Derek Chambers 2m 535 #business
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Growing Your Small Business
There is an important difference between businesses that remain small for their entire existence – which could be decades – and small businesses that grow and thrive. In most cases, it comes down to taking a purposeful and strategic approach to growth. Though some small businesses offer products and services that experience such an intense demand that growth comes automatically, most need to take a determined approach to expand in size.
Focus on finding new markets
A top strategy for growing your small business is to place specific focus on finding new markets. Your current market will be limited to a particular product, service or geographic area. One of the best ways to grow is to specifically plan on expanding on your current market step by step. Think about products or services that are close to what you are currently offering and within your abilities. You can tap your existing customers to sell these new products to.
Alternatively, think about expanding your geographic presence. This could involve opening a store in a different city, or making your product available internationally. It is crucial, however, to go about your geographic expansion in a planned manner; so look for international markets with similar tastes to your home market, for example.
Marketing can be powerful
Your existing markets may not be tapped to their full potential if you are not already implementing a strong marketing strategy. Some small businesses miss a lot of low-hanging fruit by not attempting any marketing at all. Think through a marketing strategy that would reach people and businesses that would not otherwise come into direct contact with your business.
It also helps to continuously review and test your marketing strategy. It is possible to cover a certain market segment through a marketing exercise and to pick up all the easy business doing so, in which case your business would be well advised to update marketing efforts to cover a different, new area. Don’t forget to target newer fields in marketing – for example, social media channels, which can be major growth boosters.
Staff planning for growth is essential
Many small businesses skip or delay growth because they are not prepared in terms of personnel and staffing. There’s no use experiencing high demand for your products and services if you are unable to meet it, so a carefully planned recruitment strategy is essential.
Identify which areas of your business need additional bodies and think about whether you need to hire permanent and temporary employees. If your targeted area of growth requires skilled personnel to complete a single task – for example, redesigning your website – then consider hiring a contractor and work with an umbrella company to ensure that you comply with tax requirements.
Long-term growth involves continuous strategising
The best way to achieve consistent growth is to make sure that your small business continues to plan and strategise for growth consistently, month by month and year by year. The best growth plans take a short, medium and long-term view and are adjusted for content and purpose as time passes. Often though, businesses are in a position of simply needing to make a start: it’s never too late to start growth planning.