Whether we’ve been in business for 5 minutes or 5+ years there are many elements to running a business that are important to know. Financial understanding and knowing these factors can help accelerate our business.

4 Common Stages of Business

  1.  I’m thinking of starting out in business.
  2.  I’ve run a business for years.
  3.  I want to expand my current business.
  4.  I’m thinking of selling the business.

How good at what we do, or how clever we are really isn’t as important as knowing some key factors that can help us be successful. Some are obvious, such as making sales, and some really don’t matter initially yet understanding how these factors work can make a significant difference to how we approach business.

Running a business is simple yet complicated.

Initially we can be full of enthusiasm and know we can start our business. We know we can do the job if we can find the clients. Often, we move to start a business because of what we have already learned, what we have experience in, and what we are good at. Enthusiasm can get us a long way, but without certain knowledge we can easily slip into problems.

5 Important Tips for Business Growth and Momentum

1. Identify the opportunities for success

  1. Start by contacting trusted connections in your network. People you have previously worked with, vendors, associates, those you have a warm connection with. Be mindful if a non-disclosure is needed (NDA) if this is new and sensitive. Use your social network of people who already know you to seek advice or see what they think about what you’re proposing. This might give ideas and information that can be useful. It might also lead to a path of customers and sales. Even if the business has been going for a while, it is important to keep up to date and savvy about the current environment.
  2. Gather information about similar businesses and see how this could bring a competitive edge.
  3. Research and discover the demand for services, those who might be interested in these products. Figure out what might be a good price point for services and products. Look for the opportunities of where there might be a gap that can be filled by your business.
  4. Study some of the pain points and see where a beneficial offer of solutions can bring value to an organization which makes a significant difference.

2. Know the cost of doing business

  1. Calculate the costs of making the products and acquiring a customer. Pricing is an area that is often miscalculated. Include all operating costs as there are many hidden costs that have a business fail very quickly. Advertising can be costly no matter what stage the business is at. Whether setting up a website or relying on social media platforms and then of course, the in-person networking events.
  2. If this is a start-up business, calculate all start-up costs and if funding is essential, then a full business plan is usually required.
  3. Understand net profit, gross profit, cost of goods sold and average client value, to name just a few. These numbers can help forecast the future and allow planning.
  4. Know the tax implications and which is the best business entity to work with. Sometimes as a business builds or mergers with another, the tax implications also change.

3. Build a Vision for the Future

  1. It is important to have direction, to know the path to success. A business plan is not always necessary for many businesses to start out. Goals, financial analysis, and an action plan are crucial to stay on track.
  2. Build the plan out over 3 -5 years and have the plan set in 90-day increments. Break it down to action items. Know what needs to be done now.
  3. Understand how to attract customers. Plan and have a marketing strategy that can evolve and shift according to opportunities, costs, strengths, and weaknesses.
  4. Build a following of people. Attract folks that can share the product, give reviews and be cheerleaders.

4. Assess the Risks

  1. There may be several risks to think about. These include and aren’t limited to the legal aspects, client distribution, insurance liabilities and compliance.
  2. Calculate the profit margins as this may make a difference as to which products and services to focus on.
  3. It’s important to know the starting point, follow the plan and keep accountable for what must happen to be successful.
  4. Evaluate regularly to stay on track, change the course, refine the processes, and remain profitable.

5. Build a Strong Team

  1. In the book Good to Great by James Collins, they talk about having the right people on the bus. It’s important to have the right people for the business. Those with a positive attitude and ability to learn. Have the right people in key positions with the skill set to do the job.
  2. Hire for the skills needed, perform a job analysis. Have a strong on boarding procedure that enables those on the team to have insight into the hiring process. Especially when starting out in a small business, people tend to ‘muck in’. The problem that often occurs is that people end up staying in positions that are not best suited to them which causes burn out.
  3. Create workplace engagement. Many organizations suffer from not having motivated employees. This is a key component to employee retention and the overall growth of the business. Have rewards and recognition that acknowledge effort and appreciation.
  4. Offer education and training so that employees can keep learning, be inquisitive and move up the promotion ladder from within the company.
  5. Encourage volunteer and social events that enable employees to become more connected to themselves and the community and have everyone feel a sense of value.

Whatever the stage of business, a busy schedule can get ideas and growth pushed to one side. We are here to help. Reach out and enjoy a 1-hour complimentary consultation and let’s prioritize what is wanted to be achieved.