Are you looking to grow your business? Here are some strategies for growth to help you take it to the next level.
Investigate Your Business
One of the most important things you can do when expanding your business is market research. While you might have done this when deciding to go into business, continuing to monitor the market is essential as you look to grow.
An Australian Government business growth guide suggests business owners gather statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as well as trade publications, customers, industry associations and market reports. Make sure you reflect your market research in your marketing strategy to help you reach both new and existing customers.
While analysing your business you should also investigate where to find advice and support. The growth guide lists a number of government services that can help, and these bodies may also be able to put you in touch with a mentor or business coach.
When considering growth you will need to update your business and marketing plans and, if you’re looking further afield, you could think about creating an export plan. You should also have an emergency management and recovery plan in place, as well as a succession plan to safeguard your business’s future.
Look at How Your Business Works From the Inside
As your business changes and grows, it is worth thinking carefully about its structure.
Here are some questions to ask:
- If you’re a sole trader, is it time to take on a partner?
- Do your registration details meet regulator obligations?
- Do you need to examine your corporate governance structure and create new positions, update policies or develop more accountability for staff?
You should also look closely at your financial situation and determine how well your current budgets are working, how healthy your cash flow is and whether you need additional finance to build your business.
There are various ways to obtain extra finance including: loans, your own savings, business angels or private investors, venture capitalists, share ownership or equity, and government funding.
Don’t’ forget to investigate the tax implications, as an increase in turnover could mean more tax.
Empower Your People
If you’ve been running your business by yourself, it might be time to staff up. There are a number of options, including hiring contractors, apprentices and young people. Make sure you are across your tax and superannuation obligations and find out whether you need to register for Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding and payroll tax.
When you take on more staff you also need to consider employer obligations such as work health and safety (WHS).
If you already have staff you may want to think about providing ongoing training. According to a government small business initiative, training can help increase your profits, improve customer satisfaction and motivate staff.
The location of your business is important too. Here are some questions to ask:
- Do you need a larger building?
- Would your business benefit by moving?
- Should you lease or buy your premises?
While your initial business idea got you off the ground, for your business to grow you need to continue to innovate and come up with new and dynamic ideas.
When thinking about innovation, consider:
- Investing money in research and development (R&D). Tax incentives, grants and funding programs can assist with this
- Testing ideas in the marketplace
- Ensuring new ideas are protected from unlawful use by seeking advice on registering intellectual property (IP)
You may also want to find out whether there are ways to expand your business online or by franchising. If you are building your online presence, make sure you understand how to set up a secure website, know your spam obligations and how to keep electronic records.
Once you have jumped over the hurdle of starting your own business, the next challenge is growing it. Using these strategies will help you go from a small fish to a bigger one.