A small business has the opportunity to grow in a variety of ways. From creative business banking to unique methods of lead generation – there are a number of options available that can take a company to the next level.
Despite current economic conditions, or the always-present trends and changes, a company has the ability to expand by taking advantage of what is available and making the most out of the many resources.
Knowledge, direction highly important
With a clear financial plan in place, a small business will have a less difficult time preparing for future growth. Therefore, the owner and managers need to understand the company itself, as well as the overall industry, according to Forbes. This step can paint a clearer picture of the current climate, and possibly help dictate the best direction the firm should go in.
This is especially relevant when an owner is considering expansion – and even more so when reaching out to global markets. A small business might have a hot-selling product in the Southeast U.S., but it might not have the same results in Canada, Mexico or even Europe. Therefore, it is very crucial that a business owner understands his or her firm's place in the industry before trying to branch out into other markets.
Finding the perfect demographic and target audience for a business is also a valuable step for expansion, the news source noted. Financial tips could be most effective if the marketing strategy is geared toward the right people. In that case, a firm can start by doing some research close by. Every factor should be considered, including the likelihood that a company can break into a new market. A simple change might be all that is needed to get something selling in a new region, but perhaps a bigger change is in order.
Tips to help foster growth at a small business
In some cases, the most experienced and largest companies are afraid of expansion. While this may sound like a deterrent to a small business owner, it isn't. Growth is possible, it just takes some smart preparations and guts. The problems that larger competitors run into can also act as lessons for the little guy.
How to pull it all together can be tricky, but Jim Alles, New York chapter chairman of SCORE – a partner of the Small Business Administration – provided some tips to LineShapeSpace.com for anyone looking to expand their venture.
For starters, Alles explained that a financial plan is a critical component of any upward mobility.
"All good plans will contain separate marketing and sales plans that deal with competitors and customers, as well as a product plan and an operation plan," Alles told the news source. "Those plans drive a set of financials dealing with your profit and loss statement, which usually goes out three to five years and will help you understand what changes will occur in terms of revenues and expenses. Perhaps you want to spend $10,000 next year in advertising: A year or two later, you will have new sales. It's forecasting. So you put the investment amount and your revenues in the P&L to see the hopeful profit impact and timing of that impact. You need a plan even if it's just bullet points. What are you going to do and when?"
In addition, a business partnership is also very valuable for a small business, Alles noted. Multiple companies can sometimes have a better understanding of potential clients and marketplaces, and in some cases two heads – or more – are better than one. That could be a serious help to an owner looking to expand, and with a solid financial plan in place, growth is a distinct possibility.