One thing is certain about being in business today. You can’t rest on past successes. Regardless what trade your business is in, you will always have to compete against other businesses bent on sweeping you off the playing field. Your business must grow just to keep up.

So what can you do to ensure that your business is constantly growing? Here are five steps to follow to achieve the status of perpetual growth.

  1. Think in the longer term. It’s okay to set short-term goals, but use those plateaus to help achieve longer-term goals. Don’t change goals too often. Complete the plan before going on to the next one. 
  2. Focus on the customer. The catch phrase of any business is “The customer is always right.” Your goal here is to keep your current customers happy so that they stay your customers in the long term. The more successful you are at doing this, the less you have to spend to replace the customers you lose. If your current customers are happy with your products and service, then they will refer your brand to new customers. Learn to listen to your customers. If you listen to your good customers, especially your business-to-business patrons, they can alert you to new product and service opportunities. For example, a business-to-business client may discover that a product you make or service you offer needs to be refined or a whole new product or service you could offer will fit a need better. By providing new products to one segment of your clientele, you will then have new products you can offer to your entire customer base.
  3. Be open to new market opportunities. Show that you are receptive to potential customers who do business in a market niche you don’t service. Learn more about your newest customers and find out why they now need your products or service.Canvas businesses in that niche to see if they, too, can use what you offer.Be proactive and seek out potential new markets. Invest in new product development, new market entry strategies, joint ventures, and acquisitions.
  4. Have a good management team. Executives with good management skills are essential to assure growth.The CFO needs to know what financial resources to tap; a human resources chief must be skillful in finding quality people to hire for management and staff level jobs; a chief IT executive must skillfully manage information, planning, and control systems; business managers must be aware of customer and supplier relations, manufacturing and distribution processes, current technology, and reputation building. It’s imperative that you have people who are fast thinkers, can analyze market needs and trends, and who can adapt to constant changes. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the team to assure that each can achieve optimum performance as conditions change.
  5. Find a great counselor. Find an experienced entrepreneur who you can tap for advice.Exposing yourself to business pundits and emulating the qualities that has made them who they are is a solid strategy to taking your business to the next level.

A serial entrepreneur like John Rampton is a good example of such a counselor. He has helped countless entrepreneurs to make their small ideas into billion dollar businesses through his coaching programs. He is an online influencer that Entrepreneur Magazine recently dubbed number 3 on the world’s list of the top 50 online influencers in the world.

Rampton’s articles have appeared in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Times, and Fortune.

You can’t rest on past success if you intend to stay in the race. You have to sustain success to grow in business and you need to create a network of supporters that can assist in that pursuit.