Business growth is a continuous process during the whole business cycle. It is the most crucial step in a small business and should be considered only when it will benefit the business in some way. This step requires proper planning.
If you are planning to grow your business, here are some things you need to remember!
Things To Remember Before You Grow Your Small Business:
Here are some factors you need to check before you grow your business.
Selecting the location for business expansion is important. The first step is to study the competitors and decide your location around potential customers. The second thing to consider is the availability of employees, electricity, water, good roadways, etc.
2. Check what you currently have (Employee, equipment, finances)
It is also important to check the capabilities of current employees. To know if they would perform efficiently during this stage. This will also give an idea of whether new employees have to be hired.
Analyzing the machinery and equipment is also important. Knowing about their working condition is important, whether they need repairing or are working fine or new equipment has to be purchased.
Take a look at your financial position and your current offerings too so that you can decide whether you need to establish a new store at different locations or introduce new products/services.
You also have to decide whether you will be able to take the financial risk, and will your partners or potential investors find your business attractive?
3. Make sure there is enough demand for the products/services you offer
If you decide on expanding/growing your business, it is also important to consider the local community to know if there is unmet demand and then start working towards fulfilling this demand which your customers did not.
4. Do your market research
Conducting research of the market to know about your competitors, and if there is something missing in the market that your business or products can fulfill is also necessary. Also to know if your products can be offered at a certain price which can prove to be an advantage over the competitors.
Also critical is to decide whether there is a need to find new target customers for a new location or for new products.
After research, the next step is to carry out a marketing campaign to catch the attention of the new customers.
5. Choose the right funding sources
Having proper finance is very important for small business growth or expansion. It can be done in two ways either with a business loan or with equity finance. The small businessman can go for a loan with security or for a loan without security.
In equity funding, the business owner will have to sell some shares of the business.
Loan without security is the best option for a small business owner since the owner does not have to worry about giving any security and won’t have to wait for a longer period of time for loan disbursal.
6. Make sure you have a healthy cash flow
Considering the existing working capital and cash flow is also very important to know if you are capable of expansion/growth without help/investment from a third party. This will also speed up the expansion process.
7. Calculate the return on investment
When you are planning expansion, it is also necessary to calculate the return on investment (ROI), especially if you are planning to go for third party funding as the financial statements should show healthy profit margins and the overall profit expansion might add to the business.
8. Analyse the position of your business
The last and important step is to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the business. This will give the business owner an idea about where the business is right now, what should be or can be improved, and how can the business solve or overcome issues, if any.
After you take the decision to grow your business, there may be some issues that you might face during the business growth process, here are some reasons why you as a small business owner face these troubles:
1. Finding the right people
Finding and having the right people in the business is very crucial. But if you are not able to find the relevant people, you can grow your business with the existing/limited staff as well.
- Learn to manage your staff without putting any pressure on them. Support, guide, and coach them whenever required.
- Another way to utilize your staff is by training them about various aspects of your business processes so that you can get more out of each employee due to being more versatile.
- Train your staff to communicate more effectively. Teach them to listen before they speak and be empathetic towards their colleagues. This will help avoid misunderstandings. Make use of the communication tools available.
- Make use of the latest software and hardware to streamline tasks, to reduce costs, and also to upgrade performance.
- Take help from some third-party vendors for specific tasks, this will help reduce costs related to hiring, training new employees.
- Do an inventory check, stay focused on the goals, and train your staff to understand and distinguish between urgent and important tasks.
- Include your employees in everyday discussions and inculcate team spirit in them.
- Create a plan of action so that the processes and tasks are on track.
- Refrain from behaving inappropriately or disrespectfully with your employees and focus on giving a more enjoyable atmosphere.
- Hire freelancers if required as it eliminates the training cist, office space requirements, and you get your work done by an expert.
- Lastly, try making the processes automated to ensure the best processes and products without human interference.
2. Keeping up with the latest technology
Keeping up with the latest technology is important for every business.AI (Artificial Intelligence) can help you a great deal.
- AI in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications can help small businesses understand customer inquiries, the automated route leads, personalized marketing campaigns, and also provide sharper strategic inputs.
- Customer service can also be improved with the help of AI softwares like helping with or automating customer query answers, classify messages, quickly route calls to the right team/person, etc. By doing this, small businesses can increase customer satisfaction.
- Nowadays, AI can also help with handling marketing operations, analyze advertising performance, and can also give the best budget suggestions. It can also help in controlling the cost of hiring additional marketing or advertising staff.
- AI-powered competitive analysis tools can help you track your competitors’ activities and also helps in identifying competitors’ products, weaknesses, and strengths which can be used in the business strategy.
- Nowadays, AI can offer you tools to assist you in improving every process of your business.
If you need a loan to invest in some new technology equipment or machinery, get in touch with Gromor Finance.
3. Marketing your products/services
Adopting proper marketing strategies can also be an issue during business growth, which can easily be overcome by using solutions like social media and WhatsApp.
Here’s how you can use WhatsApp to grow your business:
- Ask your customers to share their phone number so you can send them messages about discounts, offers, etc. from time to time.
- Another way is to create a broadcast list of all your customers or send messages one by one.
- Sending daily rates, offers of the week, etc. depending on the nature of your products can be another strategy.
- Ask customers to share feedback as this will help you in knowing where you can improve.
- Use the ‘WhatsApp Status’ feature to share discount codes, flash sales, coupons, new stock of products, etc. The status feature can also be used to share demos of new products with your customers.
If you are planning to grow your business, here is a list of mistakes you as a small business owner should avoid making the process smoother:
- Not registering your business
- Not signing legal agreements with vendors, partners, etc.
- Not delegating tasks effectively among the staff
- Not taking the right financial decisions like when to take a loan at the right time
- Not planning your goals and not deciding on an approach to achieve them
Some more tips to grow your business:
1. Ask customers
Ask customers or take their feedback to know what would they want more from your business. This way you can get an idea about the customer’s demand and how you can work towards it.
2. Take risks
Business requires taking a little bit of risk, it just depends on how well you strategise so that the risk pays off.
3. Engage customers in different ways
Apart from using social media, you can also use some educational videos explaining your products and how they can be beneficial for them. Offer free services or expert tips/advice to the customers.
4. Become a partner with other businesses
Join hands with other businesses and involve each other’s services during promotions. This will bring more business to both the businesses and will be profitable for both small ventures.
If you are planning to grow your business and are looking for unsecured business loans, get in touch with us at Gromor Finance! We offer loans up to Rs. 10 lakhs, through a simple, online application process!