Accelerating the growth of your small business
Small Businesses during their lifecycle reach a point where things work themselves out, the business starts bringing in significant revenues and when they need to take the plunge — grow. This decision is difficult and the resulting consequences are uncertain, although if it is executed properly, can yield rich rewards. But before taking this major decision, it is important for the business owners to have an inspirational vision for the company and set a benchmark in the market, which accelerates path towards growth.
Before setting out on the path of growth for your small business, there are some questions that a small business owner should ask himself:
  1. Can your business be scaled?
  2. If you scaled your business, what would the results look like? Which tasks could you outsource to others, and which ones could be done at the company itself? How much would be your monthly budget?
  3. Which particular aspects of your business can be scaled?
  4. Do I have a proven, viable business model? With an unproven business model, scaling it would not be a workable solution.
  5. What’s my process for delivering products to customers? Could I possibly automate this process?
  6. Which parts of my business can I replicate in a short amount of time? Would this option be cost effective? Utilizing automation is essential before scaling the business.
  7. Do your business have a secret sauce?
Even when you decide to grow your business, it’s not all smooth sailing. There are some challenges that all entrepreneurs face in their business growth. They are to:
  1. Create, maintain, realize and extract personal wealth and use it for investments in your business.
  2. Sustain growth over time and match or exceed the performances of direct competitors.
  3. Direct the business on the desired path and reduce the exposure and the risks to it
  4. Recruit and motivate the right employees. Build partnerships with suppliers and other affiliates.
  5. Establish and maintain the most effective and productive arrangements for business funding.
  6. Provide the best possible facilities and operations for supporting the business while keeping costs as low as possible.
If you have good idea about these challenges that you will face during your journey, you will be better prepared to face them head-on, and be able to proceed further without letting it affect your operations.
When it comes to business growth, there are some key things that you need to remember. They are as follows:
  1. Strategies are mandatory rather than optional. You first need to be clear on what kind of business you want to set up, the direction you want it to take and how you plan on generating profits.
  1. Being great at what you do is much more important than operating in a lucrative market because that particular market might not always be that strong. Companies often move from their smaller home country to large markets like the US, but only a few make it through successfully because of a lack of distinguishing factor.
  1. Workable business strategies are made up of four components:
           – Primary goal
           – Target market
           – Competitive Advantages
           – List of priorities
            Each of these elements needs to be outlined specifically.
  1. There are five possible ways through which you can get an upper hand in the market:
           – Product leadership
           – Price leadership
           – Convenience leadership
           – Service leadership
           – Solutions leadership
  1. In order to determine the most effective kind of leadership for your business you have figure out where two essential factors intersect: your customers’ needs and wants, and your top abilities and skills.
  1. Your actions count for much more than your words ever do. The most successful business owners are able to learn quickly, apply what they’ve learned to their business plans and make the needed adjustments to their existing strategies. A common mistake is to wait until your product is supposedly perfect before launching it, when in fact this tactic can be detrimental.
  1. Having too many priorities can be unproductive, so consider which plans and strategies are the most important. Focus only on those before moving on to others.
  1. Stay focused on the vision, but remain flexible throughout the entire process for launching your business. You’ll need to keep making changes and adjustments as various market conditions change. Keep your target objectives in mind while making needed changes to your tactics and initiatives.
  1. Success does not come easily or overnight. Every successful company has experienced failures over and over. The key is to treat those failures as learning opportunities. Markets shift and customer preferences change; what’s essential is to understand how to adjust your strategies according to those external shifts.
  1. Spend time observing the current market trends to device future strategies. Plan ahead to convert this into an opportunity rather than a threat.
Since the prime objective is business growth, it is important to know the areas that drive growth the most. These 7 areas include:
  1. Proper diagnosis of business health
  2. Key planning principles and growth objectives
  3. Operational processes
  4. Structured goal-setting
  5. Delegating responsibilities
  6. Maintaining executive accountability
  7. Company-wide growth strategy implementation
Focusing on the aforementioned areas will get you by, but they won’t be enough to sustain that the growth. For sustained growth, you will have to achieve a greater output and ultimately maximize the return on investment. The following are some ways you can do that:
1. Free up your Calendar of Commitments that Distracts You
We live in a fast-paced business environment where access to information takes just a click of the mouse. It is not surprising that the information kept by the Library of Congress gets duplicated every 15 minutes. This means that a lot of information can come your way, and it can be a huge source of distraction for you.
2. Avoid Delays of All Kind
Today’s market is very competitive and people want things “now”. Clients are known to want things done for them fast and if you are slow, they will be getting the service from your competitor. You will have to work hard to eliminate every source of delay, including delays from the suppliers.
