It’s a great feeling when your business is so busy that it’s growing on its own – but upgrading from a small to a medium-sized business can be a challenge. There are lots of new things to think about, like business strategies, finance, staffing, new technologies and business software, online marketing, office space and equipment, and, of course, reassessing your priorities as the Director.
New Business Strategies
Now that your company is growing, it might be a good time start rethinking (or enhancing) your company direction and targeting new audiences. For instance, if you were originally servicing small clients, could you now aim for larger, corporate clients? Or if you were focused on targeting customers in your city or state, could you expand to be national or even international? Widening your target audience and direction could mean more business – and more money to support your growth.
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make when expanding is to overlook the preparation of their finances, particularly when a business has grown quickly, of its own accord. Without careful planning, you can put your business at risk of bankruptcy or liquidation. To avoid this, focus on your forecasting: build cash flow models, reconsider your pricing structure, budget carefully for all areas of your business and develop strong relationships with your banks and financial advisors.
Staffing is inevitably tied up with growing your business – you need more employees to handle the work, but you don’t want to blow out your finances either. Hiring one or two new staff can make a big difference to your company. Ensure you hire them early on and provide yourself with time to train them.
New Technologies & Software
Being left behind in terms of technology is one of the largest reasons why companies fail. As part of your growth strategy, search for new technologies that can help manage and increase the efficiency of your operations. Is there a tool that can help you keep track of your sales? Better manage your books? Create a database from the bits of paper on your desk?
In these times, online marketing is probably one of the biggest areas of investment for your business. If your business has grown, this could be the ideal time to upgrade your website or initiate an SEO campaign to help drive your expansion. Does your website adequately reflect your growth and direction? Do you have your social media marketing in place? How can you use your marketing platforms to communicate your growth?
Office Space & Equipment
If you’ve got an on-site office, now is the time to consider whether your office space is adequate. Is it big enough? Could you consider moving somewhere less expensive (or more expensive, if it’s going to help further growth)?
Do you have the right equipment (including phones, Internet, photocopiers and printers) to help support your growth, as well as enough storage space? If your staff are remote or out on the road, would they benefit from smartphones?
Handling your business growth involves restructuring your business and looking at how you and your new staff fit into new roles. While you may have been doing all or most of the work before, it might be time for you to step back and take a managerial role. This means you can focus on your company’s direction and growth, without becoming bogged down by everyday work. You will be the guiding force of your company strategy on marketing, business development, employee management and reinforcing your office culture.
Guest Post Author Bio: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including Business software and Liquidation.