A recent article on FinancialPost.com highlights a major problem many small-business owners face: managing the growth of their company. While entrepreneurs know that growth is allows them to bring in more revenue and help more people, most have also discovered that finding time to establish structures that promote growth and adapting to a growing operation can be highly stressful.
If you own a small business, you can make your next growth spurt smoother and less disruptive by implementing these five strategies.
- Make the time to plan. You have a million and one things to do every day just to maintain the status quo, so adding a growth-planning session to that list may sound daunting. But without a system in place, your growth will happen haphazardly, potentially disrupting your company and forcing you to take a much bigger break to sort through problems down the road.
- Assess your current strengths, risks, and opportunities. Looking at the current state of your business will help ensure that big problems don’t grow and important opportunities aren’t missed. A check-in will also make planning for the future easier, as you see where you need to improve and where you can stay the course for best results.
- Adopt new technology strategically. New gadgets and machinery may lead to higher productivity, but remember that they come with additional costs, as well. Be sure to consider property insurance, employee training, and maintenance costs in your calculation of how a new device will affect your bottom line.
- Consult with your experts. It’s your job to focus on how growth can improve the functionality of your business, but you also need to remember that any business change could affect the taxes you owe, the legal responsibilities you have, and the insurance coverage youre required to carry. As part of your growth planning, take time to meet with your accountant, attorney, and insurance agent (ideally all at once) to verify that your business is on strong footing in all areas.
- Continue to nurture existing relationships. Landing new clients is fun and exciting, but maintaining your relationships with existing clients is just as important to your business in the long term. Remember that current customers can help provide ongoing business in the form of referrals and repeat business and vouch for your services.
Do you have any growth-focused tips for fellow entrepreneurs? Share them in the comments!