You’ve gone through all the hard work of starting up your business and getting it to a reasonably established stage.
You’ve researched the market and your competition, sought advice, learned about general business tactics, and invested plenty of your own time, money, and energy into getting the venture off the ground.
Now that you’ve survived the launch period, though, it’s time to take the next step and grow your business for the future. If you’re keen to see your organization reach new heights over the coming months or years, read on for some tips you can follow for rapid business growth today.
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Utilize a Business Loan
Sometimes your expansion plans are dependent on having enough cash available to bring on more team members, increase inventory or office/warehouse size, create a new product or service, buy machinery, or attend a large event. If this is the case, it is worthwhile considering sourcing a business loan from a reputable lender sooner rather than later.
These days there are plenty of affordable alternatives to the big banks, who have tightened their purse strings significantly over recent years. You can contact alternative lenders, including those who operate online only; as well as consider options such as specialized lenders (e.g., those who only loan cash to certain sectors or types of organizations), crowdfunding avenues, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), or even family and friends.
No matter which lending type you think about using, always do your research and plan ahead of time. Look for the right type of loan to suit your needs, and put all of your paperwork in order first so that lenders can see your firm’s financial history and current status. As well, it pays to make it clear in your application exactly what the revenue-generating uses are that you plan to spend the funds on.
Surround Yourself With the Right Team
Of course, your business is also never going to grow much if you don’t surround yourself with the right people. While you might start off a new venture with just the bare bones of staff (or even just do everything yourself), you will never truly be able to grow unless you’re able to delegate some of your tasks. If you’re at the point where you need to start hiring more staff or contractors, do so very carefully. Look not just for people who have the requisite skills and experience you’re looking for, but also who have the right attitude.
You should try to find candidates who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves to get a job done. Workers who are adaptable, flexible, proactive, and dedicated. And especially seek out those with a positive outlook. Having a team full of people who are able to keep a sunny disposition during difficult times will pay off in many ways, including in the type of company culture you cultivate, as well as in how customers are treated and how challenges are approached.
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Don’t forget too that your support team should also include mentors and advisors. While it’s helpful to have such people around you when you’re starting up a business, you also need sage advice and an ear to listen to you when you’re in the growth stages and may feel in over your head on a regular basis. Look at the most successful business people around the globe and you will see that nine times out of 10 they all have coaches to turn to when they want to up their game, sort out their mindset, or learn from the best. You would be well advised to follow their lead.
Spend Most of Your Time on Sales
Next, one of the best ways to grow a business is to spend much more time than you currently do on sales. This is something that many owners and managers just don’t consider enough, but that can make a world of difference. In fact, many business coaches actually see that a lack of time spent on the sales process can be the primary reason that a venture is underperforming.
If you want to grow your business in a hurry, it’s time to pick up the phone, organize some meetings, attend events, send some emails, and follow up with past clients and contacts. People running new businesses should typically be devoting at least 80 percent of their day to sales in order to gain a foothold in their market, while those with more established firms should be spending at least 30 percent of their time on the sales process or connecting directly with customers.
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Lastly, you will have a much better chance of growing your business if you take the time to plan out your moves in advance. While some agility is always important for entrepreneurs, you also need to be able to plan your next steps so that you can anticipate all the possible scenarios for a situation, and come up with as many feasible ideas as needed. It pays to put plans in place when it comes to areas such as marketing, sales, human resources, and finance, and to think quarterly, annually, and every two, three, and five years ahead.