If you are in the position of growing a small business, you’re halfway there. Now you have choices; you can continue running the business as you have done, maintaining a steady market position, taking the business to the next level and challenging your competitors, or sell it for a well-earned payday. Any option is a good one, but growing might be the most challenging.
Deciding to grow your business is a decision that is equivalent to deciding to start a business in the first place. Growing a business might sound like a straightforward process; after all, you have a customer base and all the infrastructure you need in place. But still, you need to invest almost the same time and energy again to compete with similar brands in your niche or industry.
If you already operate a small business, you should know about the importance of organization. The organization is paramount to a business’s short and long-term success because without it, too much is left to chance, and the risk of failure is higher than otherwise.
To organize a profitable small business for growth, you might have to onboard some software solutions that organize teams, create digital platforms, and make your projects and workflows more efficient. There are many SaaS Solutions on the market for this, such as Slack and others.
SaaS solutions are growing in popularity thanks to their accessibility, cost, features, and functionality. Whether you need advanced project management tools or better security to guard against cyber threats, you can find a SaaS solution that fits your requirements and models.
Record keeping is crucial for a business of any size to maintain a secure financial infrastructure, but it’s also important to collect customer and market data to predict trends in the industry, stay ahead of the competition, and gain insights into customer behavior to grow the business further.
Records not only need to be kept, they need to be reliable as well; if you want to secure this side of the business, make sure you keep physical records as well as records stored in the cloud. A combination of record-keeping helps you to cross-check for accuracy and protect against theft.
The majority of successful small businesses have carried out some competition analysis to help make improvements to the business. It’s important for businesses to stay competitive in their industries and niches, and the only way to do this is to conduct effective competitor research.
There are different ways to carry out competition analysis based on the type of business you operate. Small businesses in the food sector can send employees to competing restaurants and bring back data, but a larger chemical company would need to research the business financials.
Risk and Reward
Thanks to your hard work, you now operate a small business, and chances are you are not unfamiliar with taking calculated risks. Most small businesses need to take a financial risk in the beginning to get started, whether it’s for infrastructure, marketing, or something else.
Risk and reward is a crucial aspect of taking your business to the next level, but the more information you have, the more calculated you can be about your risk-taking. Consider the worst-case scenario for the risk-taking and mitigate that before making a strategic commitment.
If you want to grow your business, you need to be creative and stay open to new ideas and possibilities. It’s easy to lock yourself into a particular mindset about your brand and its purpose, but many of the biggest companies in the world have adapted their purpose in order to grow.
Think of Amazon. Amazon started out as a bookseller, but it later became an e-commerce giant with a significant media streaming service. Had Amazon stayed true to its initial purpose – selling books – t would not have grown into a powerful global brand; it was open to new ideas.
Growing a business takes time, so you need to stay focused and be patient. Chances are you won’t see any profits for the first few years because you will be growing your brand and any revenue you get goes towards recuperating investment costs. Growing the business is similar.
It’s a good sign if you’re in a growth mindset, it means your small business has established itself in a niche, but that doesn’t mean you can take yoru foot off the pedal. Apply the same strategy of achieving your short-term goals and maintaining patience, and your business grows steadily.
Many businesses avoid infrastructure in the early days; infrastructure such as office space, computer hardware, and distribution networks add extra expense to a fledgling business and could threaten initial growth. However, it becomes important to invest in Macs at a certain stage.
Investing in infrastructure makes your business more resilient and efficient, and while it might be a calculated risk, in the beginning, you should see a difference in your balance sheet. A logistics network with inbound receiving process helps businesses reduce costs and improve revenue.
Starting a business and growing a business have similarities as well as differences. One thing that is consistent, however, is the sacrifices you will have to make to become successful. Many people enter the business world to avoid working for someone else, but it requires commitment.
To grow a business successfully, you need to adopt the same attitude and motivations that you had at the beginning. In many ways growing a business needs the same level of time and commitment that you gave to starting one, so expect to work long hours and make sacrifices.
Creating a business that aligns with the competition and outcompetes it in the marketplace is a matter of degrees. Once you have a similar brand and infrastructure to your main competitors, the fine margins make all the difference. One of these fine margins is customer service levels.
Creating an effective environment for customer support makes all the difference when customers choose you over someone else. So, whether you automate customer service with chatbots or connect with your customer base on social media, find a way to provide more value.
Finally, consistency is the key to increasing your revenue and growing your business. Again, you probably have some experience of this already from the successes of your small business; however, the patterns for business success might have changed for you at the next level.
Identify the areas that generate the most revenue or that need the most attention and prioritize these. Maintain a level of consistency throughout your business growth strategy, and you can enjoy the same levels of success that brought you to the edge of business growth and success.
The Bottom Line
According to some statistics, the majority of businesses close their doors after ten years and never re-open them, so while you stand a good chance of overcoming a smaller percentage of unsuccessful businesses in the first two years, the odds are stacked against you in the longer term. If you want a strong and successful long-term business strategy, follow the steps above.
Of course, the steps outlined above are not definitive; they simply give you an insight into some of the areas you need to focus on and the attitudes required to be successful with a small business. However, the steps in the article are fundamental, so you need to establish a committed strategy around each of them at some point if you’re serious about taking your business to the next level of success.