3. Change Strategies That Aren’t Working
Someone has defined insanity as repeating the same process and expecting to get different results. Although this is a very familiar saying, many entrepreneurs can’t stop themselves from using strategies that do not yield the desired results. You should learn to be innovative and know when it is time to change your method. Get rid of what is not working and find new ways of getting the results you want.
4. Consider Yourself and Your Needs First
You must have heard it said many times that you have to put your clients’ needs first. While it is important to tend to the needs of the customers first, you should also give top priority to your health and well-being. The deliverables will definitely suffer and so will your business if you do not take care of yourself first.
5. Do Things That You Like The Most
What is it that makes you feel good spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually? The ability to choose your business depending on your specific skills, tastes, and talents is one of today’s most important business aspects. You tend become more productive when you do what makes you happy.
6. Set Specific Goals
Every businessman or businesswoman can say, “I want more money” or “I want to expand my business.” These are nice statements to make, but they can’t be considered as goals because they are very generic in nature. You should be able to set goals that are specific and measurable. With clear and specific goals, you can create a business roadmap and know precisely where you want to be.
7. Work with a Concise Plan
Without a clear and concise plan to get you to your goals, you will be like an object floating on the moving waters, without any sense of direction. A concise plan will create the path you need in order to walk successfully towards achieving your goals.
8. Widen Your Circle of Influence
In order for you to grow your business, you will have to get word out about it. You can’t reach everyone at the same time, but you can increase your circle of influence to about 1000 people. The more people know and respect what you do, the more they will talk to others about it.
A business growth strategy should be based on a veritable business model. The simplest form of the business growth model is the four-stage model. The four stage model is described as below:
1. Revenue Growth
Revenue Growth is essential to go over first because with no revenue there can be no business and hence no growth. Revenue or incoming monies can help your company succeed by allowing you to pay bills, fund any of your future business plans and pretty much anything else. It can also help pay any of your personal bills. The most important thing that revenue conveys is if your company has any future. If you have no revenue growth you have no future. Profits are important but revenue is the first things a business needs.
2. Creating a Board of Directors
    1. Establishing a board of directors at an early stage of your business is very important. Building this board early on in your business helps to show that your business is credible and trustworthy. This helps in setting a strong foundation which helps in the later stages of your venture.
There are a few reasons why you want to establish a board of directors and that is not just for raising capital. A board which is objective is great for use as a sounding platform as well as for getting advice.
3. Revenue-earning Model
Starting off by having a general idea or a rough outline is best. Once a general plan for making or building revenue is realized then a more detailed plan can be crafted building on the initial foundation. This helps to find out where the money will actually be coming from as what seems clear and obvious when you first start out can change.

The basics for any substantial money generating model is the lowest level of transactions, where and what is bought at the individual level. Then you move up from there and just keep adding on, like employee growth and also expenses.
A good business plan should illuminate a few things. Why the product or service you have is wonderful and why should anyone want it and want to buy it from you. And why any investor should take a chance on your business and give you their money.
4. Raising Capital
Capital raises are the lifeblood with which your company lives and thrives. Whether the capital raise is coming from individual lenders, alternate forms of capital or from the bank try to get as much as you can. Try to use each and every avenue open to you, such as any equity, loans from banks, bank notes, etc. You want to make sure you have enough money to fund your business as well as have funds for the much needed and important marketing role. Try to get all of this done in the quickest manner you can and most importantly make sure you are fully prepared.
Accelerating your busines growth is no child’s play. But, by being practical, forward-looking and by striving hard, you can make it happen. These are the 9 tips for accelerating business growth:
1. Embracing Modern Technology and Align it with Growth Strategies
Most successful businesses carry a standard yet extensive technological setup. This subsequently translated into ongoing maintenance support along with abundant unnecessary capital investment that inflates the expenses resulting the technology infrastructure.
Instead of following the aforementioned approach, you can invest in modern technology, implement it into your business to make the processes faster and more efficient. You can improve your intake and output financially while writing off all extraneous costs.
In addition to that, the role that modern technology also plays a key role in achieving business growth. Whether we’re talking about increases in profitability or achieving outrageous revenue goals, it is technology that is the centre of all we do. These types of technology should be used for devising innovative solutions that will help to build better customer relations.
2. Deliver Freedom to Employees
Employees feel empowered are loyal, happy, productive, and motivated to help with business growth. They want to feel like what they do matters, beyond just the paycheck.
Wise employers are aware of this fact and strive to create the type of working environment that accommodates a healthy balance of work and life for their employees. They should put in place things like ‘work from home telecommuting’ options, flexible schedules, and other perks to make their employees glad they work there.
