Grow Your Business: Should You Open a New Location?

new location

It’s not the cheapest or the easiest road to travel, but many small businesses choose location expansion as their vehicle for business growth. The general thinking is that more locations could introduce your products and services to a wider customer base. However, expansion could deliver the opposite effect:  too much overhead without the expected bump in sales. Let’s consider the benefits and potential pitfalls of opening in a new location.

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3 Things to Understand About Working with Venture Capital Firms

venture capital firms

There are certain types of companies like technology startups and life science companies that venture capital firms (VC) seem to gravitate towards funding. However, you can still receive money from venture capital executives, even if you’re not in one of these fields.

Yes, a chunk of money to start or keep your company going is a wonderful thing to have; and, yes, it’s possible for you to charm a venture capital firm, (or ten), to gather the funds that you need. However, going from a “Please,” to a “Yes,” is a process.

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Two Strategies to get you out of Survival Mode and Grow

survival mode

Sometime,  a lot of businesses go into survival mode.  They get away from the types of strategies that lead to growth and opportunities. Instead, they get stuck in a mode of maintenance. It’s time to get out of maintenance mode and create new opportunities for your business. With that in mind, here are two strategies for you to consider to get out of survival mode and grow.

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How to Grow Your Business with Some Help from Social Media

In today’s economic environment, growing a business requires business owners to create a presence beyond bricks and mortar. Today’s consumer spends a good portion of their time on social networks. With consumer habits trending towards internet based social interaction, it is essential that as a small or medium-sized business owner you throw your hat in the social media ring and learn how to grow your business through these powerfully popular platforms.

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Grow your Business by Knowing your Customer

knowing your customer

Whether you’re producing or selling goods, or offering services, you don’t want to make every possible consumer your target customer. Otherwise, you’ll be competing with every other business in the world. In addition, by appealing to everybody, you appeal to nobody and buyers won’t know what your business is about. These reasons are why knowing your customer can help you grow your business.

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Grow your Business: 5 Tips for Fast Progress

fast progress

There are many things to consider when you want to grow your business.  However, when you are grinding it out on a daily basis, it is easy to get sidetracked because there are not enough hours in a day.  Today, we will share 5 tips for you to keep in mind that can result in fast progress as you grow your business.

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3 Unique Challenges to Keep in Mind as You Grow Your Business

unique challenges

The list of unique challenges faced when trying to grow your business is certainly a long one.  Some of them occur later on in the process than a lot of people realize. Even after brainstorming growth ideas, monitoring the marketplace for opportunities and putting together a plan, a lot lies ahead. There are unique challenges that arise during the process of implementing change, such as the likelihood of being overwhelmed or the difficulty in giving up responsibility and trusting your employees.

Even once you feel like you’re well into the growth process and more or less settled into the changes that you are making, there are a number of unique challenges to keep in mind in order to continue growing your business.  Let’s review what I consider to be three of the top challenges for you to keep in mind.

Get Used to Constant Change and Upgrading

Once you start implementing new plans to grow your company, you have to realize that it’s going to be a never-ending process in which change is the new constant. Each time you expand your company, you’re likely going to need to add new employees, processes and infrastructure to keep your business going strong. The offices, technology, supplies, employees, marketing and services that support a $2,000,000 a year company will not support a $5,000,000 a year company.

Try not to be overwhelmed by the constant adjustments and expansions, as they will keep coming. Instead, view them as new challenges for you to tackle head on and apply your experiences in prior growth cycles to the new situations that you face.

Maintaining Cash Flow

With all of those new employees and technologies and infrastructure items can come a great deal of expense. Cash flow is one of the most important things to manage as you keep expanding.  You don’t want to “all of a sudden” end up strapped for cash and unable to fund your normal operating expenses. Don’t let your ambition get too far out in front of your cash flow or you could be running your business into the ground rather than creating exciting new opportunities.

Each time that you grow your business, you will likely be investing in a lot of expansions well before the receipt of cash from your new customers. That means that you have to be able to float that cash for a while, so you need to be cautious while you grow. Keep a close eye on your cash on hand, and know what assets you have that are liquid in the event of an emergency. Manage your business checkbook carefully.

If you have delegated some of the responsibility to others, make sure that they are keeping in close contact with the accounting department and operating within a set budget for growth. If they go over their budget, they could very well be putting your entire company in a poor position.  Therefore, it is critical that you trust them with that level of responsibility.

Don’t Get Involved in Every “Crisis”

When you are expanding your business, it is easy to view a lot of events as mini-crises that require your immediate attention. You will see very quickly that crisis management, much like change, can be a never-ending cycle. If you’re constantly running around putting out fires, you can’t be focusing as much of your attention on the big picture issues that really require your expertise.

Keep in mind that a lot of so-called “emergencies” will actually take care of themselves. In addition, when they don’t, you need to be able to trust the employees that you’ve hired to make decisions that fall under their responsibility. Try to train your team to keep as much off your desk as possible, unless it’s absolutely critical or they are really confused about how to proceed.

While it’s all well and good to get involved on the critical issues, you also can’t get too caught up in the day-to-day emergencies. If you’re not shaping the future plans and direction of the company, who is?

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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How to Keep Employees Happy in a Family-Owned Business

keep employees happy in a family-owned business

One of the most difficult challenges to tackle in a family-owned business is to keep employees happy in a family-owned business.  The reason is that there might be the perception that employees who are part of the ownership family will be given special treatment when jobs open up.  The important thing is to make sure that as an owner, you do the best you can to make sure that those feelings don’t arise in other employees.  One of the biggest risks of that line of thinking is that your talented employees will be constantly looking toward the exit if they feel that there are no opportunities for advancement within your company.

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3 Simple Ways to Improve your Decision-making Skills

decision-making skills

One of the most important attributes for any small business owner to have is sound, effective decision-making skills. This is easier said than done, of course, as there can be many outside influences that can pressure a decision-maker. Sometimes, decisions will be rushed by time, while others may be influenced by financial pressure. Sometimes a decision will have to be made while an entrepreneur is juggling many tasks at once, making it difficult to devote his or her full attention to the question at hand.

That’s why it is important to focus on some of the methods that can help you to improve your decision-making skills.  These methods will enable you to implement them when you are under pressure to make the right move quickly and confidently. Let’s examine three methods to consider.

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Be Prepared for a Business Interruption

business interruption

One risk that many small business owners don’t spend enough time considering is business interruption.  Would your business be able to handle an interruption and still survive?

There are many types of interruptions that can occur in a business.  Today, we will review what I consider to be the three primary types of interruptions to your business that you can prepare for. If you’re ready for all of them, then you can run your business with more confidence; knowing that an interruption will not force your business to shut down permanently.

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Manny Skivoflax LinkedIn