Moving from a start-up to a successful, profitable business can be daunting. You’ve done all the hard work to get your great idea off the ground, but now you have to ensure that you are working day in, day out to make sure your business stays in the marketplace.
Here are five things to think about when you are looking to establish your business for the long term.
1. No need for speed
The start-up world can move at a frightening pace; the race for new ideas, to be the first and to get the jump on your competitors. This is not always so in the establishment phase. Now is the time to take a breath and consider your situation. Have you got the best systems in place to support your growth? Check your business plan, your financial arrangements and your staffing levels. Make sure that you have all the resources in place before you try to take your business to the next level.
2. Focus on your existing clients
The clients you have today have got you where you are today. You need to continue to provide your existing clients with the same high quality service and products that have made them the strong foundation for your business. Neglect your loyal clients and that solid base will fall away, leaving you exposed to potential risk.
3. Build new clients and markets
While you need to keep your existing clients happy, your business can’t grow if you don’t work to find new clients.
Get out in your marketplace and find out what people need. Are there gaps in your industry that you could fill? Find out what your competitors are doing. Use all your business contacts to network across your market, you never know where the next new client will come from.
The internet is a very valuable research tool, as well as an instant networking tool. Get your business out into social media and have a sound advertising plan that includes digital media along with traditional media.
4. Know the capacity of your supplier
To grow your business, you’ll need to produce more stock or provide more services. The suppliers that worked with you to set up your business might not have the capacity to step-up their production to the level you are aiming for.
Relationships with suppliers are vital for success and you don’t want the worry of managing a supplier that is not equipped to support your growth. Although painful, you might have to consider changing suppliers in order to achieve your goals.
5. Money matters
For sustainable growth you need to know that you’ll have money coming in on time and in full. You will know the credit behaviours of your existing clients, whether they usually pay your invoices on time and if they need you to extend them credit from time to time.
Thoroughly credit check your new clients and suppliers before you get involved with them. In the push for growth you don’t want to take on clients that are unreliable when it comes to paying their bills. Even a small number of late payments, or worse non-payment, can affect your ability to meet your obligations. This, in turn, will damage your own credit rating, something a growing business cannot afford to risk.
Allsquare are professional accountants in Edinburgh offering financial and business services to help small to medium companies with business growth strategies. For more information, call Allsquare today on 0131 343 1510.