In many of today’s circles, these things are not just considered ‘perks’, but are expected. Businesses need to be able to manage their employees at home as well as if they were coming into the office everyday.
3. Prepare For Disaster Recovery
Among the largest business risks today are the unexplained and unexpected disasters that can stop the wheels of progress from turning. It could be a flood, terrorist attack, fire, or any number of things that can quickly bring things to a halt. When they do happen they have a crippling effect on the businesses they hit and the livelihoods of all involved.
Shrewd business owners should never be without a plan “B”. There should always be a strategy in place to ensure that the business can continue in the face of catastrophe. Always having this plan ready will help to lower the risk of any business going into administration while allowing for continued business growth.
4. Create End-to-End Sales Automation
Completing an automation of the entire sales process is vital. If you want your sales process to be streamlined, effective, and efficient, then automation is the way to go. The very second that an inquiry comes in, the system process should take over as it gets allocated, monitored, and processed until it turns into a sale. That is when you know your process for sales and marketing has been truly optimized.
When your sales process is fully automated, nothing can fall through the cracks. You will be saving money on loads of unnecessary data entry work, make your sales and marketing process more accountable, and speed up your lead follow-up time. This automation helps to empower management, lower lost revenue risks, and increase overall efficiency.
5. Make Sure It Will Be Easy to Scale Up or Down
Having the ability to scale your business up or down easily and quickly in response to unexpected demand fluctuations is crucial if you intend to take advantage opportunities and ensure customer satisfaction.
It is true today and will be tomorrow – people hate to wait. Your customers never want to be ‘on hold’, and your prospects should never have to wait in order to give you their money. There are simply no excuses for this today. Businesses need to ensure they have the ability to scale up or down and respond to the demands of their business. That means getting their employees up and running very quickly. They should be able to scale down during the slack times as well so they won’t incur the costs for unnecessary software licenses or equipment that is not being used.
6. Never Confuse Control & Security
All date and information held within your business is crucial. Whether it is customer accounts, employee files, or business plans, it all needs to be secure. Most businesses have reservations about placing this kind of information anywhere other than their very own servers. Security is always a top consideration. But what do they do if there is a flood or a fire, or if a server goes down or equipment gets stolen?
Actually, these security problems are not really security problems at all. These are ‘control’ concerns. Never compromise when it comes to information security. Always be looking for safer, more secure, and more cost-effective ways of storing such vital information, like in the Cloud. This way your date and information is always safe from flood, fire, equipment failure, thieves, and more.
7. Be Proactive in Your Customer Care
People want to solve their problems and they want quick solutions to do it. Being prepared to solve any type of problems that might possible arise in regard to your type of business will help a great deal with your customer relations.
8. Moving from Outbound to Inbound
Among the largest costs incurred by businesses today is that of lead generation. In order to keep your sales team moving in the right direction you should develop and implement an up-to-date inbound marketing strategy.
9. Be Prepared to Adapt
Face it, things are changing faster today than ever before. Only the ones who are good at keeping up will stay on top. Cloud computing changes as well, and new online and inbound marketing strategies as well as SEO are essential to remaining competitive.
All said and done, you need a well-defined, time-tested growth strategy that you can base your strategy on. For growing your business there are 2 strategies that are reliable and which you should consider:
1. Market Segmentation
2. Partnerships
1. Market segmentation basically involves picking a small part of the marketplace to target for sales. Essentially, the specific segment that is most likely to buy your product or service, and who you should be selling to.
Many businesses excel at market segmentation. They do everything possible to be number one in a particular “space.” Some businesses, however, prefer not to leave out any market segment, targeting the entire market. This ultimately results in the businesses not being able to sell their product or service to any market. Research and history indicates that zeroing in on a specific kind of customer leads to tremendous growth. So, small businesses start off with a niche market segment and gradually spread their wings to other segments, capping off a stable and sustainable growth chart.
2.  Small businesses usually complain that they cannot compete with the lucrative relationships that big businesses have established. While it is true that a smaller business cannot “pay to play,” you can be smart about leveraging partnerships, focusing on things that are key to your own enterprise. By leveraging partnerships, your business can focus on executing the core tasks that it is good without having to expend money on doing unrelated activities or buying new capital. The only different for small businesses when it comes to partnerships is that they have for partnerships that essentially pay out sale by sale while a large enterprise can buy partnerships all at once.

There are also other growth strategies that you can consider. They are:
  • Improved marketing
  • Acquisition
  • Merger
  • Strategic alliances
  • Franchising
  • Specialization
  • Diversification
  • Improved quality
  • Improved service
  • Improve your local search rankings
  • New products
  • New markets
  • Licensing
  • Increased control over channels of distribution
  • Geographic expansion
  • Roll up