All businesses want to grow. The big question is how much. Even modest growth is required for a small business to stay viable, but sometimes small businesses are ready to make the leap to large business. If you’ve decided the time is right to significantly grow your company, there are few things you should know. These five “Ps” will help make the transition as seamless as possible and maintain positive results for years to come.
Going big is no small feat. One sure way to fail is making the leap without proper research and planning. Defining your target market and cash flow, understanding customers and clearly identifying areas of growth will give your expanded business a stable foundation from which to grow.
Expansion can be an overwhelming process, so it will help to know where your priorities lie. The book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t focuses on leadership, discipline, technology and keeping things simple. Identifying key people in your organization, simplifying processes and staying lean can go a long way toward long-term success.
Practice Customer Service
Sure, you’re going to need new customers to take your business into the next phase of growth, but you don’t want to lose loyal customers in the process. Keep the lines of communication open with existing customers, let them know what’s going on and remind them that you still value their business. Then, start looking for those new segments of growth and offer them the same customized experience.
Perfect Your Online Presence
The world’s No. 1 traffic source for business these days is Google, with social media coming in second. That means your business’s Internet presence needs to be picture perfect. A website is the first step to making sure customers can find you online, but SEO (search engine optimization) will help make your site more visible. Keeping profiles on social media sites like Facebook up to date will only increase your business’s web presence.
Prepare a Marketing Strategy
Marketing is going to be essential to promoting your business and any new service or product offerings as a result of expansion. Finding ways to reach your target market, researching the competition and making sure online advertising is a part of the mix will all be necessary to surviving the transition from small to large.
Suggested reading: In addition to the aforementioned Good to Great by Jim Collins, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, and How to Win Friends and Influence People In The Digital Age by Dale Carnegie can offer valuable tips on growing a successful business.
MidSouth Bank offers many services, from checking and savings accounts to direct deposit and business loans, to help grow your small business.