If you want to grow your business, you might be thinking about when the right time to do it is. If you are not sure about what you need to have ready before taking this leap forward, this guide will help you out. It’s all about timing because if you get that wrong, your entire business could be at risk. That’s not what you want to happen. So, here are some indicators as to when the time might be right for your company to invest to grow.
Things are on the up and up
If your business is failing and struggling, it’s clearly not the right time to be thinking about an expansion. You want your business to be on the up and heading in the right direction as you start thinking about expanding it. Even if things are going alright, not bad but not good either, it’s not the right time to start spending money on growing your business. You need to become solidly profitable before you start thinking about a next level.
Your team is ready and prepared
Expanding a business is not something that just happens. It only works if you have a team of people capable of making it happen. It’s easy to think only the people at the top matter, we’ve all been there. But it’s a real team effort when you’re trying to grow a business and take it to the next level. If your team isn’t prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, this whole project could fall flat and end in failure. So, prepare the team and be honest with them about what’s happening and what kinds of changes you want to see.
You have access to cash
Expanding a business is not something that should be done on the cheap. You need to spend money in order to grow and make your business better and bigger than it is right now. But where is that money going to come from? This is a question that you’re going to need to find an answer to sooner rather than later. Places like smallbusiness.creditcard can help if you need cash. There are also other options, such as selling equity and finding investors. Some business simply decide to reinvest profits.
You’ve assessed all the risks
It’s essential to look at the potential risks your business is likely to face as you grow it and spend money to improve it. If you don’t assess all of the risks before pushing forward, you will simply put your business in a more risky position.
Assessing the risks involves knowing what can go wrong, and once you know these things, you should move onto the mitigation stage. This is when you put measures and assurances in place to make sure you don’t do anything that will be likely to harm the business.
Spending to grow is never an easy thing to get right when you run a business. But that doesn’t mean you should run away and hide. Just make sure you get your timing right.
If you run a business and you’re keen to make your company successful, you’ll soon learn that being efficient is vital. To stay afloat, you need to generate profits, and the more efficiently you can work, the higher the chance of staying in the black and increasing sales. If you’re eager to make efficiency gains, here are some suggestions.
Investing in technology
Technology has a range of benefits for modern businesses, but one of the main advantages is that it enables us to carry out jobs faster and more accurately and affordably. The way we work has changed in the last decade, let alone the last century, and we’re more reliant on technology than ever before. If your business is behind the times in terms of technology, you may struggle to compete, and you might find that your profit margins are smaller.
If you’ve got slow-running systems or sites that keep crashing, get in touch with firms like ProviDyn, Inc. and identify ways you could create a smoother, more efficient operation. If you don’t already utilise the latest systems, you could save yourself a lot of time and money and make sure you’re able to compete with tech-savvy rivals.
Getting your team on board
Although we depend on technology, the vast majority of businesses are also reliant on a strong team pulling together to achieve goals. It’s well-documented that a happy team is a productive team, so it’s always a good idea to think about how you could make your employees more efficient. If you’ve got a group of people working at 50 percent, instead of 100 percent, this is going to make a difference.
Make sure your team has the equipment and tools it needs to do the job quickly and effectively, foster a positive working environment, and ask for ideas and opinions about how you could improve the working day. Be clear when you’re setting goals or outlining objectives, and give your employees incentives to work hard.
They may feel like there’s no point in trying really hard if their efforts are never rewarded. Encourage collaboration and cooperation, and make it easy for people to work together, regardless of whether they’re in the office, at a meeting elsewhere or at home.
Streamlining your processes
In business, the main aim is to make money by giving customers what they want. Make sure you have the necessary processes in place to make this happen and eliminate any additional stages or costs that are not required. Focus on getting the job done and identify cost-saving measures.
When you’re a business owner, the ultimate aim is to make money. If you can’t get the registers ringing, you’re going to struggle to keep the ship afloat. Driving sales is not the only means of making your venture profitable.
It’s also important to keep an eye on overheads and to take steps to make your business more efficient and productive. Saving money will increase your profits and give you a much better chance of keeping your head above water.
There’s no escaping the fact that it’s hard out there for a small startup business and new entrepreneur. You need to hit the market fighting so that you can make a positive impact and succeed where many have failed beforehand.
