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The majority of all companies in America are operated by small business owners, many of whom operate a company of just one or two people. Although there are many reasons why small businesses fail, one of the primary reasons is lack of growth.
Unfortunately, some business owners see early success as a reason not to change. Consistency within a business can be a good thing, but not when it’s to the point that it prevents business growth. In fact, stagnation can drive customers away, reduce sales, and ultimately kill a business.
The trick is to know when it’s the right time to grow your business and take a chance on hiring to meet new demand. As the year winds to a close, it’s time to line up your plans and ambitions for 2019. Will this be the year you take a giant step forward?
Here’s a look at four important signs that show you are ready to take your business to the next level.
A strong sign that shows that your business is ready for growth is to have a solid customer base. This is not the number of one-time customers, but a base of customers that make repeated purchases of your goods or services. This customer base must be established before you are ready to take your business to the next level.
If you’re turning potential customers away because your business is too overwhelmed or if you have slowed down your marketing or networking efforts because you are finding it difficult to meet demand, now is the time to grow your business. Turning business away not only will stunt your business from growth but it can give your company a bad reputation. It’s best to grow your business before you get to the point where you start to turn customers away.
Business growth can be nearly impossible if you don’t have the capital available. For example, if you’re operating a small business trucking company, it would be hard to grow your business without purchasing additional trucks or equipment, and might even need to seek help from trucking factoring companies. This doesn’t mean that you need to have surplus money sitting in your company account, but you must have a firm grasp of your business’s finances, cash flow, and financing options.
Although a bank loan is often the lending option many people think of first, obtaining another loan from the bank is not practical for many small business owners. Depending on your company’s financial status, you may be able to establish a business line of credit that can provide the capital you need to expand your business. Depending on your line of work, you may be able to use a commercial truck loan or equipment loan to get new equipment you need to take on more business quickly.
Multi-talented business owner Richard Branson famously said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
In other words, your team is incredibly important. This is especially true for small business owners. Before you can expand your business and grow to the next level, while maintaining the same quality of service that got you where you are today, you must have a solid and trustworthy team.
Growing your business will mean more work, there’s no way around it. You’ll need the right team in place so that you feel comfortable delegating more and more responsibility to them. If you do have those trusted team members ready, and you successfully delegate to them, you’ll be able to spend more of your valuable time on strategy as you grow.
When considering taking your business to the next level, it is vital that you start by taking a close look at your current business goals. These goals might have been ideal when your company was a startup. Now that you have an established business, it’s important to reexamine and evolve them to meet your growth projections. Modifying your business goals will steer the way for you to develop a new and updated business plan and business strategies.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, small business optimism is at an all-time high, which makes now the perfect time to consider growing your business, or risk being left behind. Making sure that you have everything in place before you start your business expansion can greatly improve your chances of future business success.
Growth is key to your business’s success, but expanding before you’re ready can lead to failure. This year, take a few moments to consider where your business started, where it is now, and whether you’re ready to take the next step on your path.