Create and manage your brand. When starting out, craft a clear branding statement that highlights how your business will solve your customer’s problems. More importantly, as your business begins to grow, refer back to your branding message often.
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) October 17, 2012
As an entrepreneur, you likely have many great ideas for new starting a new business - or you have already started a business. But starting a business is actually the easiest part of the entrepreneurial process. The challenge comes from growing your fledgling business into a powerhouse. To successfully grow your small business, Sunovis Financial offers up 10 rules for small business growth.
1. Cash(flow) is King. Without a positive cash flow, any business is doomed to fail. The most important number to keep an eye on is your monthly cash flow statement.
2. Create and Manage Your Brand. When starting out, craft a clear branding statement that highlights how your business will solve your customer’s problems. More importantly, as your business begins to grow, refer back to your branding message and stick with it. Don’t try to be everything for everyone. Your business will be more successful by focusing on a tight niche, rather than trying to satisfy the needs of a broad customer base. (Our website has several webinars on branding.)
3. Manage Your Grow. The business world is littered with the corpses of companies that tried to grow faster than they were able. If you don’t have the necessary cash, systems, or infrastructure to grow profitably, there is no shame in slowing down and regrouping. You can grow slowly and profitably - think long-term and not just now. Don’t be the next business to go broke chasing after increased revenue at the expense of your business.
4. Always Satisfy Your Current Customers. New customers are great, but your current customers are what got you to where you are today. Don’t sacrifice the happiness and satisfaction of your existing customers. They should always come first.
5. Keep Your Expenses Low. This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. Just because you have had one or two good months, it doesn’t mean you should start to splurge on fixed expenses. You need to keep your overhead low to keep growing. That means keeping fixed expenses such as rent, employees and equipment at a reasonable level to support your business. Remember that revenue and profit can fluctuate wildly, especially in seasonal businesses. By keeping your expenses low, you will be prepared for that bad month or quarter. And again, think long-term.
6. Maintain a Spotless Reputation. With information no more than a click away, it is more important than ever to keep a spotless reputation. Monitor what your customers are saying about you online and be responsive. In addition, never lower yourself by directly criticizing your competitors. Smear campaigns are not a good way to win customers.
7. Leverage Your Existing Customers for Referrals. One of the best ways to market is through customer referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask your current and satisfied customers for referrals!
8. Take Care of Your Employees. This means not only rewarding your best employees regularly, it also means getting rid of poor performing employees. No one likes to fire people, but if an employee is hurting your business, it is up to you to bite the bullet and take care of the problem.
9. Do Not Neglect Your Finances. You don’t have to do your own bookkeeping, in fact it is usually better if you don’t. If you can, hire a qualified accountant to take care of the books, but don’t ignore them afterward. Sit down each month and have your accountant review your financial statements every month. Having a qualified accountant can help when it comes time to apply for a business loan or SBA loan. Your books will be in order, and lenders will see that you have professional help.
10. Take Time Off. Too many entrepreneurs immerse themselves in their businesses, to the detriment of their health, relationships, and well being. You need to take some time off to recharge occasionally. It will also help you see if the business runs without your presence. You may find that things go very smoothly, and this realization can free you up to concentrate on growing the business.
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