Ways To Grow Your Small Business
You’ve taken the plunge and started your business, you’re running from place to place and raking in the money hand over fist. But how do you grow your business? What are the next steps you need to take to make sure your business is the best that it can be?
This post aims to cover some of the ways that you can grow your business and see it thrive in the long term.
Remember: whenever you’re setting goals for the future, make sure they’re SMART goals (these are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based)
1. Develop the correct marketing plan for your business
You've probably noticed that marketing is one of the biggest expenses you have in the business. But is your money being spent in the right areas? If you’re just starting out, you’re likely spending your money wherever you can and seeing what sticks.
Having a solid plan in place can help you see where your money is currently being spent and where you should be spending it. You should include things such as:
- An overview of your business’ marketing goals
- A description of your current marketing position
- A timeline of when your marketing goals will be completed
- Key performance indicators that you will be tracking
- A description of your business's target market and customer needs
Having a well-rounded marketing plan in place will lead you through the steps to create an effective marketing strategy that can be implemented in your business. This can help keep you focused on your overall marketing goals.
2. Explore different sales avenues and markets
Which sales avenue you use will ultimately decide the path of your business and the level of growth it experiences. But, much like marketing, it is largely trial and error until you find the correct one.
Common sales avenues include:
- Face-to-face sales; can allow you to demonstrate your product directly to your potential customers.
- Selling through retailers, wholesalers and distributors; can allow you to reach larger markets than you might ordinarily be able to.
- Distance selling; allowing you to reach new markets through the use of the internet.
- Selling overseas; can be a complex option, but you might be able to establish a local presence in a new area.
- Using a sales agent; good sales agents already have the necessary contacts and skills to generate sales for you.
As well as these, two common avenues that are often overlooked are large businesses and the Government.
The Government is committed to using small businesses to provide a percentage of its products and services, which can be an avenue your small business can exploit. Large companies are typically interested in aligning their brand with new talent. Just be aware that some of these jobs may have to go through the tendering process in both cases.
3. Access the necessary finance
Whatever your plans for the future are, you’ll likely need money to do it. Whether that’s adding new product lines, increasing the number of stores you have, or increasing the number of staff you have employed.
There are many different funding options available to small businesses looking to scale up their operations. However, you need to decide the following before you look at the different options available to you:
- Decide how much money you need - if you go to a lender and don’t have a concrete figure in mind, or any sales forecasts to back up your repayments then lenders aren’t going to be confident in you.
- Be clear about your aims - spell out what the cash will be used for. If a finance provider doesn’t know how their money will be used, they don’t know whether they will ever see their investment again. Having a solid plan in place will increase your chance of securing support.
- Think about how you’re going to repay the investor - whether you’re looking to repay through regular monthly payments (plus interest), or whether you’re going to give away shares in your company, if you’re committed to an achievable repayment plan, your lenders will have peace of mind.
4. Build a team you can trust
No one can do everything themselves, so it’s crucial to hire the right people at the right time for the business. This doesn’t just mean your employees, but also specialists and business coaches. Having access to information and knowledge in areas you’re not strong in can help provide an insight into what you need to be doing and when.
There’s no quick and easy way to grow your business, but through the correct planning, looking at new avenues to sales, the correct finance in place and an amazing team behind you, you’ll be able to grow your business in no time.
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