We know no one can do it all by themselves, and the strongest businesses thrive when they get right help from the right people. “During start-up or high growth stages, business owners and managers are constantly time challenged as they simultaneously work to develop products, build systems, recruit, train, and sell. They are also trying to prioritize investments in technologies and processes that build a sustainable platform for growth,” says Ken Prokopec, Commercial Manager, ACT.
We asked small business owners about what they feel are the best ways for ensuring faster and controlled growth in a small/medium business and here is a compilation of the most popular ideas:
- Systemize business processes: For any company to sustain growth, systemization of its business operations is a necessity. Working ON your business entails creating systems. Systemization works, as demonstrated by McDonald’s, Starbucks, and franchising as a whole. “A business owner must not use a product or service for the sake of having it or hoping it would improve its business but instead carefully analyze how that service will fit with its operations and what its impact will be on performance and profitability,” says Jonathan Olaso, Owner, J. Marcus. Utilizing tools for CRM, HRM, online collaboration, accounting/bookkeeping, and other tools specific to your business, will ensure that your business grows smoothly.
- Get quality work from a reputable provider: “Do what you do best, and DELEGATE the rest. Work with Virtual Assistants who can manage all the administrative tasks for your business, allowing you to focus on the growth of your business,” says Jaimie Skultety. Ensuring that the right people are doing the job they are good at is the key here. “Too many entrepreneurs fail because they have a false belief that they have to have a hand on everything,” says Dave Phillipson, CEO Space. Make sure that while you try to minimize your budget, the quality of your work should not suffer.
- Invest on building a strong web presence: Utilize social media, organic Google ranking (SEO), blogs, informative websites/microsites, and so on. “Since social media is such a hot topic in our business environment now, it’s something that every small business owner should at least explore. I have seen the rewards of this and it is always impressive,” says Cynthia Cavoto, Owner of Marketing That Works for You. If your target market is using social media in their daily lives, it makes complete sense to be there too.
- Understand your customers: “Develop sincere relationships. The Collaborative Model will be the only thing that turns around the global economy,” says Dave Phillipson, CEO Space. “Real growth occurs not by adding clients but by multiplying them. Your clients will suggest you to others over and over when you exceed their expectations. They will do this when they have all their needs met AND THEY KNOW YOU APPRECIATE THEM. Over 60% of clients leave because they believe they do not matter to you,” says PEZ from Appreciation Marketing. “Take a long hard look at your current customers. Come up with ideas about something you can do for them to expand your business while expanding theirs. That also positions you to have a more loyal customer base and is far less expensive than seeking new ones,” adds Gail Wallace, President of Bellwind Consultants. Existing customers are GOLD. While mining for the Silver, take good care of the GOLD.
- Have a plan: As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. New entrepreneurs must always think through every step that their business takes. Anthony M Turner, CEO of Transform Your Business, lays it down in five basic precepts that, if taken care of properly, ensure the success of ANY business:
- Know where you are
- Know where you are headed
- Know your finances
- Tell the world – use marketing appropriate to YOUR business
- Manage for success – use the best tools available and monitor what’s happening in every aspect of your business.