Many small business need to stay lean while still undergoing expansion. Successful small business owners expand a business as necessary, while factoring in their budget and potential profits from the changes. Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners can benefit from taking time to strategically grow their business and meet new demands. What suggestions can be used to grow a small business on a budget?
Perform Market Research
Though not all business strategies are suitable to businesses of every size, small businesses should take note of big business strategies when looking for guidance on how to manage their companies. Like many larger companies, underperforming small businesses or those that are seeking out additional growth should perform market research on their demographic.
One way to differentiate oneself and see more growth may be to target a segment of the market aggressively. This was done by Pepsi when it was losing out to Coca-Cola, and a focus on a younger demographic helped it to become more successful. Likewise, some energy drink companies all follow the same path and target the same demographics.
A small company may do best to go deep rather than broad to build a loyal and steady customer base from a smaller niche, rather than by scattering their energy too much and casting a broader net. This means that a small business should know their main competitors, identify underserved areas and develop a strategy to service that corner of the market.
Revisit a Business Plan
Small business owners would do well to create and revisit a business plan. This document serves as an outline of objectives and strategies that will be used to achieve goals. It generally covers a framework that will help govern growth and management over a three-to-five-year period. As marketing and financing are generally addressed, it can be a benefit to any business owner to dust off their plan and reassess original strategies. Original goals can be forgotten when a business gets busy or when it seems that there is always something else that needs to be fixed or addressed. This may be a sign that it is time to get back to the essentials.
The business plan is not set in stone but can be adjusted to meet current needs and should be reviewed on a regular basis. This can help a small team to redefine their strategy, align their marketing plan with business objectives, use resources in ways that show demonstrated growth and look for new ways to get additional financing. Those looking to grow their business often need a formal business plan to present to investors or to use with lenders. A realistic revenue estimate as part of such plans can help small businesses get additional funding and decide when it would be best to implement new changes in a business.
Look for Financing
Crunch those numbers. Is it possible to make changes needed without additional funding? Many small businesses need more funds at a different stages to promote new products or services, grow their team and serve more customers. Small business may want to seek financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or additional options such as banks and credit unions. Some may want to look for working capital loans from an alternative online lender. These are all options to help fund growth in an expanding small business.
These tips can help small business understand which areas to target for growth and find new ways to finance their operations and meet business goals. Cover these basics, including having and coming back to a business plan, in order to assess the potential of any changes under consideration.