1. Make sure your goals are realistic. Growth should be part of every small business owner’s short- and long-term goals. Growth includes not only increasing income and profits, but also physical growth if applicable (e.g., expansion of existing facilities, or opening new stores or offices). Yet your goals must be realistic, and keep in mind that the first year or two in business may not yield significant profits. That’s why you should have your eye on long-term growth, stretching over a period of 5 to 10 years. Keep in mind that your own goals regarding profit increases must be based on pricing of your products and/or services.
2. Know when it’s time to take it to the next level. Timing is everything when it comes to growing your small business. Sometimes the signs that it’s time to prepare for expansion are obvious, but some business owners ignore the signs or simply don’t know what to do next. Look for a list of indicators that point towards a need for taking it to the next level. Have you discovered that you are tapping an untapped market? Are you getting lots of new leads and/or customers without much effort? Do you find that you have more work than you can possibly handle at your present level? Then it may be time to expand. Do your research and make sure that you don’t sacrifice stability and sustainability in your quest for growth.
3. Realize there is more than one way to expand your business. Consider the many possible ways to expand besides opening up a new brick-and-mortar location or knocking out a few walls and buying the space next door to your shop. Consider options such as offering your business as a franchise or business opportunity, licensing some of your products or services, or forming an alliance with other similar or related businesses. You can also explore ways you can diversify, such as offering complimentary products or services; teaching courses or seminars; becoming an author or paid public speaker. Just don’t take on more than you can handle.
4. Recognize the potential challenges. Growth can be overwhelming. You should ask a few questions: Is the growth sustainable, or just a temporary “bump?” Do I know the customers behind the growth? Can they afford to pay? Does the new growth mean reduced profits? Will there be increased expenses, and do we have the cash to cover them? Careful planning and a willingness to reach out for help when you need it can increase your chances for both short- and long-term success.
If you’ve mastered these tips and think it’s time to take your business to the next level, Worldpay and CAN Capital can help! Click here for information about how we can help you grow and manage your small business.