As an entrepreneur, it’s pretty easy to get stuck in a rut. Your business grows a little to begin with, and then it gets stuck before it reaches critical mass. According to Startupdonut, this isn’t inevitable. All businesses in all industries, they say, have tremendous growth potential that far exceeds what many have achieved so far. Could your business still expand?
Here is what some experts had to say on the subject.
Get Out Of The Small Business Mindset
Many small business owners don’t want their businesses to grow. They’re quite comfortable doing things how they’ve always done them and carrying on, practically as normal. According to Gerard Burke, a consultant, and fellow at the Cass Business School, the amount that a business grows often has more to do with the personal ambition of the owner than it does with the size of the target market. Companies with ambitious owners tend to grow, whereas those who’d rather have a small business tend to stay having a small business.
Businessman Steve Voudouris exemplifies the growth-mindset small businesses need. He actually contracted a separate firm to help him expand his operation and deliver a more reliable service to his clients. He understood, unlike many small business owners, that it’s good to be both better at what you do, and bigger.
Change Your Processes
According to Burke, if you want to achieve significant growth, your business to grow, you need to change your methods. The way you won your first fifty clients is different to the way you’ll win your next 2,000. Owners have to think of themselves not as “heroes” but as strategists, moving the pieces around on the chessboard in a way that makes maximum use of their resources, including people.
In other words, top business owners are people who have “let go” of their business, allowing other people to take over vital functions that they once held.
Sell To The Choir
Around 90 percent of successful business growth, says Burke, comes from selling to your existing customers. In other words, the biggest growth comes from investing in the people you attracted early on in your business and making sure that you have repeat business. If your product is good, people will want to consume it again and again.
Work With A Large Partner
Some businesses, according to consultant Robert Craven, never grow because they aren’t in a growth-mindset. Instead, they’re in a business-as-usual mindset, which provides their owners a decent living but never gives them the massive profits that they wanted when they first started out. To do that, he says, businesses need to expand. The way that they expand best is if they are able to work with a larger, more established partner. Having a partner on board allows smaller businesses to observe how the larger partner operates and then emulate their model. It also gives small businesses access to the resources and marketing outreach of the bigger company. Many lifestyle companies, for instance, sign up for membership of larger firms and get fed clients that way.