When you went out on your own you may have had some reservations about how you were going to handle life and business as a solopreneur. You may even have had people in your corner urging you to opt for the more reliable 9 to 5, but you went for it anyway.
Well done you. It was the right choice and your small enterprise is steady and growing. It may not quite yet be the goldmine you hope it will become but you’re well on the road to success and hungry for more.
But what are the next steps when it comes to growing a small business into a medium business? How does growth come about when it’s just you and your own skill set? In this article we take a look at how to grow and grow successfully. Whether you sell your design skills or CDN Isotopes there are methods out there that are going to help you take your business from steady to soaring. Take a look at our top tips in this article.
Prepare to Succeed
Sounds obvious right? But for so many entrepreneurs growth and success can come out of the blue. It shouldn’t when you know you have a product that has found its niche in the market place or you offer a service that is head and shoulders above your competitors and yet it still happens.
How then to make sure that success doesn’t catch you by surprise? By the very boring act of being prepared. That business plan you have in your head or written up on a scrap of paper, it needs to be thought through, updated and referred to regularly. Within that plan there needs to be action points in place that point to what to do in the event your business takes off.
Ask yourself the following questions: am I adequately staffed for growth? Do I have enough physical space to allow my business room to grow (storage for example) and will my website and other tech handle an increase in traffic?
Get these three questions answered and you’ll be well on your way. Even if you know next to nothing about your website’s capabilities have an expert cast an eye over the details and tell you if a wildly increased volume of traffic would lead to it freezing up. These things are entirely fixable but don’t get to that point, prepare in advance.
Be The Boss
No longer just of yourself but a team that is going to support you in producing your product or service and achieving your business goals. The recruitment process can feel pressurised. You’ve only ever had to take care of yourself before and now you’re looking at training and being responsible for the livelihoods of others. Try not to stress about it, but consider taking on staff an excellent opportunity for you to grow as a person and develop new managerial skills.
Alongside that, it’s going to be the key indicator that your business is ready to grow. That increase in outgoings through salary will be offset by a hopeful surge in profits as you are able to offer more and more of your goods or services to a waiting customer base.
Just make sure you choose great fits and if you’re unsure about the hiring process then have a recruitment agency help you through the selection process.
Your marketing plan may have simply been a mix of word of mouth and a social media presence up until now. Perhaps your postings were sporadic and not particularly well-planned. That worked well enough when it was just you but now it’s time to up your game.
Many entrepreneurs worry that they don’t have the skillset to produce marketing plans or social media strategies but like many things in business, this can be learned. If you have the time, take that online course and see if you can produce a coherent strategy that’s going to blow the competition out of the water. If you don’t have time then make one of your hires a marketing guru or hire in a consultant or agency to make it happen.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore it. Marketing might not always be the silver bullet for sales but it goes an awfully long way. It’s not magical or mystical but rather involves well thought out, planned activities that hit the right market at the right time.
You might also consider some more direct marketing tactics that speak to your existing customer base directly. If you haven’t done this before it might sound intimidating but having your existing customers come back for more is far easier than persuading new ones to buy your products.
Finally, when it comes to strategising make sure to update your business plan. Don’t be surprised when your tactics work and allow yourself to create bigger goals for yourself. Yes, these do need to be realistic but they don’t need to be as limited as perhaps you might imagine. Be ambitious in your thinking and back that ambition up with concrete action.
When you’re the boss, it seems that you’re constantly just making one decision after another with it comes to the future of your business. But when you do have that burning ambition to see more growth, greater profit and make the leap from small to medium and even larger, then every decision you make is crucial.
Prepare to succeed with a team that backs you 100% and helps drive your business forward with you leading from the front. Get your website up and running to capacity and don’t be afraid to make the changes you need to make your customer experience the best it can be.
Get smart with great, new plans that are organised, logical, creative and hard hitting. Make that marketing work for you and see how just a few simple, well placed activities can make all the difference. Your business isn’t looking back and neither should you.