This column is authored by freelance writer, Ashley Wilson
The decision about whether to expand your current business operations in different ways or to maintain the status quo is not an easy one to make. Some business owners may feel comfortable keeping things as they are and not taking unnecessary risks. If you feel that growth and expansion are in order, however, you must then determine if now is the right time to do so. Remember that your business should be well established, and trying to expand too soon can be detrimental and risky.
It is important that you develop a long-term growth strategy before you take any steps forward. Your plans should be scalable, and you should understand the financial impact that your plans will have on your budget and finances. Some people may find that they need to improve in certain areas or seek financing before ramping up production or expanding into a new market.
Remember that growth can often magnify inefficiencies that may not be bothersome or crippling right now. If you are preparing to grow, consider adopting these smart tips to enjoy the best results.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Substantial business growth rarely occurs if the business owner is unwilling to take a risk. Calculated risks are focused on keeping the risk level within your specific tolerance zone, but they can also help you to energize your company and give it the extra push that it needs to reach a new level of success. Remember that you took a risk launching your business initially, and you may need to take additional risks to grow it substantially.
While you need to step out of your comfort zone and embrace risk if you want your business to grow, you should also define what your acceptable level of risk or loss might be. Then, develop a strategic plan that takes that acceptable level of risk into consideration. Research each aspect of your plan thoroughly so that you are comfortable with it, and talk to your team about the risks and rewards ahead. They should be just as energized and excited about the endeavor as you are.
You should be prepared to endure some road bumps on the course ahead. Some risks will result in a loss, but a detailed plan can help you to navigate through the bumps and reach a higher level of success. With each mistake that you make during the growth process, spend time analyzing it so that you can learn from your failures and improve going forward.
Keep Your Brand Fresh
Your brand should evolve over time, and this helps your business to stay relevant in the marketplace. Rebranding can also draw consumer focus to your business, and this increased visibility and awareness can boost sales and make it easier for your business to expand into new markets. Remember that your competition may be changing over time as well, and you must reposition your brand in a strategic way with the competition in mind.
While you may want to reinvigorate your brand, you need to keep your overall business goals the same. The brand should evolve around the company, and the company should not evolve around the brand.
Analyze the growth plans that you have in mind. Determine what the brand image should be to venture into a new market or to add to your product line. Focus on rebranding that takes these factors as well as the overall identity of your business into consideration. Your new brand image can help you to more easily relate to your target audience and can help you to own different attributes that your target audience values.
Invest In Technology
As your business grows, you should embrace technological changes that are relevant to your business. Not all technology will be helpful or cost-effective, so you will need to analyze the solutions and determine which ones are best suited for your business model and growth plans.
Track new technological developments so that you can quickly and easily incorporate new technology into your business as it develops. Remember that technology can help your business to function more efficiently and cost-effectively, and this is critical when you plan to grow and expand.
Technology offers numerous other benefits for your business as well. It can be used to more easily break into new markets and to reach more customers. It can help your business to innovate new processes and operations, and it may even be used to differentiate your products and services from what the competition is offering.
Even your overall management efforts can be completed more efficiently and effectively through the use of different technological solutions. As you prepare to grow, take the time to learn more about different technologies that can be used to help you achieve your goals.
Know When to Let Go
As your business grows and expands, it becomes less feasible for you to handle all of the work that needs to be done. You will need to learn how to effectively delegate to your valued employees or to reach out to contractors for assistance. You may have to focus more on guiding the growth efforts, and this means that your team should increasingly be relied on.
However, you should only assign tasks to individuals who are dependable and who have the skills or knowledge to handle the tasks. All of your employees should feel empowered and properly trained to handle the work that you are asking them to do.
There may be some bumps in the road as you and your team take on different tasks or let go of them. Be prepared for some transition, and offer oversight and support until you feel confident in your team’s efforts. Letting go through delegation is critical if you want to achieve your business growth goals.
Growing your business can seem intimidating and stressful. The reality is that some things may not go quite as you plan, but you may still reach success with your efforts. Adopt these tips today to more easily navigate through this transition period.