It is one thing to become your own boss and start a business – it is quite another to take your company to the next level, so you can find new customers and increase profit margins. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the fundamental issues that come with growing your enterprise, so to help you with this, Turner Little explains in this post how to lift your small company to the next level.
Know where you are going
There is a reason why entrepreneurs write business plans before setting up new companies. You can use this document to set achievement goals for your business to hit. It is vital that you compose a business plan and revise it as your firm changes, so you can plot out how you are going to reach these targets in your business development, track progress and deal with any issues that may arise.
It is a good idea to state in your business plan where you want your company to be in, for example, two years’ time, so you have a long-term vision of what you want your firm to be. It is key here that you consider your unique selling point – what makes customers want to buy your goods or services, as well as how you will make business growth a reality – will you, for instance, move into another market or create a new product for existing customers, to see if you have the potential for expansion.
Delegate tasks strategically
You only have so many hours in a day – as your enterprise grows, you will need to delegate tasks, to ensure your business takes advantage of all the opportunities that comes its way. It is essential, when you aim to grow your team and delegate effectively, that you define what kind of new employees you want to take on – for example, do you need a senior manager with leadership skill sets, or someone more junior who will grow with the firm, so you take on the best people to help you expand.
It is also critical that you hire strategically, so you can create the kind of team you need to take your company to the next level. It is wise to implement a rigorous vetting process, examining CVs carefully and interviewing candidates extensively, so you can take on someone who has the right skill sets and fits in with your company culture. You may even want to ask the candidate to complete a trial day, so you can see first-hand how they perform in their desired role, and whether they would be an asset for your fledgling enterprise.
Look for new opportunities
There are always new business growth opportunities to be found for the entrepreneur who takes the time to look for them. Carve out some time in your schedule to attend industry events and networking sessions, so you can forge the relationships you need with key industry partners to attract new businesses and broaden the range of goods and services you provide to consumers.
Broaden your offerings
One great way to develop your business is to broaden your offerings, e.g. launch a new product, to increase the value you supply to customers and open up the new revenue streams you require to fund growth. Ask yourself one key question – how can you broaden your offerings to benefit customers, creating the new business you want. If you are a traditional retailer, for example, one way to do this would be to expand into e-commerce, so your customers can buy your products more conveniently.
You should ensure that your company has the technological infrastructure in place to support your efforts to broaden your company’s offerings. If you are moving into e-commerce, for instance, you will need to set up a company website – something Turner Little can help with, so you can sell your products online easily. Also you may want to invest in more efficient technologies, which yes can be expensive in the sort-term, but can help you make great savings in the long run, by streamlining costs.
Are your premises sufficient?
It is important that you operate from premises which allow you to make your expansion goals a reality. You may want to relocate to new premises to put your business in the position it needs to be in, to rise to the next level. If you are a retailer, for example, you may wish to move your company to a prime location, to benefit from higher footfall, while if you are branching out into e-commerce, you will need access to a location with good transport links, so you can transport goods to consumers easily.
Market your business
Your business expansion plans are doomed to failure, if you do not market your company effectively, so you can draw the revenue needed to make these plans viable. It is wise to create a robust online marketing strategy, as consumers are increasingly using digital means to engage with businesses. Aim to promote your goods and services online by deploying SEO techniques and creating regular content for your firm’s website, blogs and social media assets, establishing a strong presence online.
There is no substitute, however, for word of mouth marketing. It is vital that you supply exemplary customer service, so your consumers spread the word about how great your company is, generating new business. Promote quality in every area of your business, from production to communication, so you are recognised as a provider of top customer service. Also always ask your customers for feedback so they feel that their business is valued and if they complain – respond quickly and address their issues immediately, to prevent them from dissuading fellow customers from coming to your company.
Find stable financing
If you want to bring your expansion plans to fruition, you will need to find financing. A robust business plan again is key, as banks and investors will want to see your company’s potential for growth before they devote their capital towards your enterprise. You could secure a business development bank loan to reach the next level, but many entrepreneurs are now turning to alternative financing sources such as crowdfunding, as it can be easier to secure capital this way – so explore all your funding options.
You should also make sure that your company has the financial infrastructure in place necessary to manage any funding that comes its way, so you can lift it to the next level. It is extremely important that you find the right business banking provider, so you can maximise investor funding for your expansion efforts. We can support you in your bid to find the best provider, by advising you on UK business banking matters, so you can manage you money and take your enterprise to the next level.
Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.