Your business is doing well, but you’d like to take growth and profit to the next level.  The problem is, you don’t know where to start.  Here are seven actions you can focus on to take your business to the next level; achieving your goals of income, freedom and scale.

1. Aligned and clearly defined Strategy for growth 

Successful SME Businesses invest time working on their strategy and defining their niche market. Without working on your business, you will always be working in your business. Working on your strategy is working on your business.

A clearly defined strategy:

  • Helps you understand what opportunities you say yes or no to
  • Clearly defines the market you will play in, how you face the market and with what products and services to provide solutions to your target customers.
  • Establishes capabilities that differentiate you from the competition – differentiating value proposition
  • Drives sustainable growth and profit
  • Blocks your competitors
  • Builds a strong culture that can deliver on your brand promises
  • Helps make effective and timely decision making

Building a winning strategy is very rewarding to any business; however, it takes time, structure and unbiased thinking. Mapping out a growth plan will help you achieve new levels of success.

2.  Owner to Leader

One of the most significant challenges for owners is being able to transition from owner to leader. Moving from being in total control and performing many tasks on their own, to delegating tasks and relying on employees to drive business growth is not always met with success. These “owners” are no longer looking in the mirror to complete tasks; they need to delegate tasks to staff and associates to own and complete. This is a crucial area where leaders delegate responsibilities to employees and empower them to drive growth. In the words of Bill Gates: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

3. Focus on Customer Service

Retaining loyal and repeat customers is a critical factor in the continued success of a small business. In addition to the regular income that repeat customers provide, happy customers also offer powerful—and free—word-of-mouth, referral marketing.

Aim to create the best experience for your customers. From your initial proposal through final delivery of your product or service, be sure the customer journey is positive, laying the foundation for repeat business or referral.

4. Continue Education –  As a small business owner, you spend a lot of time helping your company and team succeed. That being said, the thought of attending classes or seminars might seem impossible.  The rewards and benefits for personal development go far beyond personal growth, to your employees and the business.

The fact is, no matter how much you achieve, there will always be more to be learned and applied for even greater success.  Fortunately, there are various ways to continually learn and expand knowledge to help your business thrive, including online classes and tutorials, self-paced programs, mentoring, and reading business books.

5. Take Advantage of Delegation – Sometimes it’s hard for small business owners to walk away from their stores, factories even for a little while. But as you know, scheduling some personal downtime is crucial for anyone who runs a business to stay at the top of their game. Scheduling downtime allows you to unwind from a busy year, re-charge your batteries, and connect with loved ones and friends.

Owners are constantly juggling priorities between their company, employees, family and outside interests. It is challenging to stay focused and clear when you are in “overwhelm” mode. So, take a clarity break.

Here are some pointers to make the clarity break effective:

· Book that appointment time with yourself regularly whether you decide to do it daily, weekly or monthly. It should be a minimum of one to two hours per week.

· Find a quiet place away from the office and all the distractions and interruptions.

· Put your phone and other devices out of reach, on silent, or in aeroplane mode after arranging a fail-safe method for your family or assistant to notify you in case of an emergency.  Take a blank pad and a pen with you.

Delegation is a key factor in achieving time off. Make sure you hire management and other team members you can trust to run the day to day operations of your business so that you won’t worry about work-related issues during personal time off.

Remember, learning how to delegate IS the difference between reaching new heights and burning out. Plus, delegating tasks to other capable employees gives you time to ponder and implement ways to grow your business.

6. Systems and Process to increase productivity- If your company has even one ineffective system or process, it can affect your overall profitability and hinder your ability to accomplish your goals. If you have an out of date inventory management system, for example, you run the risk of losing money from spoilage, storage costs and can impact client relationships due to the impact of customer service.

Inefficient systems and processes may lead to frustrated employees, missed deadlines, lost opportunities, non-compliance, and dissatisfied customers, all of which increase costs to the business.  Keeping up with technology will help you make better decisions, as well as save money, time and other resources.

7. Embrace Online Marketing – Online marketing can add a new dynamic to promoting your brand, products, and services. As the previous point mentions, the most successful small businesses are those that are willing to explore new outlets provided by innovative technology.

Consistently blending and testing your marketing efforts is a valuable way to discover not only what works but how to better connect with the target market and analysis results.

You don’t have to use all marketing avenues at once, start with one or two new platforms that align with the way you run your business, and then implement or change others gradually.

Contact us to find out how we can help you get there.