There’s a lot said about the troubles around setting up a business. About getting it off the ground to a point where it’s making decent money. All true. However, it can be even harder to get to the next level. Getting to the point where you can comfortably grow.
There’s a reason that half of all businesses, unfortunately, fail before they hit five years of operation. Each business owner goes about growing and improving their business in a different way. It might depend on the industry in which they operate, or on the way the owner runs their business.
The important point to note is that you can’t rush into anything that’s going to lose you money. Take it one step at a time and weigh up all the pros and cons.
Upgrade Your Systems and Tools
As your business grows, you’ll inevitably pull in more custom. Dealing with this extra work can be tough if you’re not set up for it. Again, your needs will be dictated by your industry, but for so many failing to invest in the right infrastructure at the right time can lead to a business failing. It might be that you need to upgrade to an IP Telephone system to deal with multiple and differing calls.
Perhaps you want to focus on upgrading your internet speed, or investing in software like warehouse managing systems or collaborative working software to get more out of your team. The investment itself can feel a little off putting, especially if your cash reserves aren’t amazing. But failing to do so can leave your business trailing behind.
You might not be in the right position to directly employ people. However, you could use a helping hand on a couple of different aspects of your business. Freelancers can really help. You don’t have to worry about employment law and contracts etc. Instead, you hire a freelancer and move on when you’re done.
Great for helping you build out your website with blog posts, coding software, and designing those business essentials that you might not be an expert in yourself.
Focus On The Experts
If there are experts in your area of business, watch them. Watch what the industry leaders do, how they react to changes in the market and how they want to grow. This way, they make the mistakes, and you don’t have to. Keep an eye on their accounts, on their website and their social media feeds. Take dropshipping for example. If you were in that game, you’d keep an eye on the new methods of Shopify dropshipping as well as how best to position your business to succeed.
Mix their industry know-how and expertise with your ideas and take your business forward. You can’t take this too far, to the point where you’re almost copying them. But you can use information from analysing the industry experts to help take your business to the next level.
Focus On A New Demographic
Changing your business to focus on a new demographic is a surefire way to pull in more custom, as long as you’re careful and take a measured approach. It can see you make huge gains in sales as your product is advertised to a different section of the public. Remember, you can speed this up by offering a sale or money off. Some like to use discount product giveaways more often than others, but as long as you don’t abuse them and use them too much, you’ll be fine.
Finding a new demographic can be hard. It’s just about thinking about your product and how you can pivot it in another direction. It might not be another demographic, instead, it could just be people in an area you haven’t properly pushed your product in yet.
Get A Handle On Your Finances
It’s important that as your finances start to grow, you get a good handle on them. When large amounts of cash are coming in and going out to suppliers etc. it can sometimes be harder to manage. That’s why you need to focus on cash flow in small business management. Make sure you’ve got the systems in place to manage it.
Otherwise, one day you might be without the cash to pay a supplier because you haven’t left enough in the pot. Sure, an overdraft will cover it, but you’d be better off avoiding all the fees entirely by practicing proper cash flow management. Losing sight of finance, even if you’re doing really well, is an easy way to make a mistake and end up hurting your business chances of surviving past the five year marker.