Among the biggest challenges that small business owners face are increasing revenue and expanding their customer base: in a word, growth. Whether your business is a new player or a long-time community fixture, there is always room for carefully planned growth and expansion. Follow the tips below to help your business grow at a manageable rate:
Create a Vision for Your Business
Concrete growth starts with an abstract plan. What do you want your business to be? There are many successful business models: single-location institutions, local chains and franchises with multiple locations, and national companies that are always expanding into more markets. Before you start thinking about growth, first decide what you want your business to look like five, 10, and 20 years down the road.
Draw Up a Business Plan
Once you have a vision in mind, the next step is to draft a business plan. Set concrete goals, such as increasing revenue and sales by a certain percentage within a certain time period, or opening a second location in 12 or 18 months. You may need to streamline procedures, hire more staff, or invest in more staff training to meet your business goals, so make sure you crunch the numbers and incorporate a realistic budget into your plan.
Retain an Excellent Team
It’s much easier to expand your business if you have a qualified, efficient team. But don’t hire based on resumes alone—make sure that you evaluate a potential employee’s personality and attitude in interviews, and take this into consideration when hiring for each specific position. When hiring file clerks, for example, chatty candidates may waste time socializing, whereas you want a more outgoing person to sit at the front desk or answer your phones.
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