Whatever kind of small business you are running, the matter of concern is you have to enhance your sales and produce revenue. That is the reason, a lot of people want to know the business plan to grow a small business.
When you start a business, you aim to set up your brand and start budding. Sorry to say but success doesn’t happen overnight. Growth is a continuing process that requires self-belief, dedication, hard work, and most essentially patience. No secret can help you outdo other successful businesses to help you attain immediate success.
Whenever people ask me for business advice, how to grow my small business quickly or in a very short period? I always say this one line.
“You cannot achieve success in one day but with hard work, dedication, and smart work you will get success one day and that day will come very soon”.
I say that because I have experienced the same, and I know it takes patience to grow your business. When my husband passed away, our business was suffering severely. Miserably, he committed suicide because he gave up, he felt unable to take that load. Later I had two options, either give up or take the challenge.
Luckily, I chose to face the challenge because I was not alone, I had two daughters. I had to do it for myself, my daughters, and our business. So, I walked into the business. I saw there was no hope, and low productivity at workplace but I had the courage and confidence that I might not make our business thrive in just one day but I will keep going to make it prosperous one day.
And today with God’s grace and the incredible efforts of our teams we are flourishing. So, if I can, you also can.
- Commencing a business necessitates self-assurance, problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, detailed record-keeping, and determined organization.
- You should know your competitors only then you can improve and enhance your efficacy.
- Initially, you should be prepared to end up working harder and make sacrifices when attaining your business goals.
- Customer and employee satisfaction is vital to gain constancy and recollecting their business.
- Make sure you and your business both are ready for commencement with a devoted team.
Difference between small businesses and big businesses:
Now, here in this blog, we are going to talk about how to grow your small business so first, it is important to understand the difference between small and big businesses.
- Organization structure and grading:
Large businesses have an established structure and categorization between employees depending on the count of people working in the company. The CEOs hold the most control and take decisions for the company.
Whereas the owner of a small business runs it solely, some of them may have a few team members. I have seen many, who are running their small business single-handedly and they are killing it. It happens because of the right approach and hard work.
- Target spectators:
Although small and large businesses may overlay their target spectators. Large businesses have abundant resources to target audiences in many different markets. So, they will get the advantage of larger audiences.
Small businesses are limited to regions and locations so they have more local audiences. But if they have resources to build their online presence, they can also multiply their target spectators exponentially.
- Investment sources:
Big businesses source finances through bank loans, and huge financial institutions. They also give equity capital, sell stocks, and have possessions that support security when required.
Whereas small businesses prefer financial backing from low-risk resources such as venture capitalists, investors, crowdfunding, government business grants, and community development finance institutions.
Indications, It’s Time for Expert Business Advice to Grow Your Small Business.
You should continually explore ways to progress your business. But as I mentioned earlier, a lot of people are rushing to grow too quickly.
Take an example of an American clothing brand. They opened around 300 stores within 5 years of its launch without understanding the competition and growth strategies. They kept investing. As a result, they fell intensely into debt and had to shut down their stores due to being bankrupt. At last, they had to become an online-only retailer.
The lesson to learn here is, it is vital to recognize the suitable time to expand your business before investing too much money, energy, time, and other resources. So, it’s a smart decision to get advice from a business coach to know it’s the appropriate time to swell your small business.
- If your industry is evolving that means the competition is also snowballing, so it’s time to grow otherwise you will be left behind.
- If you have a steady cash flow and you are prepared for expansion. Steady profits assure sustainable growth which means you are financially prepared to take action.
- If you constantly have more demand than your ability to supply. Before you take action, survey the demand, whether it is regarding one specific product or various products. Plan the growth strategy accordingly.
Ins and Outs Why Your Small Business is Not Growing
If you are running a small business, I must say that you have courage. Because as a Business coach I know a lot of people who just keep daydreaming about launching a business but they don’t have the courage to make their dream come true.
