It’s not easy to start a small business, not to mention managing its day-to-day operations. It takes skill, a touch of luck, handsome effort, and a lot of patience to operate a business for what may seem like an easy task to outsiders.
Many people dream of starting their business with zero knowledge of what goes into sustaining it. Even more, people start a business without a plan for the future, which is a definite recipe for disaster.
How to prepare for your company’s growth
Preparing for your company’s growth should start from all points of your business—from its inception to its operations. Here are several aspects you should assess to ensure your company is ready for its future growth.
Have a business plan
Not having a business plan is the worst form of self-sabotage one can do to their business. Setting a clear direction for your company is the first step to success and failure. Businesses with a clear sense of direction are more likely to succeed than those navigating the entrepreneurial world and hoping to hit the jackpot along the way.
If you’re daunted about business plans thinking they’re some thesis defense you need to pull out, fret not! Think of everything you need for your business—from assets, finances, investments, products, and target market. You’re on the right track as long as you know what you have and where your company is going.
Make sure finances and accounting are in order.
Finance ensures you have enough money to generate and use in your daily operations. Accounting means properly recording the inflow and outflow of cash and other transactions the company makes. While both are different, they work hand in hand to ensure that the company can continue operating for a long time.
Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert, underlines the importance of keeping record of the organizational finances: “We all know that cash is the lifeblood of the business. However, one should not discount the importance of proper accounting in business operations. Your company will grow when your accounting books look good. No matter how much money comes in and out of your bank account, your accounting books tell the real state of your company—one that tells your investors if the company is performing well or not.”
Be on the lookout for potential capital and investments
According to George Tsagas, Owner and Founder of eMathZone, “Basic math concepts will tell you that profits come from subtracting income from expenses. However, businesses don’t just grow that way. Acquiring debt and leveraging capital into the equation will make your company’s ratios look much better and more attractive to potential investors.”
This means that debt is okay for a company, contrary to belief. In fact, debt ratios are attractive to potential investors (as long as they are managed at an appropriate level) because it means a company is leveraging debts for business improvements.
These ratios will help attract potential investments, which should be taken into consideration by a growing company in the long run.
Ensuring business compliance and tax regulations
According to Ben Michael, Practicing Lawyer and Founder of Michael & Associates, “Making sure your company complies with tax rules and all necessary compliances saves you from the trouble in dealing with potential litigations in the future. Tax and law litigations are a headache, and mitigating their risks from the get-go is very important.”
One of the most important factors in operating a business is ensuring that all business compliances are appropriately followed and dealt with. Your duty as a member of the community is to ensure that all taxes and federal and state laws are paid and complied with to avoid negative exposure, interest accumulation, lawsuits, and business closures.
Invest in people
If you want to prepare your company for growth, investing in people is one of the smartest business moves you can make. And this means retaining great talents and matching their value with the compensation they deserve.
People think giving raises hurt their financials, but most don’t realize that when employees are not valued, they are inclined to leave for better opportunities, and the value of replacing them can cost twice as much.
The average cost of hiring a new employee ranges from 30 percent to 150 percent of their salary, factoring in hard and soft costs related to inductions, training, new hardware, and agency hiring costs. This doesn’t include the time spent by new employees to learn about the company, affecting work productivity in the long run.
Retaining good employees, no matter the reasonable annual salary raises pays back through productivity, skill mastery, and trust and loyalty to the organization.
Keeping up with technology is indispensable to running a big or small business. Adapting to recent technological advances, like improvements in operating systems, management software, and the upgrading of physical computer units, are just some ways to boost business through innovation.
Jesse Galanis, Content Manager of Switching2Mac, emphasises that “Many businesses, especially those who have been around for a while, refuse to shy away from traditional means of operating their businesses. Many people don’t see the value in embracing modern technology and software when it’s the one thing that business should adapt to keep up with modern customers.”
Go beyond traditional marketing
Your company’s potential growth means that your marketing processes should also adapt to modern times.
If you’re still stuck with billboards and posters, consider venturing into the digital marketing world. Did you know that more than half of the world’s population uses social media? Social media marketing is currently one of the most effective and efficient ways of marketing, with conversion rates soaring at rocket high even more post-pandemic.
There are many ways to utilize digital marketing, be it through social media, influencers, content, or email marketing—choosing the most effective digital marketing approach for your business will significantly help your company’s growth.
Value your current clients
Customer retention is a significant factor in a company’s growth. A company’s growth is impossible without customers willing to purchase its products and it needs to have the ability to develop trust among its current patrons.
To develop customer loyalty, a company must continuously put out the highest quality products and services and consistent and reliable customer service. Offering discounts and rewards programs, special offers, and referral rewards are just some of the ways to show your customers that their loyalty is valued.
When regular customers are happy, they provide a consistent flow of revenue stream for the business. Moreover, happy customers are the best form of marketing—through word-of-mouth marketing. This means that your loyal and satisfied customers carry your products and services in their daily conversations, converting casual talks into potential sales.
Tory McBroom, Chief Editor of Yoga Answered says, “Yoga is a practice of the body, mind, and spirit. Connecting and assessing our inner selves during Yoga isn’t any different from self-assessing a business from time to time. This means continuous self-reflection to achieve optimal self-improvement.”
There is no more important factor to assess the company’s growth than continuously self-reflecting.
Where am I? How can I improve my business processes? How can I add more value to my products and services?
These simple questions, when done regularly, will help you prepare for your company’s growth by having a clear position, direction, and assessment of your current business practices.
Starting a business should mean that you’re prepared for it to grow at any point in time. This means that, at its starting point, company owners should unfailingly reassess and reexamine company direction, financials, and internal and external opportunities, threats, and risks to allow the company to grow smoothly over time.