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Small Business Growth, Growth Strategies, Small Business Success

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Nothing is more frustrating than working ’round the clock and not generating an output equal to the input in your business. Granted, it’s common to invest on the front end of your business but, eventually, you want a return. You want to see the business grow.

Despite one’s best efforts to grow the business, some small business owners experience stunted or sluggish growth. Here are some of the most common reasons for slow to no growth.

1. No growth goal. Did you know research shows the only statistically significant predictor of business growth is not the industry, size of business, or length of time in business? It is the entrepreneur’s goal for growth. Who knew?!

That’s a significant statistics that begs the question – what’s your growth goal?

2. Missing business strategy. An absent business strategy generally results in a “fire, ready, aim” approach; one in which you start firing in hopes that — somehow — the business manages to accomplish its goal. Yikes! Your approach to how you’ll grow your business is as important as your goal for growth.

Plus, a well-defined business strategy helps identify opportunities that are ripe for you and your business.

3. Growing alone. Nothing grows in a vacuum. Little to no strategic interaction with like-minded entrepreneurs stifles growth in a variety of ways, including loss of creativity, blind spots, and diluted self-confidence. With limited interaction with others, small business growth begins to suffer in a multitude of ways, including loss of creativity, blind spots, and weakening self-confidence.

There’s tremendous value in making better decisions regarding business growth as a member of  communities for emerging and growing entrepreneurs

4. Ignore advice. Most business owners are protective of how they choose to run their business. However, when sought-out advice is ignored, it merely keeps you stuck.

The best advice you never want to ignore  — identify your business strategy.

5. Maintain what or how you’re doing it. This is what is referred to as insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A course-correction in growth occurs when you alter what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.

One change that makes the difference between success and struggle is to stop doing and start achieving. 

6. Pinching pennies. Every entrepreneur understands “bootstrapping”. Nonetheless, don’t let excessive frugality cause you to hire cheap, inexperienced vendors or to cut corners. Both come with a larger price tag than you realize.

Nail down a profitable pricing strategy to avoid cutting corners that impede your growth.

7. Doing it all yourself. Although doing it all yourself commonly occurs in the start-up phase of your business, it’s not designed to be a long-term strategy. Eventually, it bottlenecks your ability to grow.

As you add contributing members to your team, be sure they are pluses (not minuses) in your business.

Are you ready for the good news? These are easy to correct…and we’re here to help.

Whether you’re trying to reach $100,000, $250,000, $1 million, or $5 million in revenue, getting to the next level in your business opens up a wealth of opportunities. Getting ahead of day-to-day details and accelerating to the next milestone in revenue is exciting — once you have a sound growth strategy in place!

Growth strategies are unique to every business. Where your growth comes from, the amount of risk you’re willing to take, and the available resources all play an important role in the selection of the growth strategy that is the best fit for your business.

As you consider the right options for your business, here are four of the most common growth strategies to keep in mind:

1. Sell more products to your current clients. This is called market penetration and carries the least amount of risk. In fact, in recent studies, more than 50% of small business entrepreneurs plan to use this strategy to increase revenues.

2. Expand your products or services into new markets. This is referred to as market development and is one of the most common growth strategies. Approximately 21% of small business owners expand their product/service as their growth strategy of choice.

3. Promote new products for existing markets. Commonly referred to as product development, this is one of the most comfortable growth strategies for small business owners. Albeit the most convenient strategies to choose from, don’t get too comfortable! Developing new products, even when targeting a familiar market, may require new skills and systems for success.

4. Develop new products for new markets. This is one of the riskier growth strategies given the nature of an unproven marketplace. Implementing a diversification strategy, however, may well be worth the risk if innovation is a key value for your small business.

Every business, regardless of size, needs a growth strategy. As you ponder your choices, consider your willingness to risk, resources available, business capability and capacity, strategic insight into your market…and make your strategy one you can grow on.

More to Grow on:

growth planning

Business growth is a lot like a human being — you need to keep growing for survival. In fact, ask 60% of businesses that were listed on the stock exchange since 1980 that are no longer in existence. You’ll quickly learn the importance of growing your business beyond survival.