Before you jump into a small business, you should be equipped to face the challenges only then you can grow. For example, after a few months of launching your business, you have realized that your business Is not growing, it’s just the same as when you started a few months back. Even more money is dripping out than the earnings. Isn’t it scary?
So, before you plan something that settles your finances or runs back to your draining job you should read this. I am telling you the possible reasons that are halting the development of your small business. Once you know the reasons you are ready to craft a business plan to make things work.
Inadequate marketing practices for your small business:
Marketing merely implies informing your potential customers about the service or product you are providing. Strong sales count relies on effective marketing practices. Today, every day you can see a start-up launch and a start-up failure. 15-20% of small businesses fail because of ineffective marketing such as not having a business website, beginning without a plan, inability to track results, targeting off-beam audiences, etc.
Not hiring the appropriate team for your small business:
I am not saying that you need to hire 10-15 people for a small business. Whether you hire 2 or 10 people, make sure they are right for your particular business. Hiring inexperienced and unprofessional people means wasting your resources and money without any noticeable growth in the business.
I have read a line somewhere that precisely suits here. ‘Get the appropriate people on your bus and inappropriate people off the bus and then make sure you get the right people in the suitable seats on the bus.’
Overinvesting in the early stage of your small business:
I have already given you an example because it’s a very common mistake. Do not rush to overinvest in your idea as it can put you in a scary situation later. If you have good investors, do not go with the flow and keep investing in the excitement of launching your business. If there is no one you can ask for mentoring, a business coach can be the finest pick. They can help you create an investment plan and everything you need help with.
You are not willing to learn:
If you are not from the same background, you don’t have adequate knowledge about business strategies or marketing, etc. don’t hesitate to learn. Nobody is born with a variety of talents, but everybody can learn. Don’t be shy about getting help. Either you can hire someone for that specific job or you can learn.
Failing to know your customers:
Maybe you are not sure who is going to get your service or product. That means you don’t know your target audience but it’s necessary for an effective marketing strategy and boost sales. Do thorough research to know your customers, connect to them, and understand their needs and problems. It will also add to customer and employee satisfaction. Because if your employees know their customers better, they can do their job better.
You are declining to pivot when required:
Your business is not going to look the same as you pictured when you launched it. With time, after a few months, you need to make changes. Further, after a few years, you again have to modify or modernize things. It demonstrates learning and growth. If you are not prepared for that, your business may suffer.
The Secret to Growing Your Small Business:
Whenever it comes to strategies to grow your business, let me tell you that there is no size fit for all business holders. However, there are some key approaches you can implement to support your business growth upward. These are the proven ways I have executed to achieve growth milestones that can propel a small business toward attainment.
Understand your existing customers:
If you want to serve your customers, you should understand them better. Communicate with them to figure out what attracted them. Why did they buy your product? What do they like and what they do not like? This way you will know which strategies are not working and which are effective to boost sales. If you are well aware of your customers and their experiences you can enhance your positive sides and improve the areas where you are failing.
Let the public know what makes you unique:
I have noticed that sundry people who consult me for business advice are imitating their competitors to find success. How long will it work? If you want to prosper your business you have to establish the uniqueness that sets you apart.
If you are just copying your competitors, why will customers come to you? Build a unique identity for your brand. Think of something that others are not doing and that can help you grab more customers.
When I entered our leather business, I did a thorough research about the industry. I focused on coming up with something different. I was always very creative and I applied the same approach to the business. I did what others were not doing. I decided to develop biodegradable products because my vision is to make this world a better place.
Develop a considerable online presence:
Today, we are living in the digital era, right? Whatever people want, they first search online. So the online presence of your business is a must. I would not suggest you invest a lot in it but at least a significant visibility that people can easily find you online.
Other than that, make sure you are posting business-related content consistently online. Create crisp and attractive content that meets your target audience’s needs. As your business grows, you can invest more.
Deliver remarkable customer service:
If you are offering superior customer service, customers are going to neglect minor mistakes from your side. See, if you are delivering a top-notch product but your customer handling service is not satisfactory, customers are certainly going to criticize you. Just consider it as an additional step to make your customers feel valued.
