When you're starting a small business, the main focus is survival - especially during the early days. There is nothing wrong with remaining a small business as long as it makes enough revenue to realise the lifestyle you want. But every business will reach a point in its life cycle where growing further makes sense and becomes necessary.
Growth is crucial if a business is to last in the longer term, and it doesn't happen overnight. That's why it is always a good idea to plan for growth, regardless of your business' current size. There are indicators that will help you assess whether the business is ready to achieve and sustain growth.
Nevertheless, it's never too early to equip yourself and prepare your business for growth. Discover the secret ways to grow your small business.
Is your business ready to grow?
Growing your business is a major undertaking and doing so at the wrong time can do more harm than good. Each scale-up business will face different problems and opportunities that will demand different solutions and strategies. Before you make any big changes, you have to be sure your business is ready to undergo such a transition.
There is no exact timeline for growing a business. Every company grows at its own scale, time, and pace. However, some signs will give you an idea of whether it's the right time for your business. The following indicators will give you an idea whether the time is right to take your business to the next level.
Finances play an important role when expanding your business. If it demonstrates a regular increase in profits, it can be a good indicator for growth. However, it's vital to ensure your business has consistently positive cash flow and can maintain it for at least 3-5 years before you consider scaling up.
Another essential indicator that the time is right is the market opportunities presented to your business. If your industry is flourishing, it can be a good time to grow your business. But if the market opportunities are dwindling, expansion may be harder and less sustainable. That said, if your business is in a more stagnant industry, expanding could make sense.
How to grow your business?
Regardless of whether your business is ready to expand or not, planning is essential. You have to take the right steps at the right time to see the results. But remember that every business is unique, and what has worked out well for others may not apply to you.
Nonetheless, here are some things that can help your business thrive and reach the next step in its growth journey.
Research your competition
Keeping an eye on your competitors must be an integral part of your growth strategy. It will allow you to discover the industry's best practices and take advantage of any opportunities that your competitors haven't yet explored.
It is not just a case of identifying who your competitors are, you need to know what they are up to so you know exactly what you're up against. For example, Credit Ninja will have identified that they are a competitor to Cashnetusa. By having a good grasp of your competition, you can grow your small business in new and effective ways.
Prepare for the budget impact
Of course, any growth plan will have a financial impact and your plan should take account of the financial implications. While the cost will vary from business to business and will depend on the type of business and the scope of your growth plans, you can always expect a significant impact on your finances. Make sure you have the finances in place and financing options at your disposal if you need the money urgently.
Diversify products or services
Diversification is one strategy for growing a business. It typically involves adding new products or services to your mix. But to do this, you have to figure out what's missing from the market and how you may fill the gap. It's also essential that you know which products or services will resonate with your customers. It's important, however, that you don't pivot too far away from your core business.
Expand customer reach
Adding new products or services is one way to expand customer reach. However, it doesn't end there. You may also have to improve your marketing and brand awareness to reach the highest possible number of potential customers. Look for ways to stand out from your competitors by featuring your business's unique value and service to a market segment. Explore new routes to market that can help you reach a section of the market that you may not have targeted before.
Don't overlook the power of technology when growing your business. You can use social media to strengthen your marketing strategy. You can also build and use an email list to reach out to your current and potential customers. Since most people prefer companies that make shopping with them pleasurable and convenient, leverage technology to streamline customer's service and transactions.
Embracing business growth
When it comes to growing your business, there is no quick and trouble-free route. As you go through the planning process, you will see both opportunities and limitations for your business. But the key is to weigh all the possible options and outcomes. Bear in mind that no business can be too prepared to go through the transition. You will always have to take some risks and embrace growth.
Copyright 2021. Featured post made possible by Sally Trase of Start Grid/Searchtides.