How do you build an enterprise that succeeds? There are many ways of growing a business – and a vast number of routes to success. However, all of them have a few basic things in common.
Be lean and agile, especially at the start
Careful allocation of resources, keeping costs down and looking for smarter, cheaper options for all your essential processes will lay a foundation for success. Healthy cash flow is one of the biggest priorities for small businesses and overspending will kill your cash flow. If you can reach early goals with a lower budget then you’re creating the building blocks for a great business that can grow without requiring vast amounts of capital to do so.
Appreciate when you need outside cash
You may have a business you’re happy to build gradually with cash from sales. On the other hand you might require a large injection of money into the business at some point to take it up a level – whether that’s purchasing stock or driving marketing. Key to growing a business is knowing when to look outside your own income and seek out extra finance, such as a loan or investment.
Be smart when it comes to marketing
You need to reach your customers to start generating revenue so marketing will be essential to business growth. However, it’s also the single simplest way to waste money that delivers no return on investment at all. So, make smart choices when it comes to marketing. What can you do yourself for free (e.g. social media marketing) and where do you need professionals to add value? What marketing is essential right now and what could wait until you’re liquid enough to pay for it?
Always have one eye on the numbers
If you can’t call turnover, sales or projections figures to mind at a moment’s notice then you risk making business decisions that are not well informed and could consequently impede growth. From the very start make sure you’re keeping accurate records of what’s happening in the business and using your figures to regularly produce predictions and forecasts. Employ someone to do your books for you or take a course if it doesn’t come naturally.
Remember both the short and the long game
Yes, you need a long-term vision to be successful in business. But don’t get so lost in where you want to be in five years that you miss the urgent decisions that need to be made right now. Focus on revenue and profitability on a micro level, as well as for the long term, so that you’re always growing your business with every decision that you make.