How to Grow Your Business
Business growth can mean many things and only you can thoroughly assess your situation and decide which strategies are best for you based on you and your business.
As a non-profit, we are here to help BC women entrepreneurs overcome their growing pains and manage their business growth and we have created a free comprehensive guide based on our years of assisting women business owners with their growth planning.
Think you’re ready to grow? Our Business Advisors are happy to work with you to formulate a growth strategy. Just ask us.
THE Guide to Growing Your Business
Five Questions to Ask Yourself
As you consider growing your business, we recommend you work through these five steps (and use the Growing Your Business Guide to help):
1. Why do you want to grow your business?
What are your motivations for wanting to grow? Maybe there is a ton of demand for your product or maybe you want to be recognized as a major player. It’s important to understand the business and personal reasons because this will help you decide on your growth strategies.
2. How do you want to achieve this?
Once you understand why you want to grow, the next step is to determine how you want to grow. You can:
Increasing your profits doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your sales, but can be a result of increasing your efficiencies by dropping your operating costs or reducing your direct costs. There may be items in your inventory that are worth examining of how they contribute to the profitability of your business. You might also look at who your best customers are, and how they play a role in your success.
There may be opportunities to increase the number of purchases your existing customers make or provide additional, complementary offerings to the products they already purchase. You might also explore whether or not you are reaching all your potential customers in the geographic area you already operate in.
Partner with other companies
Partnerships and alliances can offer more freedom for business owners and the potential to earn greater profits. By entering into a partnership you may be able to capitalize on new distribution channels for your product or service, shared costs in sales, marketing and branding and learn from your partner’s best practices and sales strategies.
Access new markets
Accessing new markets can mean expansion into new areas, regions or countries, but it may also mean earning contracts to supply large quantities of your product or service. In this method of growth, you must first analyze whether or not your business is capable of contract work. There may be opportunities for your business to take on larger projects, without needing to locate geographically in a new market. If your business is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by a woman, you are a “diverse supplier” and have unique access to contract opportunities.
3. What does the business need to grow in that way?
Evaluate the key requirements of your operations and determine what you need to do differently: your products/services, pricing, customers and geographic market, marketing and sales and distribution channels. To achieve growth, you’ll need to have good supporting operations: a proper business structure, processes and systems, office/production space and equipment and human and financial resources.
4. What you need to do or learn to do in order to make it happen?
What does growth mean to you personally? What will your life be like when your company grows? How hard will you have to work? Maybe you need to take additional business skills training, find a mentor or improve your mindset. It’s important to align your personal needs with your business growth requirements.
5. What are your logical next steps?
Look at the notes you have made as you worked through the first four steps. What are your priorities? Where are the gaps?