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How to grow your business
Now that you’ve set up your company and got the hang of running your own business, the next thing to consider is how to grow your venture.
Even if you’re happy with your how business is performing at the moment, it’s a good idea to explore different ways you can expand and develop. If you don’t, you could end up getting left behind.
That being said, growing your business is not something to be taken lightly. It involves lots of preparation and dedication, not to mention a likely increase in workload.
To help, we’ve outlined some important points to consider when deciding whether to grow your company, plus some helpful hints if you choose to make the leap.
What to consider
Growing your business doesn’t just affect you, but also your infrastructure, clients, cash flow and employees. Here’s a look at what you’ll need to think about before you make your decision.
Why do you want to grow?
Your reasons for growth will shape your future strategy, so it’s important to think carefully about your motives. If you want to fend off competitors for example, you might want to increase capacity or diversify into new products.
Alternatively, you may decide to build on your success as a market leader and expand into new locations. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure you’ve carefully thought through your options and have a clear plan in place.
Will your customers be looked after?
Your clients will be providing the stability and cash flow you’ll need to finance your growth, so it’s essential to make sure they’re cared for. If they are used to a more personal one-on-one service, you’ll need to think about what changes to need to make to ensure they don’t suddenly feel abandoned.
Will you need more employees?
One way to combat a possible customer service issue is to take on more staff. Don’t forget though, you’ll need to train them to the right standard and deal with all the extra paperwork.
Do you need help to run the business?
Managing a larger company can be a lot more complex and time consuming. Are you comfortable delegating some of the management tasks to other people?
Is your technology up to scratch?
Your current IT equipment might suit your business perfectly today, but will it help or hinder your growth efforts? If you’re taking on extra workers, for example, you might want to consider a cloud-based solution so they can access important files from anywhere. This will also help you scale your operations to accommodate any fluctuation in employee numbers.
Is your office big enough?
So you’ve got more workers, but does your workplace have enough space to fit everyone? If you need to upscale your premises, it’s a good idea to think about how much everything will cost – both to purchase the building and kit it out.
Even if you decide to stay put, you may have to make some alterations such as knocking down a wall or two. You’ll also need to decide if you’re likely to grow again in the near future, so that you don’t waste money modifying your existing workplace and then have to move a year later.
What’s your cash flow like?
Expansion might require new equipment, premises and employees – some of which you’ll have to pay for up front. Make sure you have the spare cash to finance everything and seek specialist advice on whether your cash flow can handle the upheaval.
Can you outsource anything?
Taking on additional responsibilities and growing your company might leave you short on time for the more time-consuming, but still important, tasks. If you can outsource some of your processes – such as payroll – to a specialist, you’ll soon find out have a lot less pressure to deal with and more time to focus on the core aspects of your business.
How will you use marketing to help your growth strategy?
Your sales and marketing campaigns will be fundamental in your company’s future success. You might just want to tweak your existing processes or set up a new website to communicate better with your clients. Whatever you need to do, it might be worth outsourcing this too – so you can be sure you have the best strategy to suit your business.
I want to grow my business – what next?
Now that you’ve decided to expand your company, there are a number of things you’ll need to do to ensure it’s a success. Here are just a few:
Analyse your current performance
The first thing to do is monitor your business performance to find out what kind of shape it’s in.
A good way to do this is by performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. It will help you identify where your business is performing well and any areas you could improve on. Carry out the same task on your competitors and the market in general so you’ve got a sound understanding of what you’ll need to do to succeed.
You’ll need to understand the level of demand for your products or services, detailed information about current and new suppliers, as well as upcoming trends in your industry.
Choose your growth strategy
The next step is to decide how you want to grow your company. Here are a few options you can choose from:
- Acquisition – this involves buying part or all of another business. It could be a competitor or a business that would complement your own
- Increasing market share – attract new customers and take on your competitors
- Add new products or services – moving into other areas gives you another opportunity to expand. Just make sure you have the required knowledge and expertise
- Expand into new areas – this could be a new geographical location or setting up online
Think about funding
Whatever growth strategy you go for, you’re likely to need additional investment. Some of your options include:
- Investing your profits back into the business
- Taking out a loan
- Selling shares to investors
- Crowd-sourced funding
- Government-backed initiatives
If you need advice on the best way to fund your expansion, it’s a good idea to speak to a specialist accountant. They’ll be able to suggest the most appropriate solution that suits your individual needs.
How can ClearSky Business help?
We hope this guide has given you a quick overview of the different things to consider when growing your business. If you’d like a bit more help, we’re the ones you should call.
At ClearSky Business, we’ve amassed years of experience with helping companies just like yours to grow. Our dedicated team of experts will guide you every step of the way, from developing expansion plans to ensuring you have the right infrastructure in place to support your efforts.
We know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ll tailor our advice to suit your own personal needs – meaning you can be confident you’re getting the best support possible.
For more information, or to join us, please call 08000 149 597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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