Published: August 17th, 2016; By Nick Hughes
So, you want to grow your business? Great! There’s nothing more exciting than taking the business you started and making into something even bigger and better.
However, a word of warning! Growing a business is more, much more, than only selling more stuff. Yes, selling more stuff is important, but growing a business requires you the business owner to direct all your energies, thoughts and actions on growth. Growing a business is a difficult and complex undertaking and opportunities for success will be greatly increased when you follow these five recommendations.
1. Focus on your Vision
To make your great dream come true … you must first have a great dream. Your vision is that dream. It is your passionate desire that is so strong and so important it is imbedded in your subconscious. It is a statement that clearly articulates your future.
Write it out, do a vision board, do whatever you have to do to make it front and center so it is a key part of every day. When things get crazy and off-track, and they will, you want to be pulled by your dream so you don’t get distracted. Your vision is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning and gives you long-term purpose.
2. The difference between planning to grow and planning your growth
To assume you can grow your business without a plan for that growth is a bit like wandering the desert without a compass; you just go round and round and round. You are on the road to somewhere but you’re not sure where you are meant to end up.
Your Strategic Growth Plan becomes your road map helping you keep your eyes on your destination. It lays out your goals and the steps you need to take to make your vision happen. Your plan allows you to track your progress on a daily basis and to recognize when you are off course. Your plan is what keeps your actions in line with your intentions. It’s an incredibly powerful tool!
3. Make the time
You’ve got your Vision, you’ve planned your growth; that’s all very well and good but it is of no value if you don’t set aside time to work on your growth activities.
You must learn to manage a more complex business. That includes making time for the activities that will increase your client base; creating new products; building your team and systemizing the operation. Depending on how aggressive your growth plans are, you must devote one to two days per week on activities directly related to growing the business. But where will you find that much time?
Start small; find 45 minutes each day for growth activities. Block that time in your calendar. This gives you more than three and a half hours per week! Who could you delegate some of your work to so you have more time? Remember it doesn’t have to be only employees. List everything you do in a week and be fierce. What really doesn’t need to be done anymore?
4. Raise the Expertise Ceiling
The Expertise Ceiling is the ceiling you hit when your company reaches a size and complexity that is just beyond your level of experience and skills. This is nothing to be ashamed of; business history is full of stories about successful companies that suddenly flounder when they reach their owners’ Expertise Ceiling.
Find a mentor who has experience in growing and running businesses larger than yours. Join and participate in associations. Hire a business coach who has a track record of helping business owners grow their businesses. Create a Board of Advisers; they can supplement your skills and therefore raise the overall Expertise Ceiling. Search for and take business courses. A good online learning platform is www.udemy.com
5. Lead with an Attitude
“Success is an attitude” wrote Fisher and Allen in their book ‘How to Think like a Millionaire.’ You must really want to build a bigger business. You must believe in yourself; believe that you can take your business to something bigger and more complex than it is now. Not only must you believe in yourself but you must also believe in your team because you can’t do it alone!
We all have down days; days we question our ability to succeed in growing our business. When that happens tell yourself: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
Managing a growing business is not easy and you will be faced with conflicting priorities along the way. Never lose site of the fact that your business will not achieve the growth you want if you don’t believe it’s possible. You now have to devote all of your experience, talents and energy to the single purpose of building a bigger business.
Enjoy the journey!
Haven’t got a plan? Download our ‘Plan for Success Handbook’ now.
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