Small and medium sized businesses are faced with a broad range of challenges as they expand. Many start-ups and SMEs fail to reach their potential because they either aren’t prepared for growth or don’t have the capital needed for essential business growth. Business leaders need a growth strategy in place from the start to ensure nothing can unexpectedly hold them back.
If you run an SME then take note of these five ways you can head in the right direction – upwards.
Strong business plan
Hopefully you didn’t launch a business without a clear and concise business plan – or you probably won’t get very far. The fact is that almost all business need a capital injection to grow at all, which means you’ll have to pitch your business plan to investors. To secure the funds you’ll need a strong business plan which demonstrates how much money you’ll need and how the investment will affect the business. Access to finance is difficult for small businesses, but alternative options such as peer to peer lending can be promising.
Focus on sales
The quickest way to grow a business is to bring in more sales. More sales means more revenue to play with. Place an emphasis on customer service and explore low cost marketing techniques which could influence sales. If you go the extra mile for each client, they will become a return customer and tell their family and friends about your company – word of mouth positive marketing is free!
Just because you started the business doesn’t mean you should continue to do all of the work single-handed. The biggest mistake most business owners make is trying to juggle too many jobs and then not doing any of them well. If you plan on expanding, you’ll need a core team to help run the business and the sooner you find these suitable employees, the better. Establish a core team who can help you grow the business and preferably have valuable experience to bring to the company.
In order to grow, you need to spend a substantial amount of time on tasks which promote business growth. If you feel like there’s never enough time in the day, and the majority of your time is taken up by activities which aren’t driving business growth, then it’s time to start outsourcing. It’s a cost effective way of managing the business without having the expense of hiring in-house staff. From accounting and IT to HR and marketing, you need to free up your time to spend it wisely.
As a business owner you have to strive for improvement every single day. Take a step back from business operations regularly to see what you could be doing better. Improvements alone can lead to business growth, but remember that if demand increases in line with the company expansion, then your service will also have to develop.