When it’s time to grow and expand your business, you want to do it in a way that stretches you out of your comfort zone but is also sustainable and achievable.
Start with these five ways to be savvy and smart about your approach to business expansion.
Plan your business growth as a project
Take a day out of working in your business to work on your business. ‘The E-Myth’ by Michael Gerber is a classic business book to read about the importance of forming the habit of working on your business.
Use the day to scope the project of expanding your business. As motivational expert Simon Sinek emphasises – first get clear about your ‘why’. Why are you expanding and for what purpose? In other words, what value will growth add to your business, to your customers, and to yourself? When you have answers, think about the end milestone measurements of your project – how will you know when you have reached your expansion goal?
Once you know where you want to go and why, begin to plan all the obvious macro milestone steps that will keep you on track along the way. Fill in the micro steps between the milestones next. When you’ve exhausted all the ‘to-do’s’, allocate resources to each step. Resources are commonly time, money, location and people.
By the end of your planning day you will be clear about your motivation, your end goal, as well as the time, money and connections it will take for you to achieve your expansion.
Talk to your customers
As part of your planning, you want to find out what value your customers are getting from your business now.
Call them up and ask them these three questions:
- Does our product/service serve your current needs?
- If yes – how does it do that? If no – how can we fix that for you?
- If there was something more you wish our product/service could do that it isn’t doing now, what would it be?
The answers will give you insights into what your market needs and wants. From these customer insights you can tailor your expansion to serve your market needs.
Build a successful team
Expanding your business will most likely require a team effort. You will need to get savvy at recruitment, onboarding, payroll requirements, meetings, time management and all the other systems required to run the day-to-day staffing needs of your business. It is essential that your interpersonal management skills are developed.
Automate every system you can
Always be thinking about how you can automate your business to create efficiencies. Consider scalable accounting, payroll, and database tools as well as records and job management software. Choose online tools and software that allow for business growth. Look for programs that simplify rather than complicate your business, and make sure in the early days that you aren’t paying for features that you don’t need. Align with a smart IT company that specialises in small business, who can guide you with good economical choices as you continue to expand.
Improve your skills
Invest in your education now by doing an online course or diploma. Upskilling and minimising your learning curve mistakes will save you time and money in the future. As your business grows, you will need to do more leadership, and less hands-on day to day operations. However, your leadership decision making will always benefit from those early days of understanding all aspects of your business.
An online Diploma of Business (BSB50215) will give you the business basics you need to expand your business with confidence. You will learn project management, human resources, administration and management essentials at a pace that suits your timeframe and work commitments. The network you create with other business owners will give you extra support and understanding during and beyond the course.
Your business expansion journey will always have constant challenges. Above all, as a savvy business owner, you need to grow as well. Continue to surround yourself with people who ask more of you, and you will always find the journey rewarding.