Congratulations! You’ve done something significant: you’ve launched a business and are maintaining a certain degree of success. Since the initial startup period has long since passed, it may be time to start thinking about how to take your business to the next level. You might think that doing so may take just as much “blood, sweat, and tears” as starting up your business from scratch, but there are simple things you can do right away to grow your business and continue achieving your goals.
- Prepare financially and be ready to grow. Expanding your business will most likely require some sort of financial investment, such as a new marketing plan or travel costs for attending conventions and networking events. It is just as important now that you plan for these added costs as it was when you started the business. Are you prepared to see a slow return on your investment? Will investing this money take away from other key elements of your business? Once you’ve prepared yourself financially, make sure you are in the right mindset. Business growth will likely put more demands on your time. How will that impact your existing customers and your family? Only you can answer those questions, so make sure you are okay with the answers before you take the leap into business growth.
- Think big and outside the box. One of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, Donald Trump, wrote that “as long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.” Why put limits on what you can accomplish? You may not achieve every single dream, but selling yourself short before you even begin only keeps you where you are. Look for ways to grow your business that have large-scale impact. Be creative and try coming up with something original. You can always dial it back later.
- Increase marketing. Growth cannot happen without some level of increased marketing. Assess your current marketing plan by figuring out what specifically is working and what is not. Eliminate the weak points and expand on the strong ones. If there is an untapped customer base or a marketing method you haven’t tried yet, give it a shot. You won’t be able to grow without adding to your bottom line, and that can’t be done without attracting more customers. Research what options will give you the greatest return on your investment and proceed full steam ahead.
- Diversify and expand your team. Your team should consist of people whose strengths complement yours and each other’s. When looking to add to your team or staff, seek out different types of people. For example, you’ll want people who are strong face-to-face sellers, others who have a head for numbers and projections, and still others who are creative and contribute originality. A team that can pool their strengths and work together toward a common goal has the potential to be unstoppable.
- Listen to customers. Ask them for their feedback about a variety of topics, including what new products they’d like to see, how service can be improved, what made them come to you as opposed to a competitor, etc. Customer loyalty has a huge impact on the success of your business, so it makes sense to pick their brains about how you can improve and grow. They will also appreciate your interest in their opinions.
Your business growth potential is limited only by your imagination. Use your available resources, your own expertise, and feedback from your customers to begin a plan for expansion.
What else do you think should be added to our list? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!