In other words… key considerations for determining if and when your business is ready to grow!
You have a business and everything is running smoothly. Now how do you make it better? Businesses should always be looking for ways to improve and grow. We’re going to outline some ways to take your business to the next level.
Know the Right Time to Grow
It’s always good to look for opportunities to improve, but there is such a thing as growing too quickly or too soon. For example, American Apparel which opened nearly 300 stores in just six years after launching, ended up filing for bankruptcy, and shut down all its stores, becoming an online-only retail store. The lesson to be learned here is that before investing addtional time and resources make sure it’s the right time to grow.
This can be trickier and involves taking time to scope out the industry and focus on opportunity and positioning. Mitsubishi provides an example of how you can effectively capitalize on growth opportunities. In 2005 when gas prices were increasing, Mitsubishi offered a free year of gas to new customers. Their sales rose by 7.2 percent.
Develop a strategy on when and how to take the best steps forward. LegalZing offers coaching and development strategies. We would love to sit down with you and decide what’s the most effective plan of action for your business. In the meantime, take a look at these signs for knowing when the right time has arrived for your business.
Your industry is growing
If your specific industry is increasing sales and customers are continuing to use your type of service, then it’s time to grow your business. Some of the fastest growing industries are real estate, hospitality, and consumer retail. There are a handful of other industries like online grocery shopping and health care that are also picking up momentum.
Steady cash flow
In order to grow, you need to be prepared financially before taking the leap towards expansion. You should have a few years of steady revenue and new customers to have a stable base before beginning your growth process.
Gain More Customers
After deciding on the right time to grow, gaining more customers sounds like an obvious goal. However, there are strategic ways to increase your traffic flow and ultimately gain new customers.
Get to know your existing customers
Figure out why your customers buy your product or service. Why do they keep coming back to your business over others? There are a number of ways to find out this information. Conducting interviews over the phone or by email is a great place to start.
As you have these conversations with your current customers, figure out what you’re doing well and what needs improvement. A customer survey is a great way to learn what your customers like and don’t like about your business.
Build your online presence
Having your business online is crucial in the 21st century. Your online presence includes having things such as a website, social media accounts, blogs. You should also maintain communication with your customers by sending emails or promotions to current and potential customers. Whether you have a website, an Instagram account, or a newsletter, it’s important to post content consistently.
Your content should always display your brand identity in every way possible. When you post often and consistently in line with your brand, you will increase your online presence, gain a higher traffic flow to your website, and ultimately gain more loyal customers. If you really want to dive into the online marketing world, we recommend getting help from experts in this field. LegalZing specializes in web design and marketing strategies for small business owners.
Sell More Products
If your current product or service is selling like hotcakes, then try to add another product or service. You could offer a monthly subscription model which is a popular method used by many businesses such as Netflix. Take the time to research and develop a basic product or service that meets the minimum requirements to be launched.
Start simple before going full force. You don’t want to waste time and money building a complicated product before receiving feedback from customers to know whether it will sell or not. You also want to give your product room to grow as you figure out the kinks of selling a new product.
Expand Your Team
Whether you work alone or have a small team, at some point it becomes necessary to expand your team to keep up with the growth of your business. But how do I know when it’s time to hire more employees? When you are turning down opportunities, working overtime, or you can qualify the value of the new hire (i.e. you’ll spend $30,000 a year but earn $100,000 more in new business), then it’s time to hire a team or expand your team.
Make sure you find the best people for the job who will contribute the skills most needed for your business. Check out our blog post about building an effective team and why it’s crucial to your success.
Work Faster and More Efficiently
The speed at which your small business operates is crucial to the success and improvement of your business. According to Patrick Bet-David, former financial adviser and current C.E.O. of PHP Agency, Inc, “the most important thing for a startup entrepreneur is speed.” The faster you move, the faster your company will grow. Here are some ways your business can speed up the work flow.
Align your team with routine communication
Communication within your team is necessary to work more efficiently and at a quicker rate. Companies experience at least a 20% increase in performance when teams are in sync and focused on the right priorities. When your team is communicating often and effectively, your business will function more effectively. There are two operating speeds that directly impact the in’s and out’s of your business.
Functioning Speed– This refers to how quickly your team handles the day-to-day functions of your business such as shipping products, handling social media and communicating with clients. Typically the larger your team, the faster things get done. If you’re not able to hire more employees there are other ways to increase your functioning speed such as getting a faster internet connection or using Zapier to automate repetitive tasks.
Processing Speed– How long it takes to get a product to the customer is the processing speed. For example, in real estate, this would be from the time it takes a client wanting to buy a home and actually closing on a house. To increase this speed, you should focus on efficiency.
Adapt and Learn Quickly
The U.S. Special Forces are able to quickly learn and adapt in order to choose their next course of action. They use a strategy that is based on the team’s ability to make a decision and then learn from their circumstances, outside information, and interactions with the environment.
Owning a business should run in a similar fashion. You must learn to move quickly with the ever-changing world. In order to keep up with technology, markets, trends, products, and services, you have to keep evolving as a business.
Pro Tip: The key to successfully growing your business is to understand the risks and rewards in every adjustment you make. Answer the question, “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question then you know the worst case scenario and can calculate the risks in order to generate great rewards.
If you need help deciding on the growth plan that’s best for your business, LegalZing is here to help!
We specialize in business startups and helping them grow into more successful businesses. Schedule a free consultation today and see how we can assist you in transforming your business into what you’ve always dreamed.