If you run a small business, you will agree with me that growing your business from where it is presently to where you desire it to be, can be quite challenging, particularly as a result of the current dwindling economy and the high competition that exists in the entrepreneurial space.
You are faced with a range of issues, from honing your skills or perfecting your craft, to setting up systems and structures that ensure the sustainability of your small business. Any form of growth in your business requires that you invest a large amount of time and energy; not only in growing yourself to become a better person, but in consciously taking steps that will move you closer to achieving your desired goals.
Research? Yes! How much do you know about your small business? The first step to growing your business in 2018 is to acquire as much information as possible about what you do. Dig deeper. You need to know more about your market, industry, customers (potential or existing) and competitors in order to stay ahead. Ask yourself the following questions, “What’s obtainable in my industry? What grants and opportunities are available for my kind of business? What partnership, funding and investment opportunities are open to my field? The more information you get, the better chance you stand at emerging successful.
There’s a quote I love. It says ‘Find someone who is doing every day, what you hope to do someday’ Deep. Isn’t it? Look ahead of you! Who is in front? Those people certainly took some steps that placed them in front of the row. And if you follow close enough, you will soon catch up. In more practical terms, get someone that is running a business similar to yours but has gone farther and achieved more, and learn from them. This is a hack for growing your business. What they learnt in seven years, you might learn in a week.
A lot of small business owners are living in what we call a ‘one man island’, meaning, they’re just doing their own thing, their own way not caring about what is happening with other people in other places. This is sure-fire step to failure in business and career. Find other small businesses (or even big) and do things with them. Support their initiatives. Contribute your quota to their successes. Collaborate with their events. Publicize their products if possible. Sponsor their programs. One good turn deserves another, you know. This will open bigger doors for you than you ever imagined. Collaboration is a better alternative to competition.
Far too many entrepreneurs, especially startups treat their businesses like an extension of their personal finances. This approach is a no no. Build the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life.
Creating more awareness about your brand should be a priority if you do not intend to remain a small business for a long time. How many people know about your company? Advertising and business awareness have become easier these days, thanks to online platforms. Explore as many awareness opportunities as you can find. The more the number of people who know about your business increases, the more potential customers you will have.
If you are running a hobby, you can run it any how you like, do it at your convenience, spend your profits as you like and take liberties. But when you are running a business, structure is key. We will discuss at length about the differences between running a hobby and running a business in our next post. But the bottom line is to create strategies and structures that sustain your business come what may.
Thanks to social media, connecting has been made a lot easier. The more you engage with your audience, the more they connect to your brand. Social Media is one of the best leverages you can use to connect to your audience and promote your business. Just make sure you do it the right way.
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