Like a kid who wants to grow up to be a firefighter or professional athlete, every small business wants to grow into a big business someday. Small business growth strategies can differ, depending on what type of business you run and your business goals. Here are some to consider to help a small business grow into the big business it wants to be:
Grow Your Niche
Instead of selling to everybody, pick a segment of the market and own it. Find a need that a specific group of people have and fill it.
Coca-Cola may have won the cola wars, but Pepsi has focused on a young demographic that wants to see younger music stars and other young status symbols. Pepsi let Coke have the over-30 crowd, and segmented its market to a younger crowd.
Eliminating a potential market can be scary. But focusing on who your core customer is can give your small business a clearer path to growth and higher profits.
Small businesses may have more difficulty getting vendor relationships started and unable to get discounts from big partners the way big businesses can. Small businesses don’t have the buying power, for example, that big ones do.
Whatever great product a small business offers, it may still need partners to make or distribute it. Instead of having to have money upfront to build a manufacturing plant or hire a shipping company, small businesses can build partnerships with companies that offer these services by paying their partners a portion of the profit every time a sale is made. The small business owner can focus on selling the item instead of making or shipping them.
Big businesses may be able to more easily afford big facilities, complex supply chains and keeping large equipment running, along with hiring accountants and managers to keep things running smoothly.
Small business owners wear many hats, and can get caught up doing smaller tasks and forget to do critical tasks that make money. To beat that, it can help to have a system so that you’re not scrambling every day. For example, systematize tasks by putting the ones you don’t enjoy much on autopilot so they can be done over and over again without you having to spend energy on them.
If you’re not good at paying bills or are always late paying taxes, outsource that work by hiring an accountant. If there’s too much administrative work for you to do, hire someone else to do it. At the very least, make lists of the tasks you need to get done every day, week and month, and put them on your calendar.
When a small business has had a period of financial success and has seen some small growth, it may be time to expand. If your business model is working, it may be worth doing some basic market research to determine if there’s enough demand to justify expansion.
Comes from launching new products or services, selling more to existing customers, attracting new customers through advertising, or creating new sales channels such as selling products online. If your small business needs money to expand in any of these areas, you can find money in a variety of ways. A company could buy your equipment, for example, and lease it back to you to help you save money. You can also get a small business loan to buy new equipment, expand, remodel, add to your payroll, add another location, or purchase more inventory. Or consider a line of credit or a Small Business Administration loan through Rockland Trust.
Whatever strategies you choose to grow your small business, know that the growth may not happen as fast as you’d like or allow you to retire next year. But like the young child dreaming of becoming a ballerina or race car driver, know that your quest to grow will happen over time.