Is your business one of the over 5 million that were started in 2022 in the U.S.? Or perhaps your business has been around for a couple of years now. Regardless of when you started it, though, one thing is clear: you want the business to grow.
Unfortunately, business growth doesn’t come on a silver platter. In fact, far too many small businesses collapse before they achieve any meaningful growth, and others die during expansions.
So, what can you do to give your enterprise better chances of growing into a large corporation? Read on for a handful of business tips that can help.
1. Don’t Fold Your Business Plan
Entrepreneurs who start out with a business plan are 129% more likely to actualize their plans. Not only that, but a plan also increases your chances of starting a successful business.
However, once the business is up and running, some entrepreneurs forget about their business plans. This is a big mistake that could cause your business to fail.
You see, a business plan lays out the short-term and long-term path a new enterprise needs to follow. If you shelf your plan, it means you’re likely to deviate from what you intended to do as a business.
As such, an important tip for achieving business growth is to stick to your business plan for the long term, especially if it was drawn by an experienced business consultant.
Does this mean you should keep following the plan even when things are clearly going south?
In some cases, it might be necessary to adjust your business plan along the way, especially in response to unforeseen developments like the COVID-19 pandemic. You just need to know when the time is right for a change in plans.
2. Start Building a Team
If your business is only a few years old, it probably has one or two employees. Or you’re the only one shepherding that ship. After all, a whopping 81 percent of small U.S. businesses have no employees.
It’s understandable that having employees increases your costs, something that you might not afford at the moment. Here’s the thing, though. You cannot achieve real business growth without building a team of workers to help you.
On your own, you can only do so much. Soon orders will start pouring in, and if you don’t bring in people to help, it will take longer to process those orders and get them to customers. This will hurt customer experience and satisfaction, and it won’t be long before they start shopping elsewhere.
Before you start recruiting, assess your operation and identify the workers your business needs the most. This is the best way to keep your labor costs low while ensuring maximum workforce efficiency. From there, you can start adding to the team as needed.
3. Ensure You Have the Right Business Structure
A business structure is a legally-recognized form a business takes at startup. It can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.
But if you have already started your business, why should you care about its structure?
Well, first, a structure can be changed to suit the changing needs of the business and its owners. And just because you already chose a structure doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one.
Like most small business owners, you likely started out as a sole proprietor. There is nothing wrong with this structure, but as your business grows, or achieves growth, you will need to change its structure.
For example, when a sole proprietorship starts hiring workers and serving customers, its liability risk increases significantly. The owner can buy general liability insurance and other types of liability coverage to cover the risk, but none of those policies offer sufficient personal liability protection.
The best way to protect yourself from personal liability is to change the business into an LLC.
Or, let’s say you want to raise equity capital for business expansion purposes. Most investors are going to reject your application if the business is a sole proprietorship. They want to invest in an LLC or corporation because of personal liability protection.
Read more about business formation services to learn about the pros and cons of the various legal structures. A business development attorney can also help you choose the best structure for your business.
4. Expand Your Customer Base
There are a couple of ways to measure business growth, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to revenues and profits. Your primary goal is to increase your revenues and keep costs as low as possible. That’s how you increase your profits.
Expanding your customer base is the key to increasing your revenues. As you acquire more customers, you’ll make more sales, thus generating the money you need to grow your business.
Investing in marketing, opening up stores in new markets, adding more products to your product line, and offering more services will help you acquire more customers. That said, don’t just focus on customer acquisition. Customer retention is just as important.
5. Invest in Your Community
If you’re a local business, the communities you serve are an important part of your business. The local people are your customers, but the relationship shouldn’t end there.
To achieve growth in the community and beyond, it’s crucial to invest in social responsibility programs. Sponsoring local sports tournaments and other events gives you an opportunity to promote your brand while giving back to the community.
When the community loves your business, you’ll get a steady stream of customers. They’ll also help market the business via word of mouth.
Put These Business Tips to Use
You’ve made a smart decision to start a small business, but that’s not the hard part. The real work is growing the business and making it successful. It’s not going to be easy, but with these business tips, you’re now in a better position to achieve growth.
Explore the business section of our blog for more business guides and tips.