With the new year upon us, it’s time to kick your resolutions into high gear, whether it’s expanding into a new region or growing your business capital. Small businesses have an exceptionally promising avenue for growth in 2015, with economic conditions improving and hiring picking up. It could be time for you to take your business to the next level.
A common challenge that many owners face is how to set goals they can actually attain. Setting the bar low won’t do much in the way of enhancing your business plans, but having goals that are clearly out of reach is also a major problem. That’s why it’s best to find a workable middle ground where your company can grow at an appropriate pace while also maintaining its focus on the projects and tasks at hand.
1. Look at your market
If your company resides in an expanding business sector, then perhaps it’s time to look for ways to take advantage of the environment around you. If the housing market takes off and you own a construction business, then you’ll likely see an uptick in new projects and business agreements. This would be a great time to think about leasing equipment to help meet the demand affecting your particular market.
On the other hand, if the economy isn’t performing well, then it’s necessary to look for other options for growth. The key is to understand what is motivating your client base, and then advance from there. Tailor your company’s goals to coincide with the larger economy around you, which could mean achieving 3 percent growth in the next quarter or adding more workers.
2. Look at your competitors
Identify who your largest competitors are and direct your services to exploit weaknesses in the marketplace. For instance, if a local company has more landscaping workers, then it’s likely they will be able to work on more sites simultaneously. But, if said company only offers a few services, like mowing, concrete and lawncare, then you could adjust your business model to take advantage of the services they are not providing.
Though both you and your competitors are technically landscaping businesses, your goal could be to include mulching, sprinkler systems and exterior maintenance services as well. This approach gives you a leg up over your competition, which can lead to higher profits and better work opportunities.
3. Look at your inventory
The goals you set ultimately come down to what is feasible in the real world. If you don’t have the business financing or the proper machinery to complete a certain job, then it serves no purpose to simply shoot for the stars and hope to be the best business in the region.
A better model would be to take a look at what your company currently has in the way of products, services, equipment, workers and ideas and see where expansion is possible. Once you realize the current market is in your favor, and competitors are ignoring an important service, then the goal is to find solutions to actually make things happen. In this case it could come down to attaining a merchant cash advance or loan for additional money to cover some of the initial expansion costs.