Growing as a small business means taking what you do well and scaling it. You don't have to become a large enterprise with thousands of employees, but growth can give your company stability and your team job security. Here are some ways to help your small business reach your growth goals.

1. Focus on the Customer

Since your primary goal should be to make a profit, that means keeping customers coming back. If customers are pleased with their experience, they will give you their repeat business and recommend you to others. Ask them for feedback and provide high-quality customer service. Communicate with them about new products, supply chain issues, and anything else they may be interested in. Put yourself in their position and think about what would make you value your experience with a similar business.

2. Keep Goals Top-of-Mind

It's one thing to set goals — it's another thing to vigorously pursue them. Frequently review progress to determine if you are on the right path or if changes need to be made. Look for ways to boost efficiency. Use software tools to help you track progress, and speak with your team often about how they are doing with their roles in helping the company meet its goals. Use daily, weekly, and/or monthly reports to determine what's working and what's not. Have meetings that focus on goals and listen to what your team recommends.

3. Invest in Your Employees

It's not enough to just hire employees and put them to work on the tasks at hand. You need engaged workers who are happy with their jobs and motivated to see the company succeed. That’s why you should invest in making them feel this way. Provide attractive benefits and perks. Give them training they need to perform better and/to progress to a higher level within the company. Invest in teambuilding activities. The more they feel like the business is a family, the harder they will work to meet goals.

4. Create Financial Forecasts

Financial forecasts can help you set realistic goals and work toward them. This is a good way to see where the company stands in its progress toward achieving success.

"Growth is hungry, and the fuel that it needs to grow is cash and/or access to capital," says Tracey Bissett, Chief Financial Fitness Trainer at Bissett Financial Fitness.1 "Cash is the lifeblood of a business and without it, a business can go under in as quickly as 90 days. A business owner who is looking to grow should create a financial forecast that includes a proforma income statement, balance sheet and cash flow forecast. Ensure that it is based on appropriate, not optimistic, assumptions. Make use of a professional to help with this. Secure the cash or access to capital that is needed to support the cash flow shortfalls during growth. Increases in accounts receivable or inventory should be considered investments as they tie up cash."

5. Form Relationships with Other Companies

Find ways to form relationships with other businesses in your industry. It's not always about competition. You may be able to learn from each other and in some cases, even partner on certain things that can help both of you thrive and gain new exposure. You can also find businesses outside of your own industry to partner with. Use online channels like social media and email. Attend conferences and other networking events to get to know people with these companies. Even if you don't have a particular project in mind, it helps to build these contacts and relationships for the future.

6. Delegate Work to Others

As the business owner, you are likely performing many roles, and it's good to be able to jump into multiple areas as needed. However, as your company grows, it will be increasingly important to delegate day-to-day tasks to others. You can go further if you have other people fill in so you can focus on long-term planning and ways to grow. Take the time now to invest in training so your team members will be prepared to step up as needed in the future.

7. Always Look for Ways to Innovate

Being on the cutting edge in your field can help you capture more customer interest. Innovation gets people talking and will give you an edge. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and new products – rather, be afraid of becoming stagnant and being outpaced by rival companies.

"Innovation helps you stay ahead of the competition," according to MasterClass.2 "With globalization and a rapidly changing market, there are more competing businesses than ever before. Innovative thinking can help you predict the market and keep up with customer needs. If your business doesn’t innovate, you’ll watch innovative companies bring new ideas to the marketplace, and you’ll have to scramble to keep up."

Growth requires constant evaluation and focus. Always keep your goals in mind and make decisions that will enable you to meet them.

1. https://enterpriseleague.com/blog/small-business-growth-tips/

2. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/why-innovation-is-essential-for-business-success#3-reasons-innovation-is-important-for-businesses

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC