Taking a small business to the next level is the ambition of most entrepreneurs. Some businesses start up and stay at the same level, often because the owner wants it to remain manageable, while others suddenly begin to blossom and turn into large corporations because there is a drive to make it so.
If you want to grow your business in the next 5 years, then there a number of factors that you need to take into account. Primarily, you will need to look at your business in a different way. As companies grow they become more complex and areas such as financial planning and staff recruitment may well begin to take up more of your time. You may have to accede responsibility to other people which can be difficult for some business owners. You may even have to compromise on quality in some areas.
- What is Your value proposition? In other words, what sets you apart from the competition? Many businesses lose this as they begin to grow. Make it the core of your growth plan and future marketing strategy. Write it in big bold letters on your office wall and make sure everyone knows what it is.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate: You may have nurtured your business from humble beginnings but there comes a point when you simply have to delegate if you want to grow. Have you got the right staff on board and where do you find the resources you need to implement your growth strategies? Some you will be able to outsource online but others will require specialist staff and team leaders who bring something new to the mix.
- Getting funding: Most major growth strategies require an input of finance. Getting funding has diversified in recent years and it’s not just banks you should be looking at to enable your growth. Securing funding requires you to know exactly what you need and how you are going to use it. In other words, you have to have a coherent and compelling growth plan.
- Expanding your customer base: Of course, you can’t grow your company without improving revenue and that means attracting new customers. Key to this is your sales and marketing strategy and this will be the main area that, for many, investment is needed – both in terms of time and money. Marketing plans that develop brand awareness and deliver customers to your front door require a clear focus and a good deal of industry expertise.
- Keep track of the technology: If you think the last five to ten years have been remarkable when it comes to the growth in tech and online solutions, then the next few years should blow you away. We are in the midst of some pretty disruptive technology that will change the way we do business and how we keep in contact with customers. If you don’t keep up with this, then you may well find your growth plan failing. Business growth nowadays depends on having the right technical solutions in place and adopting and adapting when the need arises.
Of course, you cannot grow your business without having a strong plan in place. It may have to adapt when conditions change, but having a clear idea of where you want to be in the 5 years’ time and how you intend to get there is vital.