It’s easy to get complacent when a business is doing well. But as the market changes, inflation rises, and new competitors emerge, it becomes essential to grow and absorb the losses these changes inflict. As companies expand, expenses also go up, sometimes at a higher rate than profits can follow suit.
So whether you’re a freelancer working from home, a local success, or an internet sensation, growing your business is essential in order to remain in business. Here are five ways to keep your business growing.
1. Reinvest Profits
This goes without saying, yet a lot of entrepreneurs fail to reinvest profits. To be clear, paying bills and paying off debt is not what we have in mind when we talk about reinvestment.
We mean putting money into taking on more or better talent, expanding business operations, renovating the workplace, upgrading equipment, or opening a new branch.
Reinvesting provides more capital for the business to grow. This might mean holding off on that new Range Rover or three-story house, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Even so, be sure to manage reinvestment funds carefully to ensure you aren’t just throwing money into lost causes. Keep track of spending versus not just the profits, but other core benefits like employee loyalty.
Happy employees are just as beneficial as happy customers. They are willing to go the extra mile for your brand, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to grow and stay ahead of bigger companies. Loyal employees also stay, and as many businesses learn over time, employee turnover is expensive.
2. Hire the Best Talent
Small businesses tend to skimp on talent to save money. Paying for qualifications and experience can be costly, and at a first glance the pay-cut seems like a much better option. How can it not be when it leaves more money in your pocket to spend on other things?
But a company can not do business on its own. Even when automated, it requires great programmers, designers, and administrators to keep the system running, and to know how to troubleshoot and fix problems as they arise.
Hiring the best talent you can afford ups the quality of the goods and services you provide to clients and customers; whether you’re baking cookies or building skyscrapers. This gives you one heck of a competitive advantage and increases customer loyalty, and a high-end perception of your brand.
3. Franchise your Business
After building a local success, franchising becomes a viable option for expansion and growth. Franchising helps a brand to populate towns, other states, or even other countries.
When franchising your company, you offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to manage a carbon copy of your business. Typically, the franchise operator uses all the components of your brand – including logo, slogan, products, services, and sometimes even the layout of your building.
Hire an attorney to oversee the process. Make clear rules that keep processes and products uniform, while allowing some flexibility to take unique conditions into account; such as, language and culture.
But remember that while there is plenty of opportunity here for free marketing and PR, not all publicity is good publicity. Choose carefully before allowing someone else to run your franchise. Any scandal they cause will be your burden to bear as well.
4. Update Products and Services
Some people prefer consistency to innovation. In fact, a lot of people do. But consistency, while good, often leads to complacency.
Even BlackBerry could only lag behind technology for so long before they lost their envied position as smartphone gods to Apple and Samsung.
After all, if competitors in the industry have adopted new and innovative processes and your company is still behind, who do you think customers will flock to?
Because of this, it’s important to update products and services. This could involve updating the processes behind them to make it more efficient, or even the appearance.
Seasonal offerings also help to keep things interesting without upsetting those customers who love everything exactly as it is. For instance, a bakery could make special holiday cakes, or a driving school could offer special classes for driving on snow and icy roads as winter approaches.
5. Conduct Business Ethically
We say this time and time again: it takes a lot of hard work to build a reputation, and just one scandal to make it all come crashing down.
In today’s media, it may seem like people forget big issues and move on very quickly, but that’s not entirely true. Even when the scandal loses its place at the forefront of the media, people remember when it’s time to make a purchasing decision.
Conducting business in an ethical fashion does not always safeguard companies from scandal, but it does protect them from the worst of it. There is nothing worse than being disgraced, and having to admit to customers, clients, and the public at large that you disgraced yourself and your own company.
Ethics helps your business to grow, because your reputation will always precede you. Ethics seeps into employee relations, customer service, and branding.
Good ethics help to build trust with all the key stakeholders in your brand, and encourage your customers and clients to refer you as a safe and trustworthy option for business.
Growing a business is a challenge that often requires a second pair of eyes to observe, analyze, and advise. Check out our business consulting services at Alexis Chateau PR to see how we can help you to grow your business through better branding, business planning, and market positioning.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.