So you’re building a business and it’s growing. Congratulations!
A growing business is something to celebrate, but for most entrepreneurs, it’s only the beginning. Now it’s time to determine your next steps to keep your business relevant
and on the upswing. Here are some ideas to consider for your next big moves.
Develop new products or services.
The growth of your business is evidence that you please your customers—so why not look for new ways to serve them? For instance, if you specialize in landscape design and implementation, consider adding landscape maintenance services to keep your designs looking good and relieve customers’ burden of maintaining their lawns.
Expand into new markets.
Another way to continue growing your business is to begin targeting new markets. That may mean adding new locations for your brick-and-mortar business, such as opening a second restaurant or nursery in a neighboring suburb. Or it could also mean looking for a new market vertical: If you successfully sell software to hospitals, consider adding physician practices as a new market. Or if you provide fundraising services to private schools, consider marketing your services to colleges as well.
Start (or boost) selling online.
Not taking advantage of online sales? You’re likely missing out on another tremendous growth opportunity. If you sell products, you can begin selling those products online relatively easily. If you sell services, you can also boost your online presence by taking orders online or selling information products related to your services. For example, if you provide marketing services to small businesses, create e-books or reports about marketing best practices and sell them online to business owners outside your service area.
Hire new staff.
Maintaining growth often means adding employees. New staff members can not only help you manage the growing demand for your products and services, but they can also provide new ideas and perspectives that may help your business grow in new ways. To find the right staff members, carefully consider your own children or other family members, and ask current employees for referrals.
Continued growth requires continued investment, so to undertake any of these growth strategies, you may need more money or improved cash flow. Financial services offer options such as cash management and the ability to borrow against inventory, which may help you access the funds needed to sustain your business growth. If you can document the growth of your business, along with future projections, you may be able to get a business loan with an affordable interest rate. Even if you don’t have good credit, business loans may be a possibility. Also, consider business grants, which don’t require you to repay funds.
However you choose to finance your goals, be sure to develop a written plan for your continued growth. A business plan isn’t just useful in the startup phase; it should be revisited again and again and revised to map out your next strategies.