How to grow a Business in 8 Steps
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How do some small businesses manage to grow and thrive while others seem to struggle and miss opportunities that come their way?
It appears the most successful business owners display some clear patterns and habits. Here are 8 secrets for achieving growth regardless of the economy.
- Grow to survive - Many small businesses assume it's best to reduce offerings to survive tough times. While this seems logical, sometimes the best move is to do just the opposite - to grow. Before cutting back and shrinking your business, consider first whether additional funding might help.
- Check your ego - You know your business inside and out, but that doesn't make you an expert at running it. Smart business owners only know what they know. Don't be afraid to ask for advice and then, take it. All successful people have a 'coach' or mentor.
- Remember your first fans - Many entrepreneurs seem to forget who helped them get started. If you have investors, keep them apprised of what's going on. Good communication is the key. A good investor group can provide mentoring and other resources, so keep them involved.
- Share your knowledge - In today's business world, success and influence are in the hands of those who share their ideas and information. Yes, you might lose a little competitive edge by sharing your secrets, but you will gain influence, and possibly success. So when you found a great tool or solution, or gained insight, tweet it, blog about it, author an article, post it to Facebook.
- Hire someone to watch your money - Lack of strong accounting and finance can be the only thing keeping you from reaching your financial goals. Find well qualified people who share your vision and then step back and take their advice.
- Know when to persevere - Stick to your mission. Many 'would be' success stories end prematurely because they give up when challenges mount. Don't let hurdles stop you. Arm yourself with market knowledge and an expert team and push through.
- (But) Recognize when to change direction - There are times you may need to change direction or call it a day. Having the courage to do so can be liberating. You may end up with a clearer picture of what will or won't work.
- Keep cash on hand - One of the biggest mistakes growing businesses make is to run out of cash. While the sun is still shining on your business or before your financial picture has a chance to turn sour, meet with leaders and/or landlords proactively to see if there are opportunities to restructure debt, payment terms etc. Having cash on hand is critical for staying afloat and continuing to grow.
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