What’s Next: How To Grow Your Small Business
By Alyanna Therese Tagamolila
Congratulations on being able to set up your business! We know that it takes months and even years of visualization, planning and hard work – not to mention all the blood, sweat and tears it took to set this all up so the first thing you should do is to pat yourself in the back for a job well done and take a moment to step back and bask in the successful fruit of your labor. Once you’ve taken the time to celebrate, share this moment with those around you and OFCOURSE take a lot of well-deserved rest, you may start getting this thought in your head: “What’s next for me?” – and we are here to help with that!
Studies show that small business takes a minimum of 1-2 years of operations to stabilize and start seeing a return of investment. Once that happens, you can begin to look into the next option for your small business, here’s a few things a small business owner can do to grow its presence and make sure it won’t be just a passing trend for your community! Things you might want to consider are:
1. Find out Why You Want To Grow Your Small Business
As we said earlier – congratulations! Your business can now be considered a successful small business. With that being said, why rock the boat? We are here to help you grow your small business and expand services, increase your sales, widen your profit margin or any goal you set as your business’ next step. Before we work towards all of these however, you must first ask yourself: Why do you want to grow your small business? Is it because sales are low? Is your business becoming stagnant? Have you identified additional revenue-raking opportunities? These may seem like harmless questions, but identifying this – the root of your desire to grow your business, will allow us what approach to take and how to effectively achieve your desired results.
One sure way to maintain relevance in a community is to continuously offer new products and services that your market will classify not as a want but as a need. To keep to the current spectrum of your business, you can do community research to see what products/services that are related to your current operations can be considered and added to your business’ scope to be able to reach a wider audience and have people coming to you for more than one reason!
2. Asses current processes in your business and look for what needs to be improved
Before making a step that deviates from your current business set up as you grow and expand, the first step is to first ensure your current business model’s stability. Look into your performance summary and confirm that you have achieved return of investment, is currently making a steady profit that can easily take care of all your expenditures from raw materials to employee paychecks before venturing into something new. Assess your capability and your business’ stability — preferably with the aid of an expert business analyst — and once you have determined the current performance of your business to be satisfactory or even more than satisfactory, it is now time to take the next step.
3. Make an Updated Market Research and Competitor Analysis
Take this time to do market and cost-profit research to figure out how to make your production costs efficient and your products continuously better – be one step ahead of your competitors. This will make sure that your customers establish brand loyalty with you as you consistently do better to provide the quality service that they have come to get used to with your business. Taking the time to do research and development is an investment in itself that will one day prove to be the most beneficial first step to growing your business.
4. Offer New Product/Services
One sure way to maintain relevance in a community is to continuously offer new products and services that your market will classify not as a want but as a need. Before doing so, make sure that you perform a proper analysis on the benefits of adding new services or just retaining and improving current ones according to your business’ capacity. Do not produce or develop outside your business’ means. One way to keep to the current spectrum of your business is for you to do community research to see what products/services that are related to your current operations can be considered and added to your business’ scope to be able to reach a wider audience and have people coming to you for more than one reason!
5. Plan your expansion: Branch Out Or Franchise?
Once you have reached a return of investment and continue to make significant profit, the next thing you can think of to grow your business is to LITERALLY grow your business! Since it has been successful in your current location/platform with the current variety of services/products, you might want to consider franchising your business next. Find a trustworthy partner, do community scouting and market research and set up the same business at a different location to see your business thrive and grow – with more and more people falling in love with the unique quality of service or products that you offer. Franchising your business also opens the way for investors and partnerships and gives your business and you enough financial security to weather the ups and downs of owning a business.
6. Financing my Growth: Do I Shell Out More Capital, Take Out a Loan, Or Look for investors
With your business’ current success, now is the time to not only improve and expand your business but also to forge connections. As you expand, you may want to consider the possibility of having someone else or having a bank or government entity finance your expansion. To be able to do this, prepare a business plan that contains projected data such as revenue, market analysis and risk management for the next 5 years should you continue with your expansion and…PITCH! Use this business plan to pitch to banks, investors and even government entities to outsource your expansion’s finance needs. This will give you leeway to focus on the planning itself without worrying about the finance part. Just remember: pitch, pitch and keep on pitching!
Of course, as we have said a while ago – these are all tips on what to do after your business has stabilized. First and foremost, every business owner’s priority should be the welfare of their already existing operations. Should you want to learn more about how to expand and grow your business, let us know here at RBM Consultancy and we can help you go even one step further to be able to achieve your dreams!