“Business growth” is a commonly used term to define a variety of conditions. From an increase in sales to the increase in the number of employees, business growth is a phrase that easily describes a multitude of situations. Simply, business growth is demonstrated by an increase in size or scale with an accompanying increase in yield.

Got Growth?

Every small business owner launches their shiny, new enterprise with great hope and optimism for progress in size and scale. Unfortunately, increased competition, the downturn in the economy, or uncertainty in the marketplace has brought some entrepreneurs to their knees. What started as a dream for a castle in the sky has tarnished to a pup tent in the backyard (aka survival).

Here are 4 convincing reasons to grow your business beyond survival:

1. Economies of Scale
Along with business growth comes your ability to leverage costs. This allows your business to run more efficiently and effectively, including lowering costs associated with producing your product or service.

Although this may seem more applicable to manufacturing, the service industry can leverage economies of scale as well. For example, let’s say you’re an accountant billing at the rate of $200/hour. When you “do it all”, including bookkeeping, admin, project management, filing, and tax preparation, the cost to produce your service is quite high. It certainly cuts into your overall profit margin.

However, growing your business beyond survival allows you to outsource administrative duties, bookkeeping, marketing, and project management at a lower rate. This not only frees you up to generate more revenue, it also improves the overall profitability of your service.

2. Higher Profits
Tied in with economies of scales, business growth allows your business to experience greater profits that you can choose to pay out to yourself, as the owner, or reinvest into expanding products and service to continue the upward trajectory of business growth.

3. Market Expansion
Business growth beyond survival means you’ll have the resources you need to make the leap to the next level in your business. Whether you choose to expand current products into new markets or introduce new products into your current market, you have the opportunity to take advantage of additional business growth opportunities that exist.

4. Brand Awareness
The more your business grows, the greater your exposure. The more others become aware of your brand, the more opportunities exist for expanding your business growth through client acquisition, strategic partnerships, and other such probabilities.

Are you convinced of the need for business growth beyond survival? Although it feels a bit like the chicken and the egg theory, one thing we know for sure — business growth begets business growth.

It’s the only way to grow!

More on business growth:

“I want to launch a business, spend my days in overwhelm, and struggle until burnout destroys my health and my family, ” said no small business entrepreneur to anyone ever! Yet, by the looks of it, one would think that was the intention.

As the speed of business increases, more small business owners turn their focus to fixing overwhelm and dealing with all there is “to do”. Although that’s a worthy objective, it does not alter the long-term landscape of a business.

You’re Focused on the Wrong Thing

Business owners, by nature, are problem-solvers yet most fail miserably at solving their own problems. Why? They’re too close to their own situation to clearly see what their business needs.

Not being able to see the “real” problem has them spending their treasures on fixing what won’t make much of a difference in the long run.

With attention placed on reducing information flow, controlling overwhelm, or trying to get more done by working smarter rather than harder, you’re merely applying solutions to the symptom of the problem.

A solution applied to the symptom of a problem is like putting a band-aide over a gaping wound. It may temporarily stop the “bleeding” but under pressure, it returns to its original state. Or, as my Mom would say, “It’s like trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.”

Experience the loss of a key account, a sluggish economy, or an unexpected emergency and you’re right back to square one with your business growth hanging in the balance.

The Only Focus That Matters

A better use of your time and treasure is to focus on growing your business. Rather than apply solution to the symptoms you’re experiencing, go directly to the source.

The real reason you’re overwhelmed, burnt out, and stressed is because your business has yet to reach its critical mass for growth. Your business growth has either stalled or is too slow for energy to build. Like a plane moving down a runway, your business needs enough momentum for takeoff.

Set your goal for a minimum of 20-30% revenue and profit growth annually. Decide on the growth strategy that makes the most sense for your business. As you do, momentum builds quickly. Your client pipeline fills. Cash flow improves and your profits strengthen. And by focusing on what really matters — your business growth — the symptoms of overwhelm, stress, burnout, and struggle quickly melt away. No matter what is thrown your way, your business will continue to thrive — as will you!

What are you doing to focus on growing your business?

How about joining hundreds of small business owners just like you on the journey to sustainable business growth. Be the “first to know” what your business needs to grow. Subscribe to our blog today!

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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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