How To Grow Your Business

Many small businesses have managed their way through the recession and are itching to grow again. They are active in all areas of the economy and present in every town and city across the country. The difficulties of recent years, however, have made them more competitive and profitable.

The key elements of running a business haven’t changed over the years and neither has the need to be clear about the challenges; finding customers, getting them to return, managing cash, spotting opportunities and finding new markets are still some of the basics.

There are countless other challenges too but it is useful to highlight some of the most important:

Write a Business Plan – a business plan can be short or long but should explain the business idea, the market and customers, the skills of the team, and the finances.   

Manage Cash – the recession highlighted the need for strong cash management to address short and long-term business needs, the payment profile of customers and the finance and loan requirements of the business.

Recruit the Right People – managing yourself, managing others, recruiting good staff, retaining the right people and creating a positive working culture all serve to build and retain a good team.

Know the Market – regardless of the particular market the business operates in it will change and keep changing, therefore, staying one step ahead is a key task of any business owner.

Know Your Customers – finding new customers is always more expensive that keeping existing ones, so make sure you have the right systems in place to get customers to return.

Promote the Business – the marketing plan like the business plan can be short or long but it must capture in simple terms how and where to promote the business and how much it’s going to cost.

Go Digital – digital technology, mobile technology, the smartphone, and social media platforms are now commonplace business tools and increasingly account for how customers find and buy the products and services they want.

Pick a Structure – deciding whether to be self-employed, a sole trader, a limited company, or a partnership is a key decision and should be made after taking tax and legal advice and choosing what’s best for the business.

Be Efficient – making sure the business is working at its most efficient will reduce costs and increase profits and help build a financial reserve for any future downturn.

Managing any organisation is a challenge and running a small business is no different, as countless known and unknown difficulties arise on a daily basis.

The best way to manage is to get the right advice, which may initially come from family or friends but should also come from other experienced business owners and professionals in the field.

SO, the recession is over and businesses are growing again but business owners need to learn the lessons of the past to build a solid future.