StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

The Things To Consider When Growing Your Business

A small business can turn into big things with the right time and effort put into it. Often these successful and thriving businesses start out as just an idea. An idea that will grow into something with nurturing and investment. Not just monetary, but also with the dedication and ambition to make the business work. Expansion is something that can happen quite quickly for a thriving small business, you can quickly outgrow your location, your level of commitment with stock or simply have more demand than items or services to offer. It is definitely exciting times to be in that particular situation. So how can you move things forward? I wanted to share with you some of the things you could consider.

Moving business location

Often when a business is thriving you can quickly outgrow your current set up, Many small businesses begin at home,working in a corner of a room with your living areas as acting as storage units. However, once a business begins to thrive you can start to realise that a new business location could be on the cards. A great tip would be to consider an outsourced office or storage environment. Moving on my next point, this could be another viable option.

Setting up a store or showroom

Another thing to consider would be to actually set up a physical shop and store, or even create your own showroom showcasing products and services that you can offer. It is the next step from moving business location or moving the business out of your home and taking your business forward in a different direction. This could really open your business up to other customers. It may give you a different advertising approach as you take on a new avenue of face to face sales rather than just relying on your digital business, and it could certainly be another revenue avenue for your business moving forward.

The technology to invest in

Sometimes expanding your business means that you need to invest in different areas and often that means different technology and software that can move your business forward. Things like gis tools which help with data mapping, software to help work out your customer demographic or even customer relationship management systems so that you can keep in touch with regular clients, especially in terms of repeat business.

Expansion in terms of products and services

Finally, another way to grow your business is to think about about expansion in terms of the products you sell or the services your business provides. You could look at other things that work alongside your current range, or you may even want to look into a different niche entirely. When it comes to services there are often ways you can advance on it. But products means that you have a whole host of options as long as it fits your original niche and purpose. For example, a lifestyle website that sells wall art and prints could also develop products of other homeware types such as lamps, wall lights and such, for example.

I hope that these things help you to take the next steps in terms of growing your business.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

The Secrets Of Great Scaling

To a lot of start-up owners, growth is a universally good thing. You’re a small business now, and you want all the financial stability and branding strength of a large one. Naturally, this means that once you stimulate enough growth, everything else will fall into place, right? Well, not quite. If your start-up has experienced a lot of rapid growth recently, you’ll know that it’s something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ll have better profit margins and a stronger platform for making a name for yourself. On the other, you’ll have to take care of a lot of scaling, which will mean managerial and organizational changes. Regardless of what your period of growth has done to your business, you need to be able to sustain these challenges. Here’s a guide to managing a rapidly expanding business…

Have a Medium-Term Goal, and Stick to It

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When you drew up your business plan, it’s pretty much a given that you set a range of short and long-term goals, but what about medium-term ones? When business owners totally overlook any medium-term milestones, it can cause all kinds of scaling problems which will come back to bite them in the future. Every good business plan should have a long-term vision and mission, which you’ll ultimately want your business to reach. You’ll need a wider range of medium-term objectives, which will support that end-goal vision, and are usually milestones set five to three years down the line. Then, there are short-term plateaus you should keep in mind – skills, accomplishments and experiences which you can achieve realistically in the next year. A lot of people at the heads of growing businesses become too wrapped up in the long-term, and change the direction of their venture far too frequently. Set yourself some medium-term goals, and stick to them!

Keep Your Customers Happy

You should be placing a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction no matter what stage your business is in, but it’s especially important to make sure you’re not getting distracted by scalability. Your customers are the people who will come up with the most relevant ideas, the most immediate feedback, and in today’s social media-oriented world, they’re increasingly happy to help. No matter how rapidly or drastically your business is changing, don’t sacrifice a formal process for constantly listening to customers, and acting on their input. Aside from holding an ear to the ground, you also need to make sure that you can keep a handle on delivery, back-end support systems, and order fulfillment in the midst of all this chaos. If your customers become dissatisfied with your performance, you’re going to have a very hard time retaining them, and continuing to grow at a healthy rate.

Think About Finances

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As your business expands at a fast rate, there are a range of financial implications which all need to be taken into consideration. As your business becomes larger and larger, your cash flow is going to become strained before it gets any better, so it’s a good idea to look for ways to save as much as possible. Recover any outstanding debts promptly, decrease prices wherever it’s practical, consider refinancing and borrowing money, offer up some rewards for prompt or upfront payments, and eliminate as much unnecessary overhead as possible. You may also be able to draw some savings from incorporating your business or registering it as a certain type of company. This can be done through services like – registered formation agent . As more and more factors are added to your cash flow, you need to make it a priority to understand and manage those factors, and eventually manage all your income and outgoings with a “big picture” mindset. Financial growing pains have ended countless promising businesses over the years – don’t let yours become one of them!

Find a Good Mentor

Finding a good mentor, with a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur or executive in your field, can take a huge amount of the weight off your shoulders. You’ll be able to reap the benefit of their years in the business, and the advice of someone who’s been in the same position as you in the past. When you imagine a great entrepreneur, you probably don’t see someone who’s constantly asking for advice. However, you shouldn’t let your pride get in the way of the potential success of your business! Some of the most successful businessmen in recent history have developed on the advice of a mentor. Bill Gates had Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs. I don’t care how smart you are, or how disruptive your business idea is, find a mentor if it’s possible!

Surround Yourself with a Great Team

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Continuing on this theme of not thinking of yourself as a one-man-band, surrounding yourself with team members who are significantly smarter than you is essential for anyone who’s at the head of a fast-growing company. No matter how good your product, service or strategy is, if you don’t have a good team behind you, the rapid growth of your business can quickly become overwhelming. If the departments at your company are growing faster than you can handle, then choose the best minds you have available and give them positions as the heads of their departments. By doing this, you’ll be able to free up your time and invest it in your overall strategy. As these people become more familiar with their departments and senior roles, you should keep them in the loop about more executive decisions. Make them a part of the hiring process, and anything else that could impact their role.

Take Away While You Add

A lot of business owners think that once their company grows enough, they’ll have a lot more freedom and flexibility. As a matter of fact, scaling can actually be very restrictive. There’ll be all kinds of things that used to work, but won’t anymore, meaning that you’ll have to rub these out of your usual strategy. It’s only when your operation gets a little larger, you’ll realize that there are a range of things that have always been slowing you down, without you realizing it. Whether you axe paperback to revive the company or do away with things like performance reviews altogether, you need to be aware that certain things will need to go, and holding onto them will only drag your company down. Getting rid of performance reviews, for example, will mean that you’ll free your employees from a lot of tedious work, and redirect those people-hours to more pressing issues. Don’t be afraid to make drastic changes when they’re a gamble, provided that you’re certain you can make them pay off. If your grocery is on the verge of bankruptcy, but hiring greeters will reduce theft and improve sales, then go ahead and do it. If team meetings are too long and ineffective, don’t be afraid of being seen as a horrible boss by banning the use of phones! Whatever’s on the horizon, you need to stop resisting change, and choose the sacrifices you’ll have to make very carefully.

Wrapping Up…

Rapid growth, if you know how to handle it, can promise all kinds of great things for your business. However, if you approach it in the wrong way, it could be the thing that brings your promising idea to ruin. Going from managing a bootstrapped, fledgling start-up to a feverishly expanding business will require a lot of changes in your tactics, but through applying the strategies above and learning as you go, you’ll be able to assure a bright, successful future for your company!