If there’s one thing that no business should ever do, it’s staying still for too long. The modern world moves at a pace that previous generations could never have even dreamt of and it’s incredibly important that both you and your business are able to keep up with the competition. The moment that you decide that there’s nowhere for your business to go, you’re doomed. You need to be willing to push forward and expand whenever possible. Of course, that’s something that definitely easier said than done. Expanding your business might seem like a simple process but, as with just about anything in business, it’s actually far more complex than you might realise. Not only that but the more you know about it, the more complex and multifaceted the process of growing and expanding your business becomes. In order to help you keep pushing your business forward, here are some important things that you need to do during any kind of growth or expansion.
Keep long-term goals in mind
You might be shifting your focus to the growth of your business for the time being, but it’s important not to lose sight of the fundamental aspects of it. Think about the goals that you’ve had for your business since the beginning. What is the long-term aim of your business as a whole? Whether it’s a something that you can numerically measure like customer numbers or profit margins, or perhaps something more nebulous like being able to offer customers something that they may never have experienced before, keeping one eye on your long-term goals is the best possible way to stop you steering your business in the wrong direction. After all, when you’re dealing with the everyday minutiae of keeping a business running, it can often be all too easy to forget about the big picture.
Create a clear plan
If you’re trying to expand your business, you’ve got to be aware of exactly how you plan on going about it. If you’re only thinking in terms of “increasing profits” or “reaching into new markets” then you’re going to end up getting into trouble. Thinking in vague terms never helped anyone achieve anything. You need to have a clear, specific plan for how you intend to grow your business. This plan needs to be fully budgeted as well as including estimates of the kind of timeframe that you need. If you don’t have these things, then you’re just going to end up spending far more time and more than you actually have. Having a plan to refer back to is a great way to keep you honest and on track as much as possible.
Keep your ambition in check
When you look around at the businesses in your industry, it can often be all too easy to let your ambition get the better of you. After all, you obviously want to be able to compete with the most successful businesses in the world. However, there’s a pretty good chance that that’s simply not going to be realistic. If you get too ambitious with the growth of your business then it could end up getting bloated, leaving you will expectations that you can’t meet, employees and equipment that you can’t afford, and pressure that you’re not fully equipped to deal with. It’s incredibly important to keep a sense of perspective and to avoid falling into the trap of biting off more than you can chew.
Make the right connections
As your business grows, it’s going to become less and less likely that you can handle everything yourself without any outside support and assistance. Everything from tip truck hire to IT infrastructure to the marketing of a new product can be handled by outside agencies in order to prevent you from taking on more than you can handle. After all, you’re going to need to take on more for your business to grow, but that doesn’t mean that it’s something that you need to do yourself directly. Many business owners shy away from the idea of outsourcing certain things because they don’t like the idea of not having complete and total control over their business at all times. However, handing something over to qualified professionals not only results in the best possible work, but it does so without you having to completely exhaust yourself.
Build a team that you can rely on
Of course, if your business is in a position where it’s time for you to start growing and expanding in a concrete way, there’s a pretty good chance that you didn’t do it all on your own. Employees are the backbone of any successful business. Sure, you’re the one steering it in the right direction, but they are the ones down on the ground making sure that it actually functions on a day to day level. As you expand your business, then you’re not only going to need more employees, but you’re also going to need people who can manage those employees. As tempting as it might be to bring in as many people as possible as quickly as possible, you need to be discerning when you’re hiring any new staff, especially those who are going to be in management positions. When you’re leaving large portions of your business in someone else’s hands, then you want to make sure that they can be trusted to take care of it. You should also be willing to talk and listen to your employees. After all, you might have a bird’s eye view of the whole thing, but they’re the ones on the ground. This means that they’re going to have a very different perspective on your business than you. This is something that can be extremely valuable when you’re trying to steer your business in the right direction.
Learn when to step back
Of course, one of the toughest things about being a business owner is knowing when to take a step back and let others take the reins for a while. However, it’s incredibly important that you learn to do this as your business grows for a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s the best thing for your own personal sanity and wellbeing. As a business gets bigger, the pressure on you is only going to increase, as is the workload. Because of this, if you don’t take the time to step away then you’re going to end up burning out completely. If that happens then, your business and your health are both going to suffer because of it. Not only that but if you’re trying to take on everything yourself, then there’s not much chance that you’re going to be able to focus on any one thing particularly well. It’s much better to focus on one thing in depth than to try and deal with a hundred things in a shallow and useless way because you can’t bear to let anyone else be in control of your business, even when you’re guiding it in the wrong direction.
Be willing to make mistakes
And make no mistake, there are going to be times when you end up leading your business in the wrong direction, often entirely by accident. This is because you’re only human and you’re just as prone to making mistakes as anyone else. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. After all, many of the best and most successful businesses in the world got where they are today off the back of countless mistakes and missteps. The only time when your mistakes can be a real problem and have no redeeming value whatsoever is when you refuse to acknowledge and learn from them. Mistakes are good; they can be an incredibly positive thing for your business. They show you where you’re going wrong, how your attention could be better directed, and they give you a better idea of the ways in which your own understanding of the business world could be improved. But if you just see them as something to be avoided at any cost then your business is just going to end up becoming stale and stagnant. Running a business is always going to involve risk, and if you spend all of your time trying to avoid any risk whatsoever, you’re never going to be able to push your business forward.
Of course, being aware of all of these things isn’t going to magically take the challenge out of running your business. No matter what, a growing and expanding business is always going to involve a lot of complications and difficulties that you’re going to have to deal with. But by following this advice, you’re at least going to be in a position where you can better understand the steps that you need to be taking in order to grow your business in the most responsible and effective way possible. It can be tempting to try and keep your business in the same place at all times to avoid any of the risks that come with growth, but if you do that then you’re doing both yourself and your business a genuine disservice.
Want to learn more?
It’s as simple as 1… 2… 3…
- Just starting out? CLICK HERE
- Been working in your business for two years or more? CLICK HERE
- Try coworking at CoSydney – Check us out! Book a FREE TRIAL DAY
We’re here to help you to take action just like we’ve helped thousands of other entrepreneurs, business owers and creative professionals all around the globe.
Now is the time to let your passion SHINE.
Now is the time to Make Tomorrow Today!
To your success,
Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
Your Coaches ArtSHINE industries