5 top tips when growing your business
Growing a business is hard work but exciting and you can very easily get so absorbed that you miss the bigger picture so here are my 5 top tips when growing your buisness.
Build in time for training
It’s very important that as your business grows you learn to identify where there are gaps in your knowledge or skills and find the time to research and learn. If you can, hire somebody to teach you or sign up for online courses if your budget will not stretch yet to buying in the expertise. Until your business is much larger than you, you should have a working knowledge of most areas of your business. Build in time for reflection and planning.
You must learn to work ‘on’ your business and not ‘in’ your business as it grows to see the bigger picture and see clearly where your business is heading (is it going in the right or wrong direction). If you cannot find time to do this, you may find that you cannot ‘rein it in’ when it needs it and get it back on track. Take a day out of your business once a month. Sit quietly with a pen and paper and allow yourself an hour to ‘let go’ of the day to day thoughts that crowd your thinking. Allow yourself the time to let go of the stress of everyday business challenges and be able to reach the state of clear thinking. If you are superficially thinking and are not ‘connected’ to your business, it could prove to be fatal. Don’t make silly or unnecessary decisions based on perception rather than fact! Try to mentally walk through your business with a ‘helicopter’ view and see where processes, roles or business structure is weak or vulnerable.
Leadership vs Management
When starting a business you wear all hats, as do all business owners and founders (finance, marketing, sales, operations, IT) but now your business is growing quickly you simply can’t continue like this. You need to decide which role suits you and your skills. Although it is your ‘baby’ it does not mean you should be managing the day to day running of your business but should now be seeking to take a more strategic role with an overall view to see the bigger picture. Leading your new team is now your priority. Lead by example. Inspire your team by sharing the ethos of your business, sharing your story and your vision and creating a ‘culture’ that others’ want to work within.
As your team expands, so must your communication. Take time to communicate well to your team as a lack of communication can lead to errors, misunderstandings and costly mistakes and eventually you may lose good people from your business expect a more communicative way of working.
Make sure you have a well thought through and developed business strategy. Know where your business is heading and how you are going to achieve it. Don’t get distracted with activities or ideas (or people) that do not align to your overall strategy. Your strategy is the framework for everything that you do and all the activities and goals that sit upon it. Remember, if it does not serve your business strategy, do not do it! Make sure you have purposeful and not accidental growth!