Growing Your Small Business in 2018: 7 Critical Questions to ask.

Every startup business owner will agree with me that growing a small business is not an easy task.
It takes quite a lot of energy and hard work to achieve any form of growth in a business especially considering the recessive economy and more competition that exists in the entrepreneurial space.

Any form of growth in your business from honing your skills, to creating systems and structures to ensure the sustainability of your business and straightening out your finances to increase profitability and accountability; 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.

Here are the questions below.

1. How much do you know about your 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 is obtainable in your industry? What grants and opportunities are available for your kind of business? What partnership, funding and investment opportunities are open to your field? The more information you get, the better chance you stand at emerging successful.

2. Who is doing every day, what you hope to do someday?
There are people ahead of you in your industry, find them and network with them. 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 that is similar to yours but has gone farther and achieved bigger, and learn from them. That is a hack for growing your business. What they learn in 7 years, you might learn it in a week.

3. How are you collaborating to promote growth?

A lot of small business owners are living in what I call a one man island, meaning, they are just doing their own things, 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. Trust me, this will open bigger doors for you than you ever imagined. Collaboration is a better alternative to competition.

4. Is your business finance separate from your personal finance?

Far too many entrepreneurs, especially startups treat their businesses like it is an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very Bad idea. Build the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life.
5. How much are you investing in advertisement?
Creating more awareness about your brand should be a priority if you intend not to remain a small business for a long time. How many people knows about your company? Advertising and business awareness have become easier these days, thanks to online advertisements. 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 have.

6. What strategies and structures do you need to put in place?

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. Create strategies and structures that sustain your business come what may.

7. What are the best ways you can leverage on Social Media to move your business forward?

Thank God for 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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