Whether there is an economic boom or recession, small businesses will always have the opportunity to attain growth. They just need to be resourceful and actually grab those opportunities rather than wait for them. If you’re running a small or a medium enterprise, here are 7 basic steps on how to grow your small business.
1. Establish your foundation
To ensure your business growth, it should be built on a strong foundation. This foundation should be composed of your purpose, vision, mission, core values and principles. They have to be deep and strong enough to warrant the development of business.
Find a deeper purpose. Find something that can make people’s lives better or something that can change the world. Remember that you purpose is what remains in your heart. The size of your business growth will depend on your purpose. If you have a deeper purpose, you will have stronger roots. The stronger roots you have, the taller your business will grow.
Avoid making money your only purpose. That will only make you love money, which can be the root of all wickedness.
Have a clear vision. What do you want your business to become in the future? It should be realistic so that your direction will be straightforward.
Have a great mission. Your mission should be supported with a strategic plan, which consists of the specific actions you need to achieve your goals. Take note that mission is execution. It’s not a dream, but a series of actions. Make your mission collaborative to your purpose and vision.
Your values and principles will form the shape of your business. That is why you have to ensure that they are the right ones that will give the right shape of your business. Take a look at Facebook’s five core values that have shaped up the social network company to become one of the most famous and most inspiring in our era.
2. Develop yourself
You are the captain of your own business. Thus, if you want to grow your business, you have to grow yourself first. Personal development is a continuing process. Hence, you have to continue learning and acquiring more knowledge.
You cannot attain personal growth if you doubt yourself. To overcome your doubts and fears, investigate things. Justify what’s running on your mind. Are they real? Are they right? Gather information and realize what’s right and what’s wrong. Having the ability to discern what’s right from wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
But business wisdom is not enough. You need understanding. To gain understanding, you have to practice what you know and what you choose. Gain experience to gain understanding. If you haven’t tried yet to be diligent and patient on your work, then tried it over and over again. Try to care for your customers. If you have employees, try your best to love them.
Do your best to execute the right decisions you made until you break your bad habits and you develop good habits. Good business habits, such as hardworking, punctuality, patience, honesty and persistence will help you grow your business. Avoid the following 12 bad habits that could ruin your business.
3. Build up your team
Developing yourself is a great start and a great way to grow your business. But if you have a more developed team, it would be better.
Don’t be a one-man company. Consider outsourcing services from third party providers. It will increase your cost, but will also boost your revenue if you will do it the right way. To decide whether outsourcing is the right move or not, compare the cost of outsourcing a task against the revenue you will forgo if you will do the task by yourself. If you have the money and outsourcing is the most favorable choice, then go for it. Remember that by delegating your other tasks, you can have more time to focus on your core activities that generate more income for your business.
There are jobs that you can’t be delegated to service outsourcing companies or professionals. These jobs require in-house employees. If you want to grow your business, consider hiring people to be part of your team. Consider making your business an organization.
Once you organize people to be part of your business. It’s time to be an effective manager or a leader. Grow your business not only by developing yourself, but also by developing your human resources. Train them well, make them feel valued, and keep them motivated.
4. Increase your assets
If you want to expect growth and increase in return, you have to infuse assets on your business. We cannot just wait for our profits to accumulate and grow our equity.
You can make additional investments from your own pocket. If you have personal cash savings or earning income from other sources, you may invest more cash to your business to increase your assets. If you have real or personal properties, like land, building, or equipment that can be utilized on your business, you may consider putting them to become part of your income generating assets.
You may also try to obtain loans from the bank, credit cooperative, financing company or from government institutions, which provide short-term and low interest loans to small and medium enterprises. They may require collateral or a good credit score. They may also require your financial statements or your proof of income. Getting loans will increase your assets by increasing your liabilities. However, you will have to pay for finance charge or interest.
Another way to boost your assets aside from getting liabilities is to boost your capital or equity. This can be done by accepting business partners or investors to your business. All fully grown companies are owned not only by one person but by several persons. Most of them become corporations. If you think it’s the perfect time to incorporate, then don’t run your business alone. Welcome partners and co-owners.
5. Adapt to new environment
Technology is fast changing; consumers are also evolving. Thus, business owners and entrepreneurs should adapt to these changing environments.
Don’t be the last to leverage the power of the Internet. Consider having a website for your business, which will become your online presence that can be accessed by Internet users 24/7 anywhere.
Manage your brand on social media, where most people are now lurking. Build up your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and other top social networking sites. Network and socialize with your social media followers and friends to create good and lasting relationship.
With the Internet becoming the prime media for business marketing, don’t leave your business in the dark. Leverage the channels where you can use to promote and optimize your business. Make your company website and pages appear on search engines, like Google, where billions of people are searching online. Make your company website accessible not only on computers, but also on mobile phones, which already become the common and necessary gadget for everyone.
The world is evolving, and your business should adapt to those changes. If you won’t innovate, you might find your business drying and dying. But though, still consider preserving the things that your consumers have loved over the years. Thus, you may innovate your business tools and strategies, but still maintain your original business taste.
6. Grow your customers
The real growth of a business isn’t only measured by the growth of its assets, equity, or market value. We should also see to it that our customers are growing. Are we changing the lives of our consumers? Are we giving them the answers and solutions to their questions and problems?
To effectively serve our clients or customers, we need to analyze our market. You have to be an effective marketer, who doesn’t only prioritize promotion, but also the other Ps of marketing, that is, product, price and place.
Listen to your customers’ feedback. Consider not only what they need today, but also what they will need in the future. Be an advanced marketer.
Wow your customers by giving them extra services. Give them more than they are expecting. If you can do that, you can expect loyal customers.
Maintain good and lasting relationships. Business is not all about making money, but it is also about making relationships, particularly friendships.
If you want to grow your business, grow the people whom you serve.
7. Help the community
Be socially responsible. Your business is part of the society. And if you want to make it grow, you also have to contribute growth to the community. What’s the use of a profitable business, if it doesn’t help people? A business is not considered successful if it destroys the environment, doesn’t promote the economy, and doesn’t fulfill its social responsibility.
Hence, make your business useful to the society. Have a cause. Be green and protect our planet. Be a friend of the public and strive to change the world.
Be an inspiration to everyone.
Lift up your business by uplifting the lives of many people.
Grow your business by building up every part of it. Start by strengthening your foundation, that is, by establishing your purpose, mission, vision, and core values and principles. After strengthening your business foundation, develop the people that compose it: you, your team, your customers, and the society. Make everyone collaborate each other for your business, not only the people, but also our ever evolving technology and economy. When everyone and everything is collaborating for your business, it will grow smoothly.