When entrepreneurs are running a successful small business, extra available time is scarce due to the various demands. Understandably, they rarely take the time to evaluate the future growth of their company in a disciplined manner.
When business owners ignore something as important as the growth prospects of their business, they may be doing so at their own peril. By failing to plan for expansion, entrepreneurs are setting themselves up for an extra risk of failure and are more likely to see their competitors soar ahead.
You can avoid this scenario simply by creating a road map to the growth of your business. Here's something's that you should consider:
Planning: I believe it is essential to set aside time to plan and strategize for your business. You must understand your company’s strengths and weaknesses as well as where you see growth opportunities and what threats are facing the business. In addition, you should also create your vision of what you want the company to look like in the next five years or so and develop action plans to achieve that vision. It is important have key employees involved in this process to ensure that you have engagement with the overall vision and allow them to add key details that may enhance the plan.
Keeping control: Once you develop your plan, continually monitor the actual business results back to your plan to assess if you are on track or not. As with any plan, it is developed at a point in time with the best information available. As time goes on and you gain better information or the environment changes, you may need to adjust the plan to ensure that it is still relevant.
Leverage your existing customers: If you are looking for growth opportunities, consider your existing customer base. Generally, it’s much easier to find new business from current customers than to find new customers. As a result, solicit your customer base to determine their needs. Ask them if you might be able to help them more, perhaps in ways they haven’t even anticipated.
Smart growth: Regardless of the focus of your growth opportunity, I would advise you to be sure it's the right path for your particular business. It's not just about growth; it's also about smart growth. Any new business opportunities should offer the same margins you currently enjoy or better. At the same time, new business services that you offer should help you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Don’t be a micro-manager: Growing companies often have trouble when the business owner wants to micro-manage every move. You must learn to delegate work and decisions to staff. It’s always best to hire good people and to learn to trust them. Allow your people to do their work while you focus more time thinking about your strategic plans and possibly your next opportunity for more expansion.
If you would like any further information on company expansion, please contact me at 905-633-6323.