Once your business is up and running, and doing well, it might seem easy to get complacent and let things continue the way they are. While there is absolutely no harm in wanting to maintain the status quo, you should also give some thought to what the long-term strategic goals are.
Identifying areas of growth, and future areas for success are essential components of keeping your business from stagnating, and also ways to bring in new revenue streams. Use the keys listed below as the foundational structure when thinking about how to grow your small business, and what role your finances will play in these plans.
1) Keep an eye on your competition
Any time you are considering growing your business, it is incredibly important to look at what the competition is doing, and what the industry demands are. This will help identify what the limitations are in the market and how you can carve out a niche within that. Moreover, this will also aid in understanding what financial investments are needed for growth in order to keep with the industry, and to get ahead.
Use the competition as a springboard for ideas and innovation, and then assess your finances. What sort of capital would be needed in the beginning, what are projected revenue growths - these are all questions to ask your accountant as you consider this option, and see what he or she advises.
2) Get organized
This may seem obvious, but it is essential for any sort of growth. Most small businesses suffer from a lack of clear and consistent bookkeeping, record maintenance or really any sort of organizational structure. While large businesses are able to spend massive amounts of money maintaining organizational structures, small businesses do not have that luxury. This means that there needs to be clear and simple reports being reviewed at regular intervals, and that data is being recorded accurately.
This is helpful in many ways - not only does it make daily operations easier, but it will also provide a summary level overview of the current financial health of your business, and how that will contribute to any growth plans. Establishing accountability and related measures to stay organized are vital to sustained and successful growth.
3) Define a growth strategy
Once you know exactly where you lie in terms of resources and finances, and you are sufficiently organized, it comes time to actually craft and define a viable growth strategy. This means identifying how you are trying to grow, and planning accordingly.
- Are you trying to diversify into new markets or products?
- Are you simply expanding an existing product line?
- Is there more interest in ramping up marketing efforts in existing customer bases or moving to a new market with the same product offerings?
Though it might be initially confusing, these are important questions to think through and see what the associated gains and risks for these scenarios. Consult with your financial team to ensure that you have the right resources in place for whichever strategy you decide, and how best to invest for maximum success.
4) Ensure you have a talented team in place
No business, whether large or small, will thrive without the right team in place. And a business is only really able to grow when its employees feel like they are valued and trusted. When considering growing your business, it is essential to invest in the right talent that will help your business reach its goals. It is also important that talent feels like they are essential, and that they will be able to experience professional development and take pride in the business as well.
If your team feel valued, it is that much more of an incentive to work harder. Compensation should definitely be on par with others in the market, but that can also be augmented by providing competitive benefits. Having the right team in place, and communicating the business goals to them effectively will be a powerful component in the overall growth and success of your business.
To learn more about the best ways to financially grow your small business, please contact us.