How to Grow a Business While Avoiding the Pitfalls Along the Way

Entrepreneurs feel like starting a business will be the toughest thing to do. However, that’s not really the case.

There’s the saying that, “If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking”, which reminds business owners that a stagnant business inevitably slides backward through customer attrition. Therefore, it’s necessary to plan for growth beyond the natural rate of attrition and annual inflation to stay ahead. 

Here are four ways to grow a business while sidestepping the possible pitfalls on the path. 

Look for Complementary Products/Services to Launch

Customers that already enjoy using a product or service will likely have ideas for similar ones that would be useful to them. They’d probably likely buy from the business if they were offered it rather than be forced to go elsewhere because the company has a limited range of products/services available. 

It’s far safer to create a new product or service that is complementary to what’s already being offered. It doesn’t usually require a whole new team to be recruited or extensive retraining of existing staff to get up to speed either, which is a major cost-saving. It also enables the business to set shorter launch dates too. 

When unsure about what to create, surveying existing customers is a great idea. This can be done on the company’s blog or through an online pop-up survey for website visitors rather than using snail mail. 

Prepare Financially for the Cost of Expansion

Every expansion or growth requires funding. The cashflow received into the business always trails the higher business activity; sometimes by many months. This can quickly create a cash crunch where there’s too little cash flow or sufficient account balances to manage the increasing monthly expenses and capital investment necessary to fund the expansion. The situation is so dire that many a business has gone to the wall by expanding uncontrollably.

To avoid this, it’s necessary to plan for different types and growth rates within any expansion plan. Examine different growth rates, the upfront, and ongoing capital investment and increasing expenses for personnel, offices and more. 

Once you have a better idea of what funds may be needed, consider taking out one of these fast business loans to provide the much-needed capital and cash-in-hand. Combine this with current resources to have enough funds for the big push. 

Anticipate What Could Go Wrong and Strategize Solutions

Thinking several moves ahead is what Chess Grandmasters rely upon to anticipate what their opponent will do and be ready for it. Similarly, when devising big plans, it’s necessary to anticipate what could go wrong and how company peers may respond to it. 

It’s useful to use a flowchart or spider charts to plan out what the company will do. This lets the mind flow in a similar way to brainstorming where initial plans can be tested for logical fallacies, try out several methods and determine through looking ahead, which is preferable. The same tools can be used to consider how peers will respond to a new product or a price increase and how the company will respond to their actions to stay ahead.

While brainstorming won’t always provide ready answers to changing business environments, having gone through the possibilities, new solutions can be arrived at sooner. Similarly, by focusing on complimentary products/services and getting the financials right, companies prepare well for what’s to come.

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