So, what does it actually mean to grow your business?
Is it similar to increasing profits, the bottom line? Or does it simply mean to increase the sales, the top line?
As a business owner, it’s crucial for you to comprehend the relationship between these approaches to your business growth and how they actually fit in with the progression of the business.
For instance, if you’re likely to approach the day when you’d finally wish to sell your business, then enhancing the bottom line with the help of efficiencies and other strategies could be the best solution to grow your business.
I’m saying this because with determined efforts to raise the overall sales in a short period of time could perhaps make the business look less profitable to your potential buyers. Likewise, even your selling price could be pushed down.
Nevertheless, if you’re young and enthusiastic to see your piece of pie grow significantly, then you may be completely comfortable to live with a dip in your profits whilst developing new territories and/or products.
Keeping these points in mind you’ll be able to consider the following tips and tactics as you’ll plot out the perfect game plan to grow your small business.
- Near term small business growth tips:
Tip #1: Always analyse the performance of your sales team. If they don’t meet your expectations or are showing signs of uncertainty, then shake things up by bringing in new blood working initially on a commission basis only.
Tip #2: Write down everything that you do and accordingly categorise your tasks. Also, look for tasks which you could delegate to other employees or simply outsource.
Tip #3: Re-examine your purchasing and see if you could enhance the deals you’re currently getting from your vendors.
Tip #4: Enhance your accounts receivable ratio.
Tip #5: Take a look at the repetitive tasks, which you and your employees perform. Check whether all of them have appropriate processes written for them. See how those tasks could be accomplished more swiftly and ensure that you have processes capturing the most productive ways of achieving your repetitive tasks. Also, make sure you allow the processes to be improved over a period of time and avoid being a victim of “we’ve never done something like that before” mentality.
Tip #6: Launch a customer referral program and keep rewarding your existing customers for bringing you some new business.
- Medium term small business growth tips
Tip #1: Always research your local competitors as well as other competing similar businesses in the area. See if any of the owners might be approaching retirement age or if there is any other reason for them to sell their business. Ensure you’re in touch with the mutual suppliers in order to check whether any of them may be in financial trouble.
Tip #2: Conduct surveys on your customers and see what kind of products or service they actually expect from you.
Tip #3: Check whether any of your suppliers are ripe for a buyout.
- Long term small business tips:
Tip #1: Talk to your city and regional planners in order to find out the areas that are criticised for new development. Should you prepare to expand your business to any of these areas or perhaps move to a bigger facility?
Tip #2: Also make it a point to talk to real estate agents so as to find out neighbourhood in transition. Say for instance, if a low income area is going to be renovated, then it often means that young families along with their kids will soon become a prominent demographic. Also, keep an eye out for aging neighbourhoods, as they can turn over to younger and affluent families.
Of course, some of the above mentioned points might require you to conduct a lot of research. But, ensure that you’re doing enough of the “near term small business growth” so as to have sufficient time that could be dedicated to planning for the future.