Ife Adedapo writes on ways to grow your business beyond its current level
Your business may have gone through the hectic processes involved in starting a new venture.
You may have gone through the licensing stage, market research, purchasing equipment and devising the right marketing techniques to adopt.
You may have broken-even and have started raking in huge profit every day, but have you considered expanding beyond your present state?
Some small business owners are content to maintain a small operation in return for a decent, but limited, income. Others, however, are driven by the challenge of growing their business into a more profitable venture with wider penetration.
Have you been wondering what methods to adopt to move your business forward? Are you trying to catch up with the emerging trends in your industry? Do you wish to catch up with your competitors and outshine them? Do you wish to drive your business far beyond the level it is right now? Experts say these and many more questions constantly nag the minds of business owners who wish to be successful.
Although, a higher risk may accompany such expansion strategies but the compensation that comes with it may be worth it in the long run.
Experts have highlighted ways of improving on your business in order to grow and expand it.
Evaluate your business
To identify the desires of clients, experts suggest an evaluation of the overall performance of the core business areas such as the products, services, customers, distribution channels and geographic location of the business.
A business consultant, Mr. Caleb Makinde, says this can be achieved by measuring and benchmarking profitability, rate of revenue growth and the firm’s reputation and its number of dedicated customers.
Develop a client-centred approach
According to a business consultant, Terry Dean, startups should ensure that they always find their future clients first.
He says, “Discover what they are buying, improve the product or service and sell it to them. Find out what problems they need solved.
Come up with better solutions than currently available in the marketplace.”
Consider a merger
One other way by which most businesses grow is through acquisitions. Experts say acquisitions can be a massive source of profit and a means to growth if you make a few key moves.
Experts say that the acquisition can be based on two similar products that serve the same category of clients.
Although the processes involved can be time-consuming and expensive, Makinde believes that there are some businesses which are affordable and can be acquired.
Develop a unique selling position
Experts have always advised on the need to have a mission and vision statement for a business in order to keep the business owners focused and guide them in the right direction.
Dean says entrepreneurs should think beyond a mission and vision statement. Rather, they need a unique selling position for their business.
The consultant says there is a need to do an analysis of what your business offers to the clients that no one else can match. Compare what your competitors do in the marketplace with what you do.
He adds, “Cut your USP down to the barest minimum and state the unique differences between you and the competition and form a sentence from it. Your unique selling point should be the basis for which your clients will patronise you rather than the competition.”
To forge ahead, Dean says the next thing is to turn it into a long term goal by proposing the number of people required for the first year.
Take stock of where you are today and set a goal and where you want to be in three years from now. Then, break that down to yearly, monthly and weekly goals, Dean suggests.
Train your work team
In order to build a strong team at work, Makinde says that the first step is to identify dedicated employees at all levels, who are willing to step forward and lead.
Dean suggests that business owners may have business areas where they lack the necessary expertise, therefore they can delegate such tasks to their team members known to have great skills in such areas.
He says, “Once you identify your weaknesses, concentrate on hiring people who can fill in the blanks. They can take on all the responsibilities you are not good at or you hate doing especially if you can find team members who are gifted in the areas you are not.”
The expert says using this strategy, the team members will not only be great at what they do, but they will also be passionate about the business and their job.
It is much easier to hire self-motivated employees than those you have to cheer up and force to carry out their duties, he adds.
For improved performance, especially if you don’t have management skills, hire a manager as soon as possible.
Reward your employees
Makinde says that when employees are asked to act like owners, they act with an amazing sense of responsibility and often get good business deals when adequately rewarded and supported with resources.
He adds that it is important that leaders should not be penalised for failure unless they consistently fail to learn from mistakes.
According to him, kind gestures towards employees may start with a simple ‘thank you’ just to show gratitude and can be supported with bonuses based on production or the profits of the business.
He says, “Almost any business can institute an end of the year profit bonus for every employee who has been there a year or more.”