Starting a business is just the first step. In order to keep it growing for the long term, you need to carefully orchestrate the next steps.
Here’s a few strategies that have worked for others and could take your small business to the next level.
There are many institutions out there who are willing to give you money for business expansion. You can go to a bank or visit online peer-to-peer lending websites.
You can also reach out to angel investors or apply for government loans. There has been a steady lending increase to small businesses following presidential election. You can take advantage of this to secure financing from governmental institutions. Government loans have discounted interest rates when compared to those offered by private institutions.
License Your Products
Licensing can be a cost-effective economic growth medium, especially if you have a branded product. By licensing, you receive the proceeds and royalties from the continued sales and use of your brand. Licensing products costs a lot less when compared to starting your own company. A good approach is to find a trustworthy and willing partner to help you market the products. You can research companies that offer products similar to yours and set up a meeting. Find a lawyer who specializes in intellectual properties to oversee the process. Engaging a lawyer will help you reduce the risk of losing control of your product.
Diversify Your Customer Base
Concentrating on one category of customers is potentially dangerous. The customers may develop new buying habits and migrate to your competitors, or your industry may experience radical changes. It is important you diversify. Try cold calls and ramp up the image of your brand. Put more emphasis on networking and embrace your competition. A modest degree of diversification will lead to a superior financial performance, regardless of your area of specialty or the size of business.
Never Ignore Your Loyal Customers
Channeling a larger percentage of your resources towards acquiring new customers is key to business economic growth. However, you need existing customers as well for survival when things get tough. Give your regular customers extra attention. Build strong relationships with them and earn their trusts. Be aware of what is happening to them and the market. Determine the current trends you should keep up with to please them.
Win Government Contracts
The government is one of the largest buyers of goods and services, so you need to keep an eye on the contracts they issue. The first thing you need to do here is to identify the products and services that are currently in high demand in governmental institutions. You can talk to an officer from the SBA Procurement Center in your state for more information. You can also contact and set up a meeting with small business specialists. Every government agency has one.
Monitor Your Cash Flow
Some small business owners focus more on how they can monitor sales, increase profit margins and reduce expenses than on how they can manage cash flow. Managing your cash flow helps you know how much is coming in and how much is going out. The rule of thumb is to manage cash flow regularly. When done correctly, cash flow can help you reduce expenses and expand your business significantly.
Merge or Acquire Other Companies
Mergers and acquisitions can help your business reduce risks and get more capital to carry out its activities. It also encourages customer and staff retention. Such a strategy has been a winning formula for Ryan Hibbert and the Riot Hospitality Group (as one example).
Before you merge or acquire another company, perform a thorough financial analysis to determine if you have enough liquidity to make and sustain the investment. You also want to make sure you have an experienced team to monitor and complete the transaction.
Growing your business economically largely depends on the strategies you have put in place to help you achieve your main objectives. The seven steps discussed above will provide a solid foundation on which you can initiate and monitor your company’s growth.
Featured image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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