Starting, Growing, and Developing your small enterprise to become a massive PLC company Getting your business off the ground is challenging. Continuing to grow your business once it’s established is just as difficult.
And while generating new business and growing your customer base is necessary to succeed, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effective planning, strategy, and the willingness to get creative.
The success of your small business depends on your efforts to grow profits using various methods. From employee training to marketing, every aspect of your business deserves attention.
What can you do to get your business beyond the bare sustenance level? What can you do to turn it into the income-generating powerhouse you envision? Like any element of running a business, there are multiple growth strategies that you can try.
Rapid growth doesn’t happen overnight, but there are several steps you must take to keep your business moving forward. It takes time and effort. However, when you start reaping the benefits, you will see that your effort is worth it.
What is the first thing to do when starting a business?
When you start a small business, you need to conduct market research to make sure your idea is worth pursuing. You also have to pick a name, figure out pricing, and take care of legal requirements—like forming an LLC, securing requisite certifications, and obtaining whatever insurance your business requires.
Since your business will only be as strong as the people that work for it, you need to make sure that you hire the right team. Do your due diligence, thoroughly vet candidates, and pay them well—perhaps even more than what competitors are paying, if you can.
When it comes from growing a small business into a big one, all of the above is table stakes—just enough to get you started.
If your goal is to create a small business that will one day be massive, you first need to develop a marketing strategy that helps you increase brand awareness, engage your audience, and attract new customers. With the right approach, it’s possible to build an incredible following that’s with you for years to come.
After all, you can’t just open your doors for the first time and expect customers to come flocking in. Whatever the nature of your business is, you’ll need an effective marketing strategy to take it to the next level—and certainly to realize its full potential.
As you begin to put your marketing strategy together to grow your small business, it’s important to understand the four proven strategies that lead to organic business growth.
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What are the most successful small businesses?
At the end of the day, the success of a small business relies on a confluence of factors. Not only does the business need to solve a specific need—whether that’s tax preparation, landscaping, or marketing functions—it also needs to provide exceptional services at agreeable price points.
To increase the chances you get the results you’re hoping for, find your niche, and try to build a business that you’re passionate about.
By doing so, you’ll be solving a very pressing need. Plus, your enthusiasm will permeate through all that you do, and your team will feed off of that energy.p
The four small business growth strategies?
There’s no surefire formula for instant success in Business. When you first launch your business, your main goal is to establish your brand and start growing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. Growth is an ongoing process that requires hard work, patience, and dedication. There’s no special step or secret way to surpass other businesses in the industry or achieve immediate success.
There are, however, proven ways to reach growth milestones that can catapult a business to success
With that in mind, here are four strategies for organic business growth.
When Coca-Cola was just starting, the company had a single product: a tasty sugary water drink we all know as Coke. Fast-forward to today, and the company now sells over 500 brands of beverages.
As you begin to think about taking your business to the next level, it’s worth considering whether your business can grow its bottom line by developing new products.
Another way to grow your small business into a larger one is by doing whatever you can to tap into new markets. Just like Amazon moved from books to everything else, your business can begin targeting a whole new market of customers.
For example, if you own a restaurant you can decide to open a second location in another town to tap into a new customer base. Or, may even opt to open up a food truck business to cater to mobile clientele. When it boils down to it, market development is all about spreading your wings and trying to sell your products or services into wider geography or category of consumers.
You know your business better than anyone else does. Spend some time thinking about the additional markets your company may be able to tap into and act on your findings.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you run a restaurant business.
One of the easiest ways to grow a business from the outset is by embracing the market penetration strategy, pricing your products or services aggressively low to entice customers to give your business a shot.
If your competitor charges $30 for a doughnut, you charge $20. The thinking, here, is straightforward: Take customers away from your competitors with attractive prices.
Of course, once you’ve established your brand, you can gradually increase your prices to get them back to whatever the market commands. Curious what market penetration looks like in action? Amazon once took a $200 million loss on diapers to prevent a startup rival from capturing digital market share!
Sometimes, supercharging your business growth requires drastic measures. And that’s where the diversification strategy enters the mix.
At its core, diversification is about designing new products for a new market. It’s about reinventing the wheel entirely—and hoping that your pivot is successful. One of the most popular examples of the diversification strategy is Nokia, a Finnish conglomerate that started as a paper mill and has since pivoted to network equipment, mobile radios, mobile phones, and personal computers.
Now that you’re familiar with the four different strategies for business growth, it’s time to pick the one that makes sense for your unique circumstances. But picking a strategy isn’t the end all be all. To get the results you’re looking for, you need to execute it successfully. Up next, we’ll examine some tips to keep in mind as you begin growing your small business into an enormous one.
Tips for accelerating growth in Business
Find and retain the right people
Finding and keeping the right people in a business is crucial to its future growth. Before you can even think about your business growth trajectory, you need to have a solid staff to help you achieve your goals. As your business grows, key roles need to be filled, and the right experience and skills are vital.
Hiring the absolute best people you can is a surefire way to ensure fast growth. To grow sustainably and retain talent, you need to bring people on the journey with you. With hardworking employees dedicated to your company’s success, your business will be better equipped for continued growth. In addition, delegating tasks to focus on important work will free up your time and energy, allowing you to perform at your best and cultivate a collaborative work culture.
