Running a successful business is one thing, but growing it is another. If you are a struggling entrepreneur who is looking for ideas to keep your business growing, the following are some tips that you can start to implement today.
This is probably the most obvious of all the hot takes on this list but if you aren’t already, get organized. This means having all of your clients listed, your deadline in a calendar, making sure your suppliers are kept in a different address file, making sure that you are working with your accountant to keep your finances in order for the end of the tax year – all of it. It is simply amazing how many awesome ideas end up being wasted just because the person who is executing them can’t organize their way out of a paper bag.
Rather than give you a list of reasons why you need to keep in-depth records, here is an example. You just came up with an idea for a product. You have found suppliers to give you the materials, you have a production line that is cost-optimized – you even have a marketing guru who insists they’ve not heard of anything like it. You get to work selling your product and, six months down the line, you get a cease and desist from someone else saying you stole their product idea. If you don’t have records detailing when and how the idea came up, along with what your process of development was, including any market research you did, you might as well just hand over the six months of profits you just made rather than trying to fight it in court.
Level your education up
Again, leading on from the last point, this is a lesson that is usually learned in business school, law school, or any other college-led program. While there are significant people who made their names famous from quitting college early – Steve Jobs is usually a name thrown out for this – the majority of those who become successful do so because of the education they received. If you have identified a skill you are lacking then go back to college and get that degree and don’t be afraid to check out private lenders to pay for the next level of education because investing in yourself is just as important as investing in your business.
Analyze your competition
How did your competitor know that you were developing a product similar to theirs, and using that previous example, they did their research. It’s hardly corporate espionage to hold open calls for a senior position, invite someone from your competitor to interview and ask them what they did well at their current role to warrant a promotion – it’s just doing good research. And if you think that’s a shady practice you should seriously take a look at any film that hints at business in the 80s – it might open your eyes to the importance of market research and beating your competitors.