The first thing you need is a business plan. You cannot hope to thrive without knowing where you are and where you want to be. This should be reviewed regularly and measured against targets and budgets set. You will also need to take account of changing circumstances both outside of your control e.g. economic climate and those that you have more direct control over e.g. staffing and suppliers.
Decide what direction your business is headed, and determine if this the direction you want it to go? Note the goals that you have achieved already – are these goals that were set at the beginning. You need to have control over what it is you are doing and make sure that the company is headed the way you want it to. Sticking to a plan will help you organize and have something to aim for within your time scale but always is prepared to review and take account of changing circumstances.
For instance, do you want to grow online, operate in multiple markets, launch a separate complimentary business and operate a copy site to have a separate price fighter brand. Should you use affiliates to sell your product, perhaps move into markets overseas? All of these strategies can be supported by the Cyrane System for both online and offline expansion, but they each have to be considered carefully.
Review your finances and constantly ask if suppliers can give a better service, increase productivity or reduce costs – set up annual reviews with your main suppliers and have these items on the agenda. Often companies waste money on unnecessary tasks which have little positive impact on the business or are an outright burden!
Look to improve service, quality value where you can often it will be small things that you can influence that make all the difference and makes you stand out from your competitors. If you do introduce new product lines see if they can be ‘tested’ first, this will often save heartache later or determine a winner quickly.
Sales is the lifeblood of any business so being sure you know how you are going to generate customer interest and orders.
When people call you make sure you give them an exceptional experience on the phone. Just being polite should be second nature to customer service staff, but what makes a unique experience unique? People remember good customer service and it reassures them that they are dealing with professionals. If in the future a dispute occurs then people will recognize that you want to solve the problem quickly and effectively.
Growing your business requires some capital so make sure you get sound advice. And a warning, growing a business purely from the cash flow generated can be risky should cash be required to cover unforeseen expenses. Organic growth is often the only way to expand but this often takes time, whereas a quick step change usually requires capital. You can source capital from yourself, family, banks, private investors and professional investors with each having its benefits and pitfalls. Just make sure you study all the options available before you decided how to best fund this venture.