Many businesses in their growth phase are unable to achieve their full potential because they don’t manage growth well. This may sound counter-intuitive, but your business needs change when you’re moving from one stage of growth to the next, including the size of your team, focus areas, financing, and growth strategy. CreditEnable is a small business too, and since we’re growing right now, we’re facing many of the same challenges you may be. So, here are our top tips on how you can manage your business growth effectively and achieve success like we’re doing!
1. Set growth objectives
A good business growth strategy will get you the most growth through efficient use of resources available at the moment. For sustainable growth, you need to set your growth objectives and adjust them regularly. Introduce clear business goals with measurable indicators and let those guide the rest of your efforts.
Your growth goals and indicators will vary depending on the sector you work in, but some common goals could be your monthly recurring revenue, gross margin, monthly growth in new customers, etc. Your growth objectives and measurable indicators will support your business plan. When you apply for a business loan to finance your growth, lenders will review your business plan and appreciate your forward-thinking approach to growth which take a realistic and solutions-oriented approach to challenges.
2. Hire the right people
Identifying your growth objective and hiring the right people to help you achieve that goal is half your work done! Establish a strong company culture that guides your mission, vision, and employee behaviour, and hire people who will help you foster that culture while also working towards achieving your business growth goals.
Your business is your baby, and finding the right people you can trust may be difficult at first. You want individuals who meet your educational and skills requirements and share your vision for the business. We recommend using multiple channels to source applications, including LinkedIn, job search websites like Indeed and Monster, and your referrals from your current employees!
3. Set a budget and keep your finances in check
Every business needs a budget to guide its finances. When you’re growing, you need to manage your cost and your savings. Both are important because they help you identify which expenses are essential for your growth and which ones can be eliminated to help you save during this critical time.
To set a budget, you should prepare a cash flow forecast for your business. The cash flow forecast will help you estimate your future income and expenses based on past patterns. Ask your accountant to help you prepare one if you don’t already have a cash flow forecast ready. CreditEnable also put together an introduction to cash flow forecasts. You can read it here.
4. Prioritize your focus areas
While overall business success is your ultimate goal, you cannot focus on all areas of your business at once. So, prioritize your focus based on your current growth objectives and concentrate your efforts there.
If your current growth objective is to increase your revenue, you may want to invest more into growing your sales team. As you start building up different sections of your business, they will eventually complement each other’s work, driving overall growth.
5. Learn from your mistakes
As an entrepreneur, it is only natural that you make mistakes on your journey to success. What is important is how you bounce back from them, learn, and apply the learnings to improve your work!
Also, study the work of other entrepreneurs in your sector. Identify some common mistakes others have made and adopt a different approach in your operations to see if that yields different results.
6. Don’t forget to listen to your customers
Your customers play a vital role in your business growth. Their feedback will help you identify what’s working and what isn’t. There are many digital tools to track customer response, in addition to monitoring your social media channels for customer reviews and complaints. If you own a retail store, you can set up a simple feedback box in your store. If your work is more digital, you can send out a Google Form or a SurveyMonkey form to get customer feedback. There are also more advanced tools like HubSpot Customer Feedback and Survicate you can use to integrate customer surveying into your product at different stages.
7. Be agile and adapt to changes fast
Your business is at a perfect size to listen to customer and market feedback and adjust for changes. As businesses become bigger, it is harder for them to be agile and responsive. Their size and scale are why many small businesses were able to be responsive and adapt to the changing customer needs fast at the onset of the Pandemic in 2020.
The same goes for employee feedback. They’re on the ground interacting with your customers every day and have a good understanding of your customer needs. Incorporate their feedback to improve your operations, and where needed, adopt technology to help them efficiently deliver work.
So, stay on top of feedback and market trends, try to predict how your sector will act in the near future, and adapt your business model accordingly. This does not mean you need to be changing your business focus constantly. But it does mean you need to leave enough room for flexibility in your processes to accommodate for change fast when necessary.
All entrepreneurs want their businesses to succeed. Your business is your baby, and to help it grow, you need to be patient and responsive. CreditEnable is in the same boat as you. Every week, we listen to feedback from our lender partners and customers to improve your experience using our service. We routinely make changes to help our lenders make efficient lending decisions and to help you find the perfect loan product for your business needs. This requires an “all hands on deck” approach, with every employee sharing a joint vision of what we’re working towards.
Slow and steady wins the race, and we’re all in it for the long run!
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