It’s a huge investment to employ someone else, so flexible workers are ideal for a startup business. As you grow, you also need to empower your managers to be successful. You need to know who’s working where, when to deploy people, how to deal with absence, and so on.”
Focus on established revenue sources
Rather than trying to acquire new customers, direct your attention to the core customers you already have, suggested Bill Reilly, a Wisconsin-based auto repair entrepreneur. You can do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program or trying out marketing strategies based on previous purchasing behaviors to encourage repeat business, he said.
This focus on your established market is especially important if you’re trying to get funding. Maximize your current customer base by implementing a customer loyalty program or trying out marketing strategies based on customers’ purchase histories.
Reduce Risk and Plan for mistakes
Risk is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. It’s impossible to control everything, but there are many ways to limit internal and external threats to your company and its growth. One important resource to help you accomplish this is your business insurance provider. As your small business grows, you may add space or equipment, create new products or services, or increase your operating and distribution footprint, so periodically reviewing your policy to ensure you have the right coverage is best.
You also need to Identify worst-case scenarios to prepare for potential damage. Moving from a small to a large company can come with risks and mistakes, so plan for these in advance.
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Mistakes can relate to disorganized accounting, taking on too much debt, or even focusing too much on the sales and marketing of your business.
One of the biggest scaling mistakes growing companies make is losing track of accounting and drowning in disorganization. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also have serious tax and legal consequences.
To avoid this, hire a professional who is responsible for staying on top of the company’s finances, and make sure to adopt small business accounting software as early as you can afford to.
And simplify your invoicing process. Failure to collect payments on time can have a knock-on effect on cash flow.
Too much debt
Debt is a strategic tool for growth but it’s not something to become reliant on. Whenever possible, try negotiating instead of taking on more debt. If you’re in the B2B world, this is especially useful.
You can offer your services to a company in return for theirs. By building out this network, you lower your overhead expenses and prevent the need for excessive debt. This can’t be done with everything but it is a valuable strategy in many situations.
Too much focus on sales and marketing
When growth is the primary focus of everything you do, you’re inclined to spend all of your time and resources on sales and marketing. After all, that’s how you get new customers. But this may be a mistake.
When all of your attention goes to these areas, you neglect to create value for your customers. Innovation goes by the wayside and customer service takes a back seat. The result could be a poor customer experience that negates any progress you make on the sales and marketing front.
Put systems and processes in place
To scale up any business, you need the right systems and processes in place to ensure activities are efficient and compliant and continue to deliver for your customers.
If your business is growing and you still have the same systems and processes in place that you were using three years ago, chances are you have already outgrown them.
One trait that many successful startups have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. Lanng said that an agile approach to development, both in your product and your company, will help you grow more quickly.
By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you’re able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best. It allows you to fail, pick yourself back up and keep going.
Focus on your customer experience
Customers’ perceptions can make or break your business. Deliver quality experiences and products, and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media; mess it up, and they’ll tell the world even faster. Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience.
Compared with large companies, small businesses are nimble and often better able to see, anticipate, and respond to their customers’ needs. The most successful small businesses exploit this advantage by bringing new and innovative products and services to market more quickly and developing and nurturing long-term customer relationships.
Listening to your customers and giving them what they want is of utmost importance. [Learn how customer relationship management software can help you better understand your customers.] Diversify your offerings so you can best cater to the customers’ changing tastes, remember, you are here to serve the customer – it’s why you are open for business.
While engaging with your audience is crucial, personalizing the experience can boost and strengthen that relationship.
Invest in yourself
In the early stages of your business, you’ll likely see a very lean profit margin (or no profit at all), so any money you do make should go directly to helping you grow.
A startup’s ability to invest in itself [helps] accelerate growth. In those early years, it’s critical to make sure that you’re redirecting any revenues back into the company. It’s vital to invest early and heavily to grow quickly.
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While it might be tempting to pocket all your profits, it’s better to invest in your business’s growth so you can reap bigger benefits later. Determine which parts of your business need more attention: For example, do you need to hire more workers, expand your marketing efforts, or secure additional funding? When you find a crucial area that needs improvement, give that area your financial support.
Always think ahead
While agility is an important quality for a startup, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants when you’re running a business. Planning your next step – in anticipation of all possible scenarios – is the best way to stay grounded and secure as your business evolves.
Thinking ahead is broad advice, but it can be as simple as reviewing all ongoing contracts, like comparing rates with the best credit card processors and seeing if you can negotiate a better deal.
Boost your customer service
Another great method of growing your business is to focus on providing superior customer service. When you exceed customers’ expectations, they are likely to tell their friends, family, and followers about your business.
When you go the extra mile, such as by offering discounts if a customer has a poor experience or following up to ensure a client was satisfied with your product or service, you establish a reputation for great customer service. [Make sure you have the best business phone system for your customer service team.]
Focus on social media
Another method to grow your business is to create profiles on all of the major social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). An active profile allows you to better market your business and interacts with far more potential customers.
