The Do’s and Don’ts of Small Business Growth

Growing your business is exciting and it can be a lot of fun!  It usually means that people are buying from you and that you are gaining more profit.  Everyone who has done it can agree that although it is very rewarding, it can be both scary and challenging at time.

Here are 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Small Business Growth:

Do Research

Start with doing research on other businesses that were at the same stage you are before entering growth mode.  How did their business compare to yours at that time? What did they do to take it to the next level?

Also, research your own business to understand what you may be capable of accomplishing with the resources you have available.  Take a look at all the analytics, stats, and accounting records that you have. How did your business do in the past? What sort of projections can you make on this data?  

Hiring outside professionals to help with research is common.  Experts like business advisors, accounts, and lawyers can help you make big decisions for moving your business forward.  Although they aren’t cheap, it is an investment as one small decision can be the difference between success and failure.

Do Set Goals

You must have goals!  Goals will help you stay on track for success, while allowing you to know if you are on track or not along the way.  Goals will also help the team around you understand where the business is at today, and where you plan on taking it with future growth.  Make sure all goals are realistic and measurable, so you can easily know if you are on track at all times.

Don’t Do Everything

Many business owners face the challenge of needing to be in control and do everything.  To grow your business, you have to grow a team and be able to delegate. It is just not possible for one person to do it all!  You will quickly become burnt out and lose the creativity that got you where you are today.

Hire people that you can rely on to get the job done.  These people can be employes or outside independent contractors.  You can even tap into other business owners to see if they can help directly or point you in the right direction of others that can help.

Do Get Written Agreements in Place

Never rely on informal agreements from business partners, lenders, employees, etc.  It is important to have all agreements formalized and in writing so all parties follow through without any concerns or worry.  

Do Get Customer Feedback

Your current customers will offer you the best and most useful feedback for growth.  Ask them to submit anonymous surveys or to write reviews.

Ask the following questions:

What does your business do well?

What could you do better?

What products / services are they happiest with?

What products / services could they go without?

Would they recommend your business to friends or family?

Do Look For New Customers

In addition to keeping your current customers happy, adding to your current customer base will be key for growth.  Bringing in new customers to buy your products / services will increase business revenue and profit.

Determine who your ideal customer is – where do they live, work, and hangout?  Where can you find them on the internet? How can you find more people like your ideal customer?

Don’t Rush to Hire

The hiring process can be one of the biggest challenges for a business owner and is one that many business owners try to rush.  You need help, you decide you will hire, and you want to get the process done and find someone as quickly as possible to keep things moving forward.  This often results in business owners hiring the wrong people.

Take the time to make a job description and list out all of the required skills and qualifications.  This will help you narrow down what you are looking for when hiring for this role.

Do not hire the first person you interview! A bad hire can set you back a lot of time and money.  Wait for the right candidate and do not waste your time on someone who may not be the right fit for the job.