They say that slow and steady wins the race, but in business the race never ends and the slow and steady will soon be left behind. The trouble is that the faster the growth rate, the more risk involved. Many businesses which experience their first growth spurt don’t make it out the other side. If you’re a small business owner, make sure to familiarize yourself with these business growth strategies before you come to that first, and all-important, growth spurt.
1. Grow your profits, not your revenue – It’s easy to get blinded when you see your revenue growing rapidly. Don’t forget that your expenses are surely growing as well, perhaps even faster than your revenue is. Growth creates more growth and many businesses fall into the trap of embracing the growth before laying the proper foundation. The mismanagement of growth can cause efficiency to drop and overhead costs to rise radically. Don’t sacrifice profit margins to increase revenue – it is not sustainable business growth strategies.
2. Develop your infrastructure – That brings us to what are sustainable business growth strategies: the businesses that surprise their growth spurt are those that have a well-developed infrastructure. Make sure you have systems in place to allow your business to absorb and respond to new challenges effectively and efficiently, such as clearly-defined work procedures, communications channels, short and long-term goals, etc.
3. Have a bold vision – Speaking of goals, what are yours? Every business owner has a vision, their business wouldn’t get very far without one, but there are a lot of them out there. What separates you from the pack is the boldness of your vision. In this age of instant gratification, if you’re not trying to find a new or ground-breaking way of meeting people’s needs, then you shouldn’t get to comfortable with the idea of long-term growth.
4. Maintain loyalty – Just because your business is growing doesn’t mean your head should be growing. Nobody gets successful without the help of their partners, employees and customers. As your business grows, don’t neglect the people and the community that helped you to get this far. “Think global, act local” is one of the business growth strategies that apply no matter the shape or size.
There are many ways to grow your business but you have to be careful not to like that growth run away from you. A negative cash flow is the reality for many young, growing businesses – but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these to ensure your growth is sustainable.