailing list.

4) Utilize Social Media

Social media is a great tool to leverage your business and make it grow. Not only do social media platforms open doors to new customers, they also give you the opportunity to directly interact with your customers and build brand loyalty.

You can also use social media to better understand what people like about your products, as well as take in criticisms that can help you develop your products further to meet your clients’ needs.

5) Focus on Business Management

Without a well-running internal machinery, your business is unlikely to succeed long-term. The main way to ensure that you business thrives is by hiring employees who can make that happen. Investors love good teams, as that is often an indication that a business will continue to grow and develop. By keeping your employees happy and providing them with incentives for growth, you ultimately help your business grow as happy employees are more productive and dedicated.

These five essential tips are important in ensuring that not only does your business grow, but that it does so sustainably.