For many entrepreneurs, the myth of explosive growth can be a tempting promise for starting a business. However, success is more often about growing your business at a steady rate. Keeping your business afloat for the first four years is critical — The Washington Post reports that after four years in operation, only 50 percent of businesses are still open.
So, if you want to see your business grow at a steady pace, take a look at these small improvements that can help you expand, grow, and succeed:
Change Your Thinking
The biggest thing you can do to help your business grow is change the way you think. While the business world is full of stories about overnight fortunes made by startup businesses, these are the outliers, not the norm. Steady growth can be exponential and is the path to success for most businesses.
While you might see 15 percent annual growth as an insignificant margin, this more than doubles the size of your business in just five years, explains Synnovatia. If you feel as though your business is growing but not fast enough, take a step back and look at the big picture. Real success rarely happens overnight.
Update Your Accounting
Reducing the complexity of your accounting procedures gives you more time to focus on expanding your operations. Online accounting software such as Sage One can make quick work of the day-to-day accounting needs of your business. This type of accounting software can also handle invoicing and daily reports and statements for you.
Online accounting is especially important if you travel as part of your normal business operations because you need to be able to access your accounting documents from wherever you are working.
For many business owners, once the product is in the mail, it is no longer their problem. However, this isn’t the best way to think of shipping. Tracking your shipments with specialized tools helps you better manage your inventory and also allows you to staff your warehouse appropriately based on incoming and outgoing shipments.
If you use UPS for shipments, its Quantum View app lets you manage all of your shipping needs from one customized dashboard. By tracking all of your incoming and outgoing shipments from one place, you can streamline your receiving department and save both time and money.
Diversify Your Business
One of the most reliable methods for small business growth is diversification. By offering complimentary services and products alongside your current ones, you can create multiple streams of income. For products that are seasonal, this is a critical way to maintain your business while in the down season.
Additionally, in many cases you can offer training and education to the public about your product or services or become a paid speaker. Not only is this a great secondary income stream, it is also a fantastic way to bring awareness of your business to new potential customers. By attending conventions and serving as a speaker, you can put your business in the forefront of many people’s minds while sharing you experiences as an entrepreneur.