Ideas to help you expand your business and make it more profitable.
Growing a small business takes a lot of thought and planning.
One of your greatest accomplishments has been opening a small business. Maybe it took years of saving, doing without, or maybe you were the victim of corporate downsizing and decided to take your future into your own hands and start a small business.
But here you are. Your own business, in all its fledgling glory. Now what?
You need to keep the wheels turning and move things forward.
Growing a small business can take many forms, depending on the business, but let’s look at a few ideas.
Ways of growing a small business
1.Add a complementary product or service.
Maybe you run a greenhouse and sell to retail outlets like grocery stores. What about opening a store on your premises and sell some of the flowers right there? Or maybe you provide computer repair services. What about adding computer software training as well?
2.Teach a seminar at your local community college or write an article for your local paper
This could give you some added exposure for your small business. You’ll be tapping into another customer base by providing them with useful information.
3.Friends and family.
Ask your friends and family to refer folks they know to you. After all, they know you best and can give a glowing referral!
4. New Employees
Have you added new employees lately? Tap into their circle of friends and family for some new customers.
5.Expand into a new territory.
Maybe you operate a business consulting firm, and have just been advertising in your town. Expand your advertising to nearby towns for new customers. For retail operations, think about setting up a keosk in a nearby mall or, if you have the volume, research setting up a branch location.
6.Increase your profit margin.
Profit margin is part of your accounting ratio analysis, but to be very simple this is the percentage of your profit. You sell a widget for $50 and it cost you $25 to make, you have a 50% profit margin. To increase this percentage, you would need to increase your price or decrease the cost to make it.
Is your product or service something you could sell with a website? Lots of books on small business advise encourage businesses, even small ones, to have a website, even if it’s just for giving potential customers information about your business and your service or products.
8.Foster good relationships with your vendors.
If you suddenly need to double your order, will they try to work with you? They will if you’ve worked at the relationship. Pay your vendors promptly and maintain goodwill between your businesses. They will also try to get you a better price the more you purchase if it increases their sales as well as yours.
9.Ask for referrals.
Adopt a refer-a-friend policy. Satellite tv providers use it, even banks use it. Ask your customers to refer a friend that buys your service and get $50.
10.Plan for growth.
Don’t just assume growing a small business will just happen, or that everything else will just fall into place once it does. If you expand into a nearby territory and increase your business by 30%, will your staff be able to handle it? Will your suppliers? Will your cashflow? Plan first. Then go after the new business.
No matter if you’re just pondering opening a small business, or if you’ve been running a small business for a few years, growing a small business should always be on your planning calendar.
So always be on the lookout for new products or services you can add and new markets for your business.
Need help planning ahead? Here at Small Business Accounting Solutions we can help you plan for upcoming changes in your business. Check us out.