Saturday, 30 March 2013

How Can Small Businesses Scale?


Stepping stones for growing a business











Creating a small business is a tough job. You have to fight for every new customer, build a reputation, and somehow pay all the other bills while you grow. The tipping point is when your business reaches a size where the revenue finally outweighs the business expenses. Here are four tips to help you reach that milestone:

Create a unified business system ­- As your small business grows, you will create will thousands of relationships with potential customers, partners and suppliers. So will your employees. That means small business purchase orders, inventory, work orders and contacts should be all in one place and accessible by everyone. A few years from now, you will wish that you had all this information in one place, so save yourself the headache and start today.

Document, automate, train, repeat ­- As a small business, you are creating processes as you grow. It's easy when a small team is working in the same room, but when the company expands to a different city, Office Two will need to know how you do everything at Office One, from small business purchase orders to how you answer the phone. Document your systems and ways of doing business so that others could repeat them. Find the right software and integrate others into the same systems so that you share resources.

Contact a marketer -­ Your speciality is manufacturing or machinery, but it’s not marketing. Reaching out to a marketer – even a simple sales call – can generate great ideas for new products, audiences, and systems. Creating partnerships with other businesses can also inject your products into new industries. If you have that unified business system up and running, a marketer can work wonders with customer data, such as contact information and purchase history.

Eliminate small problems before growing -­ Sales stalled? Systems broken? Is there a business problem that you just can’t figure out? Then it might not be the right time to expand your workforce or increase production. Small problems can grow into large ones as more people get involved in the process. So take a step back and evaluate your business before deciding to move forward with expansion.

What troubles have you encountered due to small business growth? What processes have helped your company be more organized as it expands? Leave us a comment and let other small businesses know what to do before they grow.

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