Photo by CC user Виталий Смолыгин on http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/
If your small business is taking in lots of new customers (along with retaining many of your older ones), you are likely feeling pretty good about things.
So, is there anything to truly worry about as you look out over the financial landscape?
Unfortunately, there can be storm clouds out there, specifically in growing your small business too quickly.
As great as growth is for a business, it must be managed properly. Otherwise, one can find themselves with too much work and not enough time and/or resources to complete that work. They can also discover that they do not have all of the financial resources they need to handle the demands.
Take Baby Steps Early on
So that you can grow your small business at the proper rate, remember these tips:
- Big picture – What is your brand’s big picture? Are you planning to stay local or would you like to take things nationally at some point and time? Can you manage your small business all on your own or will you have to seek help in the form of full-time or part-time workers? Lastly, do you have the means to get fast cash for your business if needed? There may very well come a time when you need a fast capital infusion to keep your business moving forward, perhaps even to save it from going under. Recognizing the signs of when one or both could be occurring is important;
- Never forget your customers – One of the most (if not the most) important tips in successfully running a small business; never forgetting who got you to the business world in the first place. Yes, those people you call customers, they can never be forgotten and/or taken for granted. Just as people look to maintain healthy relationships in their personal lives, relationships in the business world are equally if not more critical. One of the dangers of growing too quickly is losing touch with what got you to where you are in the first place. Yes, growth is certainly good, but do it at a managed pace;
- Where to turn for financial assistance – If more financial capital is required to let your small business truly take off, where are you going to get it from? Some business owners may have just enough extra capital on hand to do it all on their own. Others, meantime, may turn to family or friends, perhaps with the idea of encouraging one or more of them to invest in the small business. Still others will seek to do business with financial loan companies, banks etc. No matter who you turn to for the financial push you need to move your brand forward, make sure you understand each and every word of the contract drawn up between parties. It is especially important that if you so choose to seek financial assistance inward (family, friends etc.), a contract is put together. Some may think that dealing with people close to them doesn’t require an official contract, but not having one can be the death of a relationship should things go sour;
- Need help or don’t need help? – Your last big decision in determining if it is time to grow your small business is seeking employees. Some small business owners are perfectly comfortable being in charge of all aspects of their companies, meaning no help apply. Others, however, know that moving the business forward will require additional hands on deck. One of the dangers in moving too quickly with your business is bringing on employees, which translates into paying them. Some business owners will look to cut down on expenses (salaries, health insurance etc.) by hiring people for less than 30 hours a week, including using independent contractors. Once again, this is where your business smarts come into play. If you grow too quickly, you may end up finding worker salaries and other benefits will eat into your profits. By the same token, not acquiring the assistance you might very well need could end up in too much work at once for you, potentially leading to burnout.
Growing your small business at just the right pace can oftentimes be a tricky call.
When you need some financial help along the way to grow as the business climate dictates, knowing where to go for it might be the biggest call you ever make.