Apart from those running kiosk kind of businesses, it's the dream of most entrepreneurs to develop their businesses into larger companies, but doing so can be a challenge without the proper knowledge and strategic steps.
Though the thought of running a big corporation can be really enticing, entrepreneurs need to be very careful on the kind of actions they take in hope of expanding their business, as a poor scaling habit have been known to be the cause of many business failures.
While you are very eager to turn your small business into an empire, it's important to ensure you are ready for the journey ahead. Expanding your business into too many verticals could be a very big mistake. You should fully study and utilize your current market before venturing into new frontiers.
Thankfully, most of the steps here are quite business-friendly and can be practiced in any business, literally. Overall, growing a business has to do with gaining more customers, making more profits as well as getting more assets.
1. Reinvest your profits
As entrepreneurs with many responsibilities and needs, we tend to succumb to the urge of lavishing our business profits the moment we lay our hands on them. This is one major mistake we should avoid if we intend to keep and grow the business. Please and please, resist all forms of temptations accompanying thoughts like this.
Some might argue that the aim of starting a business in the first place, is to make some money. Well, that might be true for you (creating a solution to a societal problem should actually be your aim and motivation) but spending your business profit too early, is the opposite of growing a small business.
However, if you already have a huge corporation raking in millions of dollars weekly, then you might be exempted here. You could create another source of income for your needs by setting up a profitable membership website like Ghavoch. And just to serve as a reminder, there's a huge difference between a business profit and revenue.
This means, your business might be making money (generating revenue) but not yet profitable if you are yet to break even. You haven't made a profit yet till you have gotten back your initial investment, paid all expenses and have some good money left.
Overall, the best possible way of growing a business is by putting your profit back into the business (at least, till you gain stability). For instance, if I start running a small yogurt production today, in a bid to make it a bigger business, the easiest possible option, will be to use my profit to double my production output (buying more inventory, hiring more staffs etc.) and in no time, I will be able to open up another branch/outlet which will, in turn, make me more money.
2. Maintain a 5-star rating
A good customer service remains one of the major things that keeps you in business. And now? Research has proven that a quality business customer service is one of the major factors behind the growth of most businesses.
Here's what happens, when you make a customer happy and satisfied with your product, the god news automatically spreads among his friends (since he will be more than happy to recommend you to everyone) and this fetches you more customers = more profits = a bigger business.
The reverse will be the case when you have a bad customer review. A single bad customer review is capable of scaring thousands of your potential customers away = fewer profits = business failure. Most times, the survival of your business depends on your customers.
Your customers can put you out of business in no time if you make the wrong move. Listening to customers is one quality of a business willing to grow. If you want to grow your business, start by taking your customers seriously. Start by getting their feedback on your products and services. What do they think you should change? Consider changing it. They will be the ones to use the products after all.
3. Get some influence
Believe it or not, knowing some influential people is a great advantage in running a business. This doesn't end with celebrities. You should actually consider laying the foundations for mingling with the powerful men around your business vicinity. Yes, be friends with as many politicians as possible.
One single politician with enough power and jurisdiction can literally cripple your business faster than the speed of light.Are you in the habit of fighting powerful men? Learn to keep a neutral political view henceforth. This not only keeps you in business but will be very helpful when dealing with any government in power. Anything otherwise, they can set policies that will render you bankrupt.
As an entrepreneur intending to grow and remain in business, you will need to acquire some kind of power. You can't do it alone. Mingle with other powerful men or simply make sure your business is holding the country captive. This is to say, if your business is something they can't do without or something that creates millions of employment, you could operate just fine.
But still, to grow your business, you probably need some backings/policies to help you reach your target. For instance, a single friendship with the governor of your state could literally make you gain quality government contracts needed to catapult you to your desired height.
4. Make partnership deals
You know what happens when two or more small companies come together to do something? They are treated like a huge corporation. They can win bigger contracts and make more money. This is the same reason people don't take sole proprietorship seriously.
A one-man business is considered the smallest form of business but when two or more teams like that should come together, they become a bigger business and they make more money while working less. The importance of business partnerships can never be overemphasized.
The moment you are willing to grow your business, building quality partnerships with other brands should be on your to-do list since this reduces your workload, brings in more manpower, grows your inventory, helps you break into larger markets as well as make you more money.
A simple example will be a soap production company making partnership deals with distributors and wholesalers in other continents or a cinematography business partnering with an event planning company. I'm starting a new entertainment company using this principle without capital.
These are mutually beneficial partnerships required useful for growing a business. Through such a partnership, the cinematographers will be involved in every event organized by the event planners which gets them more clients = more money and vice visa. To get started, simply look for viable partnership deals and strike!
5. Attract investors
It's no secret that the presence of investors in most big businesses is the reason behind their high growth rate. This is because investors don't only have funding for their purpose but also tend to offer business mentorship and sometimes, business connects.
These are very important factors when scaling up a business. Growing a business will certainly involve some serious financing (depending on the level of expansion) for recruiting more staffs, creating more products as well as doing a bigger promotion and awareness campaign.
A business in need of growth will need to consider making themselves available to investors or applying for business funding opportunities. To attract investors, you need to put your business where investors can be found. Simple networking tactics among the wealthy and other business persons could work wonders.
However, sometimes you could even be approached by interested investors if you make wonderful products. Every investor in town would want to be a part of it. A business that shows promising signs of huge profitability can gain investors faster. With a solid business plan, a good business concept and a bit of publicity, attracting investors will be a lot easier.
6. Create more product versions
For a business to grow, it needs to, first of all, retain its relevancy. How does a business stay relevant? Simple, by being innovative. By constantly adapting to the latest trends.For instance, if you build gadgets today such as phones, you better be ready to keep bringing in new versions with more features.
A phone with a RAM of 4gb might still sound great now but will be obsolete in ten years. You just have to keep improving your products or services to keep your customers loyal to you. Anything otherwise, you will lose them in the competitive market and be out of business in no time.
Creating more versions of products isn't limited to tech companies alone. Even an insurance company needs to figure out ways to make their services more appealing. How does being innovative grow a business? Remember when Google's Android OS took over the market from Blackberry, Nokia and the likes? You've got your answer!
When you are able to make your product astonishing, colonizing the market and crushing your competitors, becomes a lot easier. People will just prefer your products which will result in more sales and more sales equals growth! You will now have a bigger market with a larger customer base making your business a bigger brand.
7. Get into larger markets
This is the final act of business growth but could as well be a very deadly step when not well strategized. When running a stable profitable business in a certain location and you desire to begin expansion, the next thing that comes to mind is to open up another branch somewhere else.
This is a logical step. However, if I'm running a shoe-making business in Nigeria, I can't just head to China to open up another branch hoping they will buy my shoes. Their fashion sense might be completely different from Nigerians'. I would need to do a good market analysis of the Chinese market to help me understand how best to serve them my products.
I also wouldn't hesitate to get help from professionals first. Then, I would need to set up a quality market strategy. That being said, it's clear that you will need to either create another version of your products targeted at your non-customers with a different taste or you will need to make your product available to people in other locations you were yet to penetrate.
The first step in doing this will be to get an online presence. There are several reasons why you need a standard website including the fact that it creates publicity and makes your business available to the world. Lati Codes can build one for you now.
Also, you will need to do some kind of promotion for your target customers to be aware of the presence (including benefits) of your products in their vicinity. Consider offering incentives/discounts while breaking into your new market. Using email marketing could be helpful too!