Growing a small business isn’t easy. Whether you’re a start-up or part of an organisation that has already been operating for a couple of years, it’s not unusual to hit bumps in the road.
So if you’re feeling like your business is stuck in a rut, you’re not alone. Today we’re going to cover how you can kickstart your company and get back on the path to growth with a number of essential small-business growth tips.
A deceleration in business growth is not uncommon. In an industry as competitive as financial or business advice, it’s far from unexpected for growth to reach a plateau.
Rather than panicking, business owners should look to use this as an opportunity. There are a few common reasons why business growth can slow a little and this could include anything from under-developed branding, lack of long-term planning, inefficiency or simply not having the right individuals within the business.
It’s always important to remember though that most businesses get stuck from time to time. Achieving consistent results year-on-year is also still very much a success and clearly demonstrates your business’ worth.
So, understanding that achieving unchanging results is far from business failure, how can you start your business moving in the right direction again?
When it comes to expanding a small business, there are a number of growth strategies that you could look to use to push your business forward, so consider some of the following tips and whether they could make a contribution to your organisation:
Crunch the numbers: numbers don’t lie. Whether it’s accounting software, efficiency software or another kind of analytical programme, it’s always a good time to look at your numbers to see if there’s anything you could be doing better.
Lead generation: in a sector as competitive as financial advising, how you generate leads can be just as important as the work you do with clients. Double check to see whether your current lead-generation strategy is working, and if it isn’t, don’t be afraid to strike out on a new one.
Invest in your online presence: Your websites, social media identities and business profiles can all play a big role in helping to churn up new business for you. If you need to update and properly integrate your online presence into a cohesive unit, make it a number one priority.
Employ expertise: Whether it be through an advisory board made up of employees or an external party, additional feedback and insight can be a great way to see your business operations from another angle. This can often be the best way to go about perfecting your internal processes.
Raise ambition: Sometimes the easiest solution is the most obvious one. If you’ve been achieving consistent results, raising your ambition is a natural next step. Without pushing your employees too far, perhaps by recruiting or outsourcing work where needs be, raise your growth plans, budgets and targets to give a strong indication of where you want the business to go.
There is always a delicate balance to be struck between pursuing small-business growth strategies and consolidating the work with your current clients. Time management is a tricky task and only you will know how much time you can allocate towards pursuing new leads, so make sure you plan your schedule in advance.
It’s also a question of prioritising. Of all the clients you work with, many will be long-term customers, while others you might partner with on shorter or one-off projects.
When it comes to growing your start-up or small business, you may need to prioritise between clients who are likely to need your services for the longer term and who will form the basis of your sustainable growth.
While you’re factoring in time to develop your business, don’t be afraid to ask yourself which clients are more likely to be with you over the long term.
Businesses always carry some risk, and when you decide to kickstart growth, you should be comfortable with taking on a little more risk. There are two main factors to consider.
On the business side of things, pursuing growth without having the right fundamentals in place can create instability. Employees might feel overworked, uncomfortable or uneasy about many of the new changes. You also need to pay close attention to your existing customers to ensure they don’t feel forgotten about.
Of course, the biggest potential cost is the additional risk itself. Investing money, time and resources into new markets and leads never comes with a guarantee of success.
Your investments might not work out, you could struggle to earn a share of the market and if your organisation can’t adapt to the new environment, your growth could fall flat.
Always remember, though, that risk accompanies reward. There are always factors to bear in mind when it comes to chasing growth and there’s every chance your business could succeed, but it is always worth bearing in mind some of the potential costs as well.
One of the most important resources at any business’ disposal is experience. From starting your business to operating it for a couple of years, you will have been gaining important experience that you can pass on to many of your own clients.
This is the same for pursuing business growth. Whether it proves to be more or less successful, having developed the expertise and experience of getting your business out of a rut and back onto the growth path, you will have a lot of important advice to give to your clients.
As an independent financial adviser (IFA), your advice is only as strong as your own experience, and when you’ve gone through the rigours, struggles and successes of running your own business, your own advisory services will themselves be enriched.
As any advisory business owner can testify, lead generation is a huge part of every business. If you’re looking to find new opportunities and drive your business to the next level, Unbiased provides one of the UK’s most effective lead-generation services for IFAs.
With over 27,000 professionals already using Unbiased, there is lots of scope for business growth when you subscribe.