n the early stages of your business, staying afloat requires so much effort that you may not give much thought to a growth strategy beyond trying to boost your profit. At some point, though, you’ll face the decision of whether to grow your business — and how.
The prospect of steering your small business out of your comfort zone and onto a course toward bigger possibilities — and risks — can be scary. The secret to overcoming that fear and reaping the rewards of taking your business to the next level is to have the right plan and resources in place.
Your Definition of Growth
To understand how to grow your small business successfully, you first need to consider the potential pathways to growth and which of them is most likely to work for you. When you think about how your business currently operates, what would expansion look like?
Maybe it would mean moving into a larger space or adding a second location. You might start selling a new category of products or services. You could broaden your clientele, beef up your staff or boost your brand awareness. Business growth could simply mean investing in a new piece of technology. Maybe you could acquire a competing or complementary business, though it’s understandable to steer clear of that route until your business has matured.
The way you define business growth for your company will guide your expansion plan. The growth model you choose not only needs to align with your vision for the company, but it also needs to be feasible in terms of its logistical and financial requirements.
How to Tell When the Time Is Right to Expand
How do you know when your small business is poised for growth? There are several important elements to have in place before you leap. This checklist can help get you started, but you may also want to consider other areas specific to your type of business.
A steady supply of customers. If you already have a loyal and healthy customer base for your business, their support can be a good foundation for a successful expansion. And if you want to cultivate opportunities to grow your business in the future, there’s no better place to start than keeping your current customers happy.
A growing industry. What are news reports and industry analysts saying about the future viability of businesses like yours? If the general outlook is promising and your own sales are booming, it might be a good time to expand.
To determine whether your industry is growing, look for indicators like rapidly rising sales figures, the presence of underserved markets and the continuing interest of investors. Be aware that changing consumer behavior and preferences might point to a pending decline in your industry, even if your own company is thriving at the moment. Another reason for caution is when you’re seeing new innovations push out old products and services in your industry.
You may still wish to move ahead with a growth plan if you have a strategy and the financial capability to adapt to those changes. Just be sure you are basing your decision on sound economic analysis.
A sustainable revenue model. Review your income figures to see how financially stable your business is now. Be sure you are meeting your current revenue goals and have a strategy for increasing those numbers as you branch out. If you’ve figured out how to make your business profitable now, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding when you move on to something bigger.
A strong IT infrastructure. Adding more inventory, services, space and staff will likely require expanding your data and communication systems. You’ll need an IT framework that’s capable of growing as you grow your business. After you’ve launched an exciting new phase of your business, you don’t want to discover that your IT system can’t handle the increased load.
Industry expertise. If you’ve become one of the go-to sources in your community for industry knowledge, it may be a good time to capitalize on your company’s increased brand awareness. Recognition can help your business take off. If you’re aiming to reach that level, becoming a media source, conference speaker or published writer can be good ways to do so. An effective marketing and public relations strategy makes all the difference when industry expertise is your springboard to business growth.
Access to financing. Your vision of how you’ll grow your business will be nothing more than an unfulfilled dream without resources to pay for the expansion. Can you afford to invest some of your company’s profit, or your personal savings, into new business development? Will you be looking for outside investors? Do you have a good relationship with a business lender that can help fund your expansion plan? Answering the financing question is essential in determining whether you’re ready to scale your business.
Supportive people. Along with adequate financing, skilled and reliable people are indispensable to the success of a business expansion plan. The supporting cast that enables you to grow your business can include core members of your company’s leadership and staff, business consultants and coaches, legal and accounting professionals and family members.
How does offering air cargo services benefit business growth
Why should a company offer air cargo services? After all, most of the companies seem to manage growing their businesses without ever going through the trouble of organizing and operating an air cargo service. So, why should you bother with setting one up? Well, as it turns out, there are some quite important reasons to offer air cargo services. Of course, not every business needs to have them. But, there are some situations where offering air cargo services is just what a company needs in other to further develop. So, let us look into how adding air shipping can help your business grow.