Growing your business

Growing your business

You had a great business idea, got help from various sources, finally set it up and got customers rolling in. Now what? You need to scale up, but not sure when or how. Here are a few tips to guide you on the process of growing your business in an efficient and sustainable manner.

1.Have a vision and mission
It’s important to develop a strong vision of what your business intends to accomplish in the long run. This will help in charting your growth and set milestones to be achieved. If you don’t know what you are or want to do, you will be aimlessly wandering. Your mission will guide your actions in line with your vision.

Setting a vision and mission will also help in creating a distinct brand for your customers to identify and relate to.

2.Get your timing right
The success of any product or service is highly dependent on introducing it into the market at the right time. If you are ahead of the market’s needs, you will need to choose to either wait for the market to catch up (requiring the resources to survive during that period, and accepting the risk of emerging competition), or you’ll need to adjust your offering to something more acceptable to the market.

As a small business, you have the flexibility of making changes without the bureaucracy generally faced in larger organisations. Anticipating the market’s needs and evolving to constantly stay ahead is a must. This requires leadership with agility, resilience, and a willingness to fail—and to recognize that failure quickly enough to adapt and move forward.

3.Build a strong Brand
If you want to create a scalable business, building a strong brand is very crucial. Customers are more likely to be loyal when they are emotionally attached to your brand; and value and trust it. This foundation will be a strong one for your business to scale up on sustainably.

Your product/service needn’t be for everyone. Pick a particular target audience that resonates with your brand, and work to deliver your product/service to meet their changing needs. Getting this right will help in connecting and pursuing the right customers and will also save you from wasting precious resources on an audience that is not your target market.

4.Keep costs down
Keeping your costs down is a prudent way of adding to your profits, apart from increasing revenues. Create a system and culture of cost-efficiency, as every penny saved, is a penny earned, to be put back into the business for growth. For instance, laptop computers consume approximately 90 percent less energy than standard desktop computers! This example is just to illustrate that savings are EVERYWHERE, you just need to pay attention.

5.Make use of technology
There are a host of tools and applications specifically for small businesses, for enhancing efficiency, productivity and reducing costs. Find out which ones meet your needs, and employ them to assist in growing your business. In this extremely competitive and rapidly changing market, it’s very important to harness all the available resources to their optimum potential to not just survive, but thrive.

6.Get the right team to lead
Identifying the right people to lead your growing business is crucial. Not all will have the drive and passion, so it’s imperative to spot those who can keep up and put them in charge. These are tough decisions, but are necessary for your business to move forward.

7.Keep your ears to the ground

Listen to your customers and act on what you hear. Implement a system for getting feedback regularly to track changes in customer behaviour. You will get an idea of how your business is fairing, and where and how it can be improved. It saves time and resources to spot potential problems/trends in advance, instead of having to fix them once they happen.

Also, keep an eye on competition; you don’t want to be caught off-guard and ill-prepared to counter their actions.

These tips are not difficult to follow and will definitely benefit you and your business, if you make a practice of implementing them.

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