What to do and not to do when growing your small business.
Growing a small business doesn’t happen by accident. Growth can have aspects of good fortune but in most cases, growth is a deliberate strategy made up of a number of steps and actions. What are the do’s and don’ts of growing your small business.
Firstly, there are no hard and fast rules for your business when it comes to growth. Every business is different, and each has differing goals. However, there are some underlying things that every small business owner needs to know and appreciate.
Research and planning are mission critical for growth. Without research and without a plan you will have no idea what you can or cannot achieve. It may well be worthwhile seeking independent advice or finding a business coach or a mentor in order to begin a steady growth curve and this is where the first don’t comes in.
Don’t: Do it all yourself
You are only human and there are only so many hours in a day. It is easy to embrace and hold your business close, as you would a child and then burn out as you work all the hours you can. Holding things close and believing you can do it all yourself may be detrimental to growth. Seeking help from others or even outsourcing aspects of your business in order to grow is not a sign of failure or weakness but very much a sign of wisdom. It might even be that you have to grow a little slower.
Do: Set Goals
As part of your planning, goal setting is essential. Be realistic but don’t limit yourself. Goals and milestones when reached are a sign you are growing and heading in the right direction. Without goals you have nothing to aim for. #Bonus Tip – when you attain a goal or milestone reward yourself.
Don’t: rely on a handshake
A common mistake in business is to trust friends and have informal agreements. If you are taking your business seriously, any real friend will appreciate and understand your need for a formal agreement. Having a formal agreement rather than relying on a handshake sets boundaries and lays down ground rules. With a formal agreement you and the person who you signed with is protected, you are also more accountable.
Do: Always look for new customers
It is easy to neglect looking for new customers when looking at growth. For the best part of the growth process you need to be hunting rather than farming. This does not mean you must neglect existing customers, because you cannot afford to do this. When growing a small business there is always a delicate balancing act between hunting and farming when it comes to customers. More customers mean more sales and that means growth, but it also means you have more customers to take care of, support and service.
Don’t: Hire too fast
Taking on new employees is often a sign a growth, but this process should never be rushed. Hiring staff, as with every aspect of running your small business needs to be planned. In a growing small business, especially at the beginning stages your business is vulnerable and you are in a delicate space. As your business grows it can be tempting to hire people sooner rather than later and this often sees a company rush the process. Hiring slowly and effectively, perhaps using a recruitment company to assist you in hiring the absolute best staff will pay off and see your growth continue. Hiring the wrong staff is often the cause of the demise of a once promising business.
Take note of theses do’s and don’ts and you won’t go far wrong as you grow your business and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.