Four ways to get ready for business growth

Four ways to get ready for business growthBusiness growth is great, right?  Only if you’re prepared for it.

Skyrocketing sales and surprising success sounds wonderful in theory, but it can be risky and overwhelming for the unsuspecting business owner.

Risky because you may have to quickly add more staff, more stock, more outlets, more equipment – with all the additional costs that may involve. And overwhelming if you find you can’t keep up the demand. You only have so many hours in the day, after all, and there are only so many places you can be at once, decisions you can make or things you can add to your to do list.

So how can you successfully navigate the challenges of a growing enterprise?

Here are four simple steps you can take today:

1. Talk to your customers

Before you do anything, ask your customers what they like (and dislike) about your business. You need some honest feedback about your team, processes, trading hours and customer service. Then use these insights to guide your growth strategy – building on your strengths, and overcoming any shortfalls, is a shortcut to sustainable growth.

2. Plan for growth

Now, with all that feedback in mind, take a realistic look at your current business plan.

Does it truly reflect where you want to take the business? Would it make more sense to shift your focus away from acquiring new customers to offering value-adds to your existing database? Or do you need to change processes, take on more staff or launch a new product?

When writing your growth plan, ask:

  • How will we grow? Think about every possible angle – including exporting, developing new products or selling in new markets.
  • When will we implement the growth plan? Give youself a realistic timeframe.
  • How much money do we need to grow successfully? Can you afford to invest in the new people, technology or space you’ll need?
  • Do we need to change the business structure? Your accountant can advise you on this.
  • Do we have the necessary tools, systems and infrastructure to grow?

3. Get advice

Do you have people within your team to help you achieve your growth goals? If you don’t have resources internally, consider hiring a business mentor to provide a big picture perspective of your plans. An on-call CFO can also check your cash flow, processes and team to ensure you can sustain growth now and in the future. And as you grow, you may want to think about setting up a board of advisors.

4. Keep an eye on business trends

Do you really know what’s happening in your industry – or have you been too busy to pay attention?

Following technology trends, industry insights and changing consumer demands will help you stay ahead of the competition. Social media and mobile marketing, online payment methods and cloud-based systems are all worth watching.

How have you prepared for growth in your business? Share your experiences with us below.

 

Comments

  1. Liran says:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  2. Heather says:

    Great article full of really great information! Thank you!

  3. Great post with very useful info

  4. Solid advice. Love #2 when you talk about planning for growth. Absolutely crucial step.

  5. Daveda says:

    Planning is most definitely important! Thanks for sharing 😉 These are great tips and ideas.

  6. Patricia says:

    Best advice is – Do you really know what’s happening in your industry – or have you been too busy to pay attention? – great post, great job! P

  7. Heather says:

    good points! It’s also good to know– can your business HANDLE growth now? Do you have time/resources?

  8. Good tips, I know it’s very important to pay attention to customer needs and ask them what they want. It’s a simple market research and very effective.

  9. Great tips. Must have good systems in place to handle growth.

  10. Shelley Webb says:

    Excellent article and just in time for the new year. I want my growth to be just like that image! 🙂

  11. Mona says:

    My favorite part of work is keeping aware of trends. I guess it appeals to the former researcher in me 😉

  12. Maria says:

    Thanks for sharing, great tips.

  13. Anissa Michele says:

    This is great advice, which I’ve checked more than twice on my list for 2014. Thank you for posting!

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