For instance, a customer bought a washing machine from you that needs to be installed by your engineer. If you are not sending the engineer on the promised time or the engineer is not able to serve them appropriately, they will complain. They may also return your product, right? On the other hand, if you are serving them suitably, they will feel valued and they will come to you again and also give your reference to their family and friends.
Be flexible to market trends:
Being adaptable is a common trait most successful businesses have. You should be capable of switching directions speedily to counter market changes. It’s a supple tactic for development. As a Business Coach, I advise small business holders to allow themselves to adapt to changing market needs. It makes you test various approaches for your business and identify which performs best. It allows you to keep going without sticking to limiting methods.
Maintain productivity at the workplace:
Productivity directly contributes to the expansion of your small business. Whether you have a team of two people or eight people make sure they stay focused during work hours. Work with your team, communicate regularly, listen to them and create a comfortable and encouraging environment at the workplace. If you and your team are making the best of your working hours, growth is on its way.
Be acquainted with your competitors:
Knowing and understanding your competitors keeps you inspired. When you know the level of competition in your industry, you are more likely to put effort into staying at the top. I earlier said that don’t imitate your competitors, now I am saying be aware of your competitors. Don’t get confused.
I am suggesting you comprehend your competitors, who they are, what is working for them, what makes you different from them, what they are not doing that you can do etc. When you will get the answers to these questions, you will get a clear idea about which areas of your business need more attention and how you can boost productivity at workplace to flourish.
When my husband started the leather industry everybody said, it was not going to prosper. The biggest competition was china. Everybody was like, why would somebody buy your products when they are getting the same products from China at the cheapest rates? Due to huge loans and court cases, both businesses were suffering and he lost hope. He did something I never expected, he committed suicide.
Later when I came into the business, I knew that China is our tough competitor. I went to china to understand what products I can sell which are out of the competition. I identified the products in which China was not interested. And today we are selling good quality products and the industry is doing well.
Create a business plan to nurture your business:
It’s extremely significant to craft a business plan. From email marketing to reassuring online reviews to marketing tactics, there are plenty of ways to grow your business. You should have an incredible plan ready for execution.
Unfortunately, around 40% of small businesses are practicing digital marketing without any clear strategy. If you heard about digital marketing that doesn’t mean you can blindly stick to it. An expert business coach will never advise you to do that. Do your research, consult a professional, recognize your customer needs, and test if it works for your business.
Focus on customer retention:
It’s good to attract new customers but maybe not enough to grow your small business. Customer retention is also vital. Make sure your existing customers are coming back to you, they consider you over others.
When you focus on customer maintenance you are developing customer loyalty that will boost sales. You can offer customer loyalty rewards to keep them engaged with your business and stay connected on social media platforms.
- Reassure customer and employee satisfaction:
Don’t neglect the satisfaction of your customers as well as your employees. I know it’s very obvious to reassure customer fulfillment but employee satisfaction is also equally important. Satisfied customers are going to be your loyal and lifetime customers for sure.
You should make sure that your employees are enjoying their job without workload, it will enhance efficiency. Appreciate and value them for their accomplishments. Happy employees work with a calm mind and stay inspiring.
- Consider collaboration and partnerships:
Collaboration is much better than competing. Partnering up with other businesses or influencers offers a wider reach. For example, if you are in the fashion business, you can plan a strategic partnership with social media influencers. They can recommend your products to their followers. You can also collaborate with other brands to support the expansion of your small business.
The bottom line:
Growing your small business means you should have a business plan, achievable goals, marketing strategies, growth tactics, expert business advice, and patience. You should be prepared to take calculated risks. Improve productivity at workplace, and monitor your progress to build a fruitful business.
Now you know every single secret ingredient to growing your small business. Pull your socks, bring your best to the table, and do not be scared of failures, keep going and welcome success with open arms.