The following are five (5) things to consider when starting out on your business path and will help to navigate you through the obstacles that the market will throw your way.
1. Find Your Place in the Market
You need to carefully consider where you’re aiming to jump into the marketplace, and if your service or product has the appeal to stay afloat or be swallowed up by the heavily saturated surroundings. If you feel you’ve found a substantial and definite gap in the market; congratulations, you’ve found the holy grail in business and should be able to progress in leaps and bounds with the help of the upcoming steps.
Liane Weintraub and Shannon Swanson created their own brand of organic baby purees, Tasty Brand, after realising how little choice there out there for them and their little ones. Tasty Brand is now stocked in a number of national chains, including Wholefoods and Fairway, and continues to grow in success. Check out the company’s road to success here.
However, if what you’re producing has an array of counterparts to contend with, then you need to ensure that you have a point of difference or can offer an upgrade to what the consumer is used to. If you can provide a fresh take on an old classic, or your product and service is simply better than the rest; this will stand you in good stead at the start of your business journey.
Take a step back and look at your product from a customer’s position, who knows nothing about the story behind the item, or any of your journey to get it to market. By looking at what you can offer without any sentimentality, you’ll be able to understand if a person is likely to buy into it or not.
If investing a ton of money into market research isn’t an option for you; utilise the internet, organise focus groups locally or online, and ask an in-depth list of questions. Taking your market research into your own hands can often lead to a better understanding of which direction your small business is heading in, which will prove vital in the tentative first months of starting out.
2. Check Out the Competition
As talked about before; you need to scope out your company’s competitors and find out as much as possible about their routes to success. Don’t ignore the big guys just because you’re small; they got to that size with good reason, and you’ll be able to downsize many of their techniques and implement them within your business.
The great thing about looking into the larger brands is that their ambassadors and consumers are easily found through social media. By discovering a big corporation’s patrons; you can figure out what they expect from the brand’s services and products. Comparing these consumers to the ones you hope to attract (maybe they’re the same), will ensure that you’ll gain a clear plan of where to aim your products.
Another reason to research into what the big guys have been up to is to learn from their mistakes. There is no doubt that each business will have made costly mistakes, but, if a company is still alive and kicking; they’ve dealt will them accordingly, and more importantly, with success.
Therefore, looking into what happened within the business’s history, and how they got over each hurdle, will help you make informed decisions for your small brand.
As the little guys that are new to the market, you’re unlikely to have a vast herd of employees. Therefore, you need to ensure that those you pick to work for your brand are dedicated and right for their role. The qualifications that a potential employee has on paper don’t always translate into a strong fit for your company.
If you’re hiring a small team; make sure that you can all work successfully in close proximity, as well as when everyone goes to complete an individual task. Trust is important, and using HR recruitment specialists will help to ensure that you’ve got a strong team around you so that you can delegate work without worry.
Invest your time into getting to know your employees once you’ve hired them and find out what makes them tick. By understanding how your team works best, both alone and together, will speed up processes and you’ll reach your business targets with ease.
4. Be Adaptable and Quick
Business success will favour those who are nimble and can adapt to the ever-evolving technology and strategies on the market. Take time each week to read up on what’s happening in the business world and how the latest in tech is helping brands to bring in revenue.
You won’t necessarily have the means to jump on every invention bandwagon.
However, by staying up to date with how companies are targeting their customers and using the technology to enhance their shopping experiences; you’ll be able to see more of what’s expected on the market and strategise how to implement any changes to your business. Take a look at the benefits of adaptability here.
5. Enjoy Your Customers
Your customers are the ones who will determine the longevity and success of your business; so bear in mind how important they are at all times. The free communication tools you have access to through social media are excellent ways to gauge what your patrons are feeling towards using your business.
You should engage them as much as possible by asking regular questions through your Twitter account, or by sending out and email monthly or every couple of months.
Listen to their feedback and run with it; shoppers are savvy and will notice the changes you’ve implemented to iron out your company’s creases. Let your consumers know when you’ve made these changes and tell them it’s because you listened to them; effort is always appreciated.
If your customers become your brand’s biggest fans; they’ll become your loudest marketing tool, ensuring you’re on the path to giving those bigger businesses a run for their money!