When your business has an account that you update regularly on the major platforms, consumers can find your business more easily and are more likely to share your business with their friends. You’ll also create a more engaging experience for your audience, helping them feel more connected to your brand and cultivating trust.
Attend networking events
Networking events allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, many of whom have unique perspectives and insights that can help you grow your business. The connections and relationships that come from attending networking events can be beneficial for years to come.
Practice corporate social responsibility
Consumers want to buy from businesses passionate about causes that help make the world a better place. Whether you donate to cancer research or support a nonprofit such as a homeless shelter, look for ways to contribute meaningfully to the causes you support and share that with your customers.
You could publicly express your support to underserved communities, donate to various organizations, offer your time to fundraisers, and offer sustainable products to help the environment. There are many ways to be socially responsible as a business; find a few that work for you.
Research your competitors
While this might not elicit immediate growth, researching your competitors is one of the most important first steps in launching your business. Ask yourself who your competitors are, what they’re doing (that you’re not doing) that works for them, and how you can differentiate your business from theirs. The answers to these questions will help you form a more productive business strategy, defining the areas of your business that require more attention to flourish.
Growth strategies to consider For Your Business
Once you have objectives, part of developing a strategy for growth involves thinking about possible barriers to scaling up. Several factors could thwart your ambitions to grow, such as a lack of leadership skills, lack of funding, and weak cash flow.
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Adam Hadley, CEO and founder of data science consultancy QuantSpark, says his growth strategy involves “a balance of opportunity, capability, and capacity”. He adds: “Our biggest challenge is in growing the team quickly enough in a highly competitive market like London. “As a data science consultancy, we’re focused on pioneering the strategic application of data science and analytics to develop complex decision-support tools.
Overall, a credible scaling strategy is fundamental and you should be able to address the following:
Management information systems
Routes to market
Also consider whether it is best to grow your business organically, via partnerships, or via acquisition.
If reaching overseas markets will benefit your business, internationalizing the board before doing the same with your company can be a shrewd move. And as well as board members, choose your target markets carefully.
It’s vital to continually test new marketing avenues and strategies. Starting with test spending and incrementally increasing your marketing spend as new media converts well. You could form strategic partnerships with other brands or bigger companies, you could create new products and services, and sell more to your existing customers as opposed to just focusing on new customer acquisition. You could employ a more national or global strategy for increased reach and impact.”
The Five stages of Small Business growth
There are five stages your small business needs to go through to grow into that large company you desire.
The First Stage – Existence
In the first stage, the business must attract customers and provide the products or services it promises to deliver. Planning and control system integration does not receive much attention in this phase, as the business owner, who must juggle a lot of tasks, is simply too busy working and supervising the few workers he or she has employed.
The Second Stage – Survival
Many small businesses don’t make it to the second stage — Survival. Those who do make it, however, have managed first to prove that their business model works, and second, to keep enough customers to stay alive. The business owner, who now has more employees but still does most of the administrative work, faces concerns related to the cash flow. Planning and control system development are in their early phases.
The Third Stage – Success
When reaching this stage, some small business owners focus on expanding their business, while others on keeping it profitable. Successful small businesses employ one or more managers who assist the owner, who does most of the planning and control system implementation. The cash flow is good at this stage and new professional employees are hired. It is toward the end of this stage that some owners sell their business, or agree to a merger with another company.
The Fourth Stage — Take-off
Small businesses that reach this stage aim for sustaining rapid growth and do a lot of planning to finance it. Other issues may include a high debt-equity ratio and the decentralization process. While the owner and the business are usually no longer synonymous, the owner remains in control of the stock.
The Fifth Stage — Resource Maturity
The final stage of growth is characterized by the company’s effort to control the financial gains, increase them, and hire new managers. Planning and control system integration is crucial at this stage to ensure the business retains its profitability and continues growing. These, together with the company’s entrepreneurial spirit, are often what decides the fate of the company, whether it ‘ossifies’, sacrificing innovation to maintain viability, or keep on innovating and improving to stay ahead of competitors.
Dealing with complexity as you turn into a large PLC company
As a business owner, there comes a time when you realize your firm is changing from a small to a large business. This realization can come as quite a shock (as well as a time of excitement), so you’ll need to be prepared.
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There are many complex issues to consider in the move from small to large business, from the delegation and cash flow management to organization. As you scale up, staff can get overworked and overwhelmed. Your costs go up, sometimes disproportionate to the extra revenue you’re making, and, as such, your margins can reduce.
Your culture and organization can become very chaotic and reactive, where nothing seems to be ordered. Staff can leave under the pressure, and you could be left with not enough people and the inability to hire a good-quality replacement quickly enough.
Your costs go up again for the recruitment of the right staff, and it becomes harder to track and measure your finances and key performance indicators. It is wise to manage growth progressively as opposed to aggressively and to track all increased costs.
Ready to take your small business to the next level?
Growing a small business into a big one isn’t easy. But it’s not impossible either.
By crafting a robust marketing strategy, investing in business development, and figuring out which growth strategy to pursue, you’ll be well on your way toward accomplishing your objectives and taking your company where you want it to be.