Small business growth is a certainly a long-term commitment, but you can employ some strategies that will produce immediate results.
Your business is unique, so not every small business growth opportunity is right for you. Still, most entrepreneurs can benefit if they’re reminded of a few tried-and-true techniques. Here are five methods to scale up your operations quickly.
1. Make the most out of your partnerships
You’ve taken the time to nurture your business relationships, so now make them work for you. Leverage your relationships to get services and consultations for a discounted rate. Do you have a relationship with someone who works in public relations? See if you can pick his brain on your social media strategy. Have you built a rapport with a financial consultant? Strike a deal to have her look at your books to see where you should be reducing costs. You’ll be surprised how quickly your relationships can move your business forward.
2. Reevaluate your geography
Selling services locally? Consider what would it take to move your company into more markets. It’s an important question that every entrepreneur must ask eventually. If you’re ready, expansion can generate additional revenue almost immediately.
You’ll need to know your market and the rules of the game. In addition to accommodating new customers, there are also insurance, tax, and legal issues that might go along with the decision to expand.
3. Acquire other SMBs for immediate small business growth
Think mergers and acquisitions are just for the big guys? Think again. It may be easier for your small business to acquire another company than build a new department from scratch.
You’d be in good company, too. Some of the hottest tech companies in Silicon Valley frequently “acqui-hire,” meaning they buy a company primarily for the talent. Maybe there’s a five-person startup team that has the talent you need for a new division at your company. Ultimately, it may be cheaper to get a package deal than to mount a search for new staffers with similar skills.
4. Offer a new service
Can you add a new service or product? Filling another niche could drive up revenue with existing customers or add new clients to your roster. Consider the costs and resources you have to dedicate to adding services: Do you have the right personnel? The right marketing campaign? Launching a product that’s a dud could affect the rest of your brand.
5. Take on a leadership role
Who are the biggest names in your industry? They probably didn’t rise to the top by being a wallflower. Hard work and a great product are key, but to really get your brand noticed you need to become a recognizable face in your sector.
This might be the most time-consuming tip, but it can also yield the best results. Take on speaking roles at small panels or conferences to start building your reputation (as well as your speaking skills). Weigh in on Twitter when it comes to your area of expertise or write a short e-book about your industry. The more your name gets out there, the more likely clients will come to you to for business solutions.