10 ways to successfully grow your business

18 August 2016

Growing a small business takes hard work, commitment and of course, the right product or service for the market.

While success is never guaranteed, with the right level of dedication, businesses in most sectors are capable of achieving some level of growth. Here, we look at ten strategies that could help you to grow your small or medium-sized business.

Invest in the right people early

If you’re serious about seeing your business grow, it’s vital you have a team of people around you with the skills, dedication and experience to help drive the business forward.

Investing in the right people early will influence the pace at which your business is able to grow later on. The staff you employ in the beginning may not be the right fit if you want your business to grow successfully in the future, so be prepared to make changes where you see fit. Every member of the team should add value to the business, and be on the same wavelength when it comes to your aspirations for growth.

 Nail your branding

If you want your business to flourish, it’s absolutely vital that you come up with a comprehensive brand image for your company. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, building a brand is an important part of giving your customers a positive experience when dealing with your business.

 By attaching your business to a specific brand image, you’ll create an emotional link between yourself and your customers. Not only will this make them more likely to remember you, they’ll become loyal to your brand and more likely to shop with you in the future. Creating a trusted brand is key to sustainable business growth.

SME branding

 

Produce an accurate cash flow forecast

Growing a small business requires extra monetary resources, and you’ll certainly feel the strain of funding additional business growth if you don’t stay on top of your finances. By producing an accurate cash flow forecast, and monitoring it closely and regularly, you can track investment opportunities and keep a firm grip on your outgoings.

 Show loyalty to existing customers

 It’s easy to assume that business growth relies on expanding into new markets to find new customers. But to achieve steady and organic growth, you should also focus on your existing customers and continue providing the products and services which brought them to you in the first place.

 By attending to your existing and loyal customers, you can gain valuable brand advocates that may go on to buy your products and services again or renew their contract with you. They’re also more likely to recommend your business to a friend, thus helping to grow your business naturally. To encourage word-of-mouth referrals, you might want to consider offering loyalty discounts and deals for repeat customers.

 Invest in your own development

Most business owners have aspirations for how they’d like their business to look in ten years, but many lack the management, leadership, strategic skills and experience to make their ambitious plans for growth a reality.

To grow your business and yourself professionally, you should first identify your strengths and weaknesses, and aim to develop areas which will have the greatest positive impact on your success. Understanding how to grow a business is different to starting one, so don’t be afraid to invest in your own personal learning and development to steer a successful course for your business.

Be prepared to change your behaviour

For a small business to grow, the owner must have the right attitude and mindset, and be prepared to change their behaviour from ‘business as usual’ to ‘let’s get growing.’

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is to overcome their time-tested business strategy and develop a new way of working that will see their business grow. The best way to do this is to set achievable targets and goals (such as earning a certain amount in a specific period) so you can develop your business in a more manageable way.

Find a trading partner with the right resources

Sourcing additional financial resources is often the biggest setback business leaders face when trying to grow their small business. One tactic many small businesses use to kick-start growth is to secure a partnership with a larger firm, which may be able to provide funding and resources in exchange for products and services.

Partnering with an established company doesn’t always mean extra money in your pocket, but it does bring opportunities which could lead to business growth. Before you approach a potential partner, make sure you understand exactly what your business has to offer, and how the other party stands to benefit from partnering with you. It may be that your small business has just the innovative solution to help a larger business out, making you an attractive investment proposition.

how to grow your business

 

Grow your business with re-investment

When business leaders re-invest in their business, it sends a positive and clear message to other potential investors — demonstrating that you believe fully in your products and services and that yours is a sound business in which to invest.

Following an improvement in your profit margin, think about re-investing that money in your business, where it can serve as additional funding for growth. Be patient and continue this in the long-term to build a solid, sustainable and profitable business that’s able to grow at a pace which suits your cash flow.

Master the art of delegation

When you’ve invested in a great team of people, you’ll want to extract maximum value from their experience and skills. That’s why it’s important to understand the principle of delegation, so you can assign important tasks to the right individuals and streamline your entire supply chain.

Giving tasks to your workforce might sound easy but after you’ve invested years of hard work into your business, handing the reins to others can be difficult. Once you’ve overcome the fear of letting others handle your business interests, delegation can give you more time to concentrate on moving your small business forward.

Look to innovate every year

Business growth is all about moving forward, so if you feel like your operation has been static for a while, it’s time to sit down and come up with something new to help refresh and innovate your brand.

Innovating your business each year doesn’t have to involve a massive amount of change or risk. By introducing new products or services, or taking on a new member of staff from a different business background, you can improve and grow your business in a manageable way — ensuring it never goes stagnant or loses its momentum for growth.

With years of experience working with UK businesses, Gazprom Energy understands the needs of small businesses and provides a choice of business energy contracts to fit your requirements. For more information, visit our homepage or call us on 0845 230 0011.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. 


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