Most small business owners have grand ambitions for growth when they first start up. But, as you will know, rapid growth doesn’t come overnight. There is a lot of preparation, planning and foundational work that must be done before you’ll see any major growth.
But – there are strategies you can implement to help set yourself up for accelerated growth in the future. If you’re doing all these things, you’ve got a much better chance to see big growth, faster.
Strategy #1: Create time to focus on growth
Many small business owners say they are too busy with the day-to-day running of the business that they don’t have time to work on growth. If that sounds like you, then you could be your business’s largest bottleneck!
To “break the cycle” you need to create time to work on growth. Sometimes that might not be as simple as clearing your calendar. Instead, consider solving the root of the problem, rather than dealing with the consequences.
You can effectively pull yourself away from the commitments that are absorbing each day by having a solid team around you who can step up and take on extra responsibility.
This way, you will be surrounded by people who you trust to take over the management of a project or task. Instead of trying to manage multiple projects, people and workflows, you will suddenly find that you have more time to focus on your company’s growth.
Strategy #2: Focus on your existing clients
One surefire way to drop the ball is by constantly focusing on building new clients and failing to nurture your existing customers. If you’re not committed to client retention, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot because prospective clients always want to see that they’ll be taken care of once they’re on board.
If you have built a positive customer experience, this can really transform your public perception. If you deliver good service, and spend time taking care of your clients, expect to see glowing reviews and positive engagement with your brand on social media.
One way small business owners can engage with existing clients is to think of ways to reward them for their loyalty. This could be a referral programme, discounts, gifts… Be creative!
Strategy #3: Minimise risks
Reducing your risk wherever you can is an important consideration when a company is heading into a growth phase. You want to keep disruptions, extra costs or challenges to an absolute minimum.
For example, remember to check and update your insurance policy when you purchase more equipment. If you’re dealing with sensitive client data, check that your insurance policy includes data or privacy breaches.
Strategy #4: Be agile!
No matter your industry, change happens every day, whether it’s big or small. These are some things you should always be aware of…
Keep an eye on what your competition is doing. Be aware of strategic marketing moves, mergers, rebrands, changes to their pricing structure, etc.
If there are changes across the board in your industry, you need to be prepared with an action plan. For example, is there a proposed legislation change that will affect how you do business? Or that might open up a new opportunity?
Technology is rapidly advancing – it changes and develops faster and faster each day. If your competition is leveraging technology better than you, they’ve got an edge. Keeping up with the latest technology can help your business become more productive, easier to manage, and provide a better experience for both clients and staff.
These are just some of the kinds of change you should be aware of. Keep your finger on the pulse, and ensure your business plan is flexible enough to ‘ride the wave’ when there’s a new trend or opportunity.
Strategy #5: Invest in your business
Invest any revenue back into your business right from the beginning to help grow your small business from Day One. Not only will this help your business grow, it’s good practice to be disciplined right from the start. If you invest back every dollar of revenue each month, you could see your growth accelerate rapidly over time.
Strategy #6: Be forward-thinking
Where possible, every step you take should be planned out, with a specific objective or goal. Think 1, 2, 5 or 10 years ahead and create a timeline of milestones you’d like to reach. If you’re employing all of these strategies, you could see your business grow and evolve a lot over the coming years.
If you’ve planned for each step, and always know what your next move is, you won’t get lost in the growth and spin off track.
To get on the right track, talk to your advisors (e.g. your insurance broker, your accountant, your business coach etc). They’ll help you implement these strategies and give you a clear idea of how to move forward as a small business owner.