How to Grow a Small Business
Have you ever wondered how a small business can accelerate growth and all of sudden be a large middle or even BIG business in a short period of time?
For many small business owners who may be just keeping their head above water, maintaining profits and cashflows is simply a major task in itself let alone finding the time to consider further growth. And often the constraint to making life easier is to grow the business, exponentially. But how can you achieve this when many owners are struggling to find the time and money to run the business as it is?
Making the Decision For Business Growth
The first point is to make a decision about whether growth is right for you and in small to medium size business, this is often a very personal decision. For some, the perception of how hard it will be to grow a business exponentially is enough to kill off the dream. However, the opportunity does exist to explore many options which can be achieved, sometimes without too much pain and often without the necessity of large amounts of cash. Consider your business and whether any of the following “could” be possible with the right strategies and support to guide you through?
- Acquisition – it’s amazing how very few small business owners consider this as a viable option, especially when you consider how effective this strategy can be when it is done in a smart way. Consideration can be given to buying a like business in a different location or an effective buyout of one of your suppliers or distributors or BOTH, therefore giving you total control of the supply chain. Do not look at a business and think “we can’t afford that”; there are possible ways to purchase businesses without very much cash down and in the right circumstances ………… no cash down
- Distribution model – Similar to option 5, however in this case rather than starting from scratch and expending start-up costs and requiring further self-management of a new geographic region, building a distribution model allows you to grow your reach with very little investment and/or direct on the ground management. The key is to strategically identify the right distributors that will enhance both your brand and revenue
- Franchise model – have you built a “system”? The franchise model is similar to a distribution model, however, enables you to maintain brand power and control over the franchisees in how they conduct their business. Not for the faint-hearted as compliance with the Franchise Act becomes a core responsibility of the business, however, we all know that there are literally hundreds of examples of highly successful franchise systems. The key is to understand that your core business function changes from applying your system yourself to supporting others to apply your This requires both a business transformation and a psychological shift in recognising your new core function is as a “franchisor”
- Licensing IP – the licensing model is best applied where protected Intellectual Property can be duplicated and delivered by others and can be a good option for those not wishing to become a franchisor. If you have built software, services or methodologies that solve problems and you are not concerned about building a brand, then “white labelling” your IP and licensing to others can be a lucrative option while providing rapid growth opportunities
- New geographic location – depending on what type of business you have, if you have been successful in your current geographically location then is it possible that you could duplicate this in another location? While there are many issues to consider, in some cases it is not about duplicating ALL business functions; it may be a matter of establishing a low-cost satellite presence that adds revenue with very little associated fixed costs
The key to taking your business to “the next level” and developing accelerated growth strategies is first to systematically explore all options, develop a plan to implement and build sustainable competitive advantage i.e. scalability as a core element of your growth.
To take a closer look at which growth strategy could be right for you, then download our free e-book depicting case studies of each accelerated growth strategies; many learnings outlining the pro’s, the con’s and how each of the above strategies can be implemented successfully with an outline of pitfalls to watch out for.