Growing Your Business: The Need To Know Essentials

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Taking the plunge and setting up on your own is one of the hardest, but most rewarding challenges that you can take on in your working life. More and more of us are opting to set our own rules (and working hours), find our passions in life, and creating something true to ourselves. Getting a start-up running smoothly is no small matter, but once you are operation and even turning a profit, a great challenge lies ahead: how to go about expanding. Sometimes knowing where to start can be the biggest barrier, so set your sight on progress and remember the basics below.

Find Other Businesses to Partner With

Sometimes, expansion can be as simple as finding partner businesses to work with. By pairing up, you gain the benefit of each other’s resources, including staff time, customer data and facilities. The trick is finding a company that has compatible – not competing – interests and identifying areas of mutual benefit to present to them. Getting serious about networking can help you find suitable partners, where both companies can bring something to the table. It’s a excellent way to expand sales without usually needing to invest in costly infrastructure.

Locate The Investment You Need

Financing an expansion effort can be almost as much of a hurdle as gaining the cash to set up in the first place, but you do have the bonus of a track record of success to help persuade investors. There is quite a lot of government funding available from economic development authorities to help your business grow – so check the U.S Small Business Administration as a starting point, before seeing what is out there at a local level too. You may require a small business loan to purchase equipment or make an investment, so look for credit unions and the rise of specialized lenders such as Kabbage, who support online retailers, or Biz2Credit. Remember to include a budget for marketing your new offer too.

Get Help With Hiring The Best Talent

If you need bodies to expand, then making recruitment mistakes can be costly and time-consuming, just when you most need to focus your efforts. So it may be worth calling in a recruitment professional in your sector to help with the hiring. Not only will the best ones already have an overview of key players in the market, but they’ll be able to take on some of the administrative burdens and pre-screen new candidates for you. If it’s your first time hiring, they can also help you to avoid legal pitfalls by ensuring that you have the correct policies, legal cover and employers liability insurance in place.

Consider Your Location

If you’re expanding operations, often you’ll need to consider new premises. You may just have been working from a co-working space or a home office before, but expansion means you’ll need to house new people and equipment well. Find space in a dedicated start-up hub that offers access to in-house legal and marketing services, or consider setting up a custom space – perhaps you could fit out a warehouse space or consider a fabricated best steel building to house a tailor-made set-up? When you source your new space, factor in future projected growth as well and future proof your premises for future expansions.

Areas Of The Biz You Must Grow First

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Growth is the name of the game for most small businesses. If you fail to keep growing, you begin to stagnate and eventually the market will move to someone else who is putting more in than you are. But before you start pouring money into the business, it’s important to understand the core elements of successful growth. Failing to plan for the proper allocation of your funds when it comes to scaling the business is an easy way to end up missing the market and wasting the investment.

Finding more market

This is perhaps the most obvious one. If you’re going to sustain your growth, you’re going to need the additional outcome to continue to fund it once your initial investment (such as a bank loan) is put in. This means finding more customers. How do you corner more of the market? Is it a question of visibility and brand awareness, meaning a bigger marketing budget could do it? Are there other services you could offer that could help retain more of them? Or might it involve opening a new location or office to give you access to another portion of the market somewhere else? All growth has to be able to keep itself going long after the initial funding has run out.

Spreading the infrastructure

If you have a larger market, then how do you make sure you have the resources, both in manpower and in equipment, to handle it? It’s not wise to blanket hire more people to every single section in the business. For instance, if you have a marketing and branding team that has to make quick, creative decisions, involving more people in that can only end up with a “too many cooks” situation. Look at where new hires are going to make the most impact. Similarly, just getting more computers isn’t always the best option. At some point, you have to consider whether you also need managed IT services to help maintain an internal network to better allow them to communicate, share resources, and work on different devices. As the business grows, its proportions are going to have to change here and there. Plan for those adjustments in advance before it gets so big that it’s unwieldy.

Strengthening your core

You should always be improving the core functions of the business and improving your success rate. If you’re manufacturing products, for instance, can you invest in more maintenance or new equipment that reduces the risk of loss? If you’re providing certain services, what software can make it easier to track workflow and provide them more efficiently? What extra levels of customer service could you implement, such as on-site live chat or a more active social media presence? Always be updating your core or it will fail to support the rest of the business.

The three areas highlighted above all demand your attention. However, the particulars of how you grow them will all depend on a lot of soul-searching, both in market research and looking at the organization needs of the business if it’s to get any bigger.