Fast Forward Your Small Business Development
In today’s market, small business owners are looking for ways to compete. From the look of things, small businesses are making a big impact in our society. Want the proof? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the small business sector is rapidly growing. Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs, and two-thirds of all net new jobs since the 1970’s.
Still, facts and trends don’t read well if you feel like you’re in a rut. Learning about all the success another business might be having isn’t fruitful if you feel like your business is underperforming. Let’s take a different approach. You like movies, right? In many movies you might watch, the protagonist has to go through a trial before he achieves his main goal. In your case, the goal is a successful business. But right now, you might think your movie is stuck on ‘pause.’ Instead of just hitting, ‘play,’ let’s go straight for the ‘fast-forward,’ button.
In order to speed up your growth, first focus on your current customer base. Lots of good businesses generate reports on their consumer base, and run through the Who, What, Where, When, and Why. But there is one more question that GREAT businesses ask: How? How do customers get access to my product? How do they use it? How often are they buying? You can adapt your company offerings to the customers shifting needs.
Now you’ll have to answer another set of questions. How will you influence these potential customers? Will you talk to them on the phone? Will they visit your website, or talk to you in person? Your objective is to make your audience feel some sort of attachment with your company. Keep in mind, the more people you reach, the more opportunity you have to increase your brand exposure. As you expand, you have the ability to showcase new products and implement new strategies. You’ll physically be able to see what works, and what doesn’t, with a better sample size. Plus, your business can have a greater impact on the community and local economy.
When you have answers to some of those questions, you might see an opportunity to expand. By paying attention to the needs of your customer, your business can organically strengthen.
Have you considered building your own franchise? The USSBA defines a franchise as a legal and commercial relationship between the owner of a trademark, service mark, trade name, or advertising symbol and an individual or group wishing to use that identification in a business. If you have the business capital, you can also do more research on how to brand your company. With a solid branding strategy, there is a lot of growth potential.
With growth comes another responsibility. You’ve considered the needs of your current customer base, but now you have to plan for future customers. As you see an uptick in business, you’ll naturally generate more stock. Plan on utilizing an industrial steel building or warehouse to store your excess product. Remember, if you want your business to survive, it needs to adapt and thrive. Any business, large or small, new or well-established, will run into some kind of issues in their business development. Growth may sound like a great idea, but not if it causes extra stress or stretches you too thin.
Every so often, I’ll read about businesses struggling, but not doing anything about it. If you take anything away from this article, understand that you need to make some kind of move towards success if you want to get there. Complacency is a terrible excuse, and growth isn’t going to take place unless you take the first step towards expansion.
Again, If your business were a movie, what part would you be at right now? Are you still in the opening credits? Follow this advice; punch the, ‘fast forward,’ button, and let’s get to the good part – every hero deserves that much.Photo courtesy: kev-shine, Sebastiaan ter Berg