If you’re looking to grow your business, that’s a sign that you’re in a great place. Congratulations on that! But what’s next?
Small business growth is an exciting, yet challenging time. And in order to succeed you’ll need to first understand what to expect, and what steps to take.
Preparing for Small Business Growth
A good growth strategy begins with understanding what’s ahead. Your day-to-day activities, your budget, and your workforce are about to change. So get ready to:
- Find new employees – There are only so many hours in a day, and you can’t fit in every new job. That means, if you want to take on more work, you’re going to need to hire more employees. And that in turn, means searching. But where? At a local trade school, poached from a competitor, word-of-mouth, LinkedIn? Where you’ll find new workers depends on the type of business you’re running, and what level of expertise you’re looking for. For example, if you just need someone to mow lawns, you can easily find them at a local community center from a bulletin posting. A plumber or electrician, however, will need to be more carefully vetted.
- Train new workers – Once you hire new workers, you’ll need to train them. If you’re running a daycare, this can be a short chat followed by on-the-job training, as you work together on a couple of shifts. If you’re running a carpet cleaning business, you may want to have a short manual prepared, detailing customer interactions, and how each job should be done.
- Rent a bigger space – Part of growing a small business is often growing your actual space. If you’re a yoga instructor with a home studio, for example, you will likely need to find a new, bigger yoga space to accommodate more teachers and larger classes.
- Add equipment – More workers, more customers and more work mean more equipment needed. So while a new photographer will likely bring their own camera to jobs, you’ll likely need to provide them with specialized lenses, backgrounds, and printing facilities.
Costs of Managing Growth in Business
Small business growth can be hard on your budget. Some of the new costs will be long-term, like an expanded workforce with more salaries, or the higher rent you’ll pay for bigger offices. Other costs are one-time expenses, like new equipment for a new carpenter.
To survive and ultimately thrive, what you’ll need is good planning and a good attitude. While it can be hard to part with more money, the goal is to eventually make more. In other words, all of these expenses are best seen as an investment in one of the most important stages of business growth. Just make sure to update your current business plan, with your new business model, so you’re well-prepared moving forward.
Other Things to Note in Managing Small Business Growth
There are a couple of other things to keep in mind when your business is in growth mode.
- Potentially different taxes – Yep, you’ll need to keep the good ‘ole IRS in mind as you grow. Of course, more taxes shouldn’t be a turn off. You just need to be aware that there are different types of taxes for businesses, and incomes, of different sizes. Likely it’s best to consult with an accountant or tax expert to make sure you’re doing it right.
- Different insurance needs – You will also need to adjust your small business insurance policy to meet your growing business. This means making sure you have the proper general liability insurance, and also checking into other policies you might need.
Marketing Your Growing Business
If you’re expanding your business, you’re doing so for a reason. Likely it’s one of two:
- You have too many customers for your current abilities/supplies
- You see huge potential for business growth
Either way, you will need to market your business to be fully prepared. While inexpensive small business marketing tips can come in handy, you may need to invest more at this point, perhaps hiring an external marketing person, or adding someone part-time in house. This may lead to a higher advertising budget and public relations, but again, these should be seen as a good investment.
Because while it may not be 100% accurate that it “takes money to make money”, as is the case in most popular sayings, there is more than a little truth. You will certainly need to invest to make your business growth succeed.