6 Tips for Growing Your Business

Monday, August 13, 2018

Business growth is critical for long-term success. Still, achieving sustainable business growth is not easy. It requires a strategic plan, being well-prepared, and being nimble enough to adjust to changing market demands. Locally, Cindy Brooks is an excellent resource for businesses needing help in this arena. Through her work at the SBDC, she helps Skagit County businesses and entrepreneurs to plan and achieve sustainable growth. We encourage using her as a knowledge resource and for help with any of the below suggestions. In the meantime, here are some tips that business owners can implement today.

#1 Stay on top of finances

During growth phases, things can rapidly get out of control. It is natural for expenses to temporarily rise while growing but, if not managed correctly, this can lead to immediate cash flow problems and a decrease in long-term profitability. Business owners and managers must stay on top of their finances. One of the best ways to do so is to create a working budget and financial forecasts that account for growth. Then, on a monthly basis, it is possible to determine if revenue goals were met and if expenses were kept under control. If not, adjustments can be made in real-time, rather than waiting until the end of the year to make changes.

#2 Set intential goals

Growth should be strategic and based on intentional goals. This ensures that growth equals profitability. Otherwise, the area of the business that grows could be the most expensive one. To avoid this, set goals and invest in the area of the business that you want to expand.

#3 Share your plans

Business owners and entrepreneurs can sometimes charge ahead without stopping to share the vision with those who can help to make it possible. Share plans and strategies with the team so that they can be an equal participant in helping to make growth a reality and to sustain it going forward. When everyone shares the same vision, sustained growth becomes possible.

#4 Reach out for help

Growing a business is challenging. Using resources, like those available through the SBDC, can help to make it easier. Whether assistance is sought when creating plans or for financial forecasting, these resources can help to provide clarity in addition to direct assistance.

#5 Focus on profit - not just revenue

While many business owners only focus on sales revenue, profits are what really determines business growth. They are necessary for growing the capabilities and bandwidth necessary to meet the needs of future customers. They are also necessary for marketing and key investments. Don’t let revenue drive decisions. Make sure that decisions are made with profitability in mind as well.

#6 Establish recurring revenue streams

Sustainable growth is possible when there are recurring revenue streams that do not require constant sales. Some ideas include putting clients on monthly payment plans, setting up a membership program, or identifying products or services that can be sold online for a membership fee.

Get more ideas for your business

For ideas or help, contact Cindy Brooks at the SBDC by emailing cindy.brooks@wsbdc.org.

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