Congratulations! Your small business startup is now bringing in a healthy revenue stream. Employees seem happy, clients are happy, margins are good, and now all you have to worry about is sitting back and watching the machine operate. Not so fast!
You’ve heard it before: If you’re not growing, you’re moving backwards so what are the next steps to continue your small business growth? Of course it goes without saying that no one article could tell you how your business should grow but we put together a few ideas for you.
If you’ve had success with one product, develop a new one. What have you heard from your customers that sounds like a wish list? “I really like your product. It would be even better if it did this…” Maybe it’s time to make a new product that does “that”.
Maybe your products are intended for a certain type of customer. GripTwist, an industrial-strength twist tie made of foam-covered wire was sold by an Ohio company that marketed primarily to ski shops. They later started selling to hardware stores because the same product could hold hoses, tools, ropes and other items. Could one of your products have multiple uses?
Start a Chain
If you’re looking for even more small business growth, consider starting a chain of stores or restaurants. After proper risk assessment, you may find that the market is ripe for more of your stores. Of course this is a big step and more stores mean more expenses so make sure that you have grown enough to support a second location.
Have you grown to the point where you have a solid business model in place? If so, consider franchising. If your product is unique and you have a distribution system that could sustain a large network of locations, let other people pay you to make money off of your great ideas.
Before taking on expansion, ask yourself (and your employees) some of these questions:
- Does your current employee base have the resources to handle a larger workload?
- Can your computer systems handle a larger order quantity?
- Are you ready to delegate more tasks?
- Do you have the proper funding for expansion?
- What if it doesn’t work? Have you worked out an exit strategy?
- Is your family on board with seeing you less while you make the expansion a reality?
Your small business growth didn’t happen blindly. Do a risk/reward analysis before embarking on such large scale moves.