How To Grow A Small Business
Hi Antonia here again,
As a small business owner, I have found one of the biggest conundrums to be trying to find the right size for my business. Yes, I want to get my business growing (to earn more money), but I don’t want to be so big that I have to start employing staff.
A Difficult Question
Personally, I think it’s that most people of this nature are simply drawn by the need to survive and prosper under their own steam. Out of all the business owners I talk to, I hear many and varied reasons why people strike out on their own.
Some of the most popular include:-
- I just had this idea and had to run with it
- I couldn’t work for the boss any more
- I can do it better than my previous employers
- The boss / my employer were doing it wrong
- I wanted to live by my own efforts
These are all totally valid reasons for starting your own business. But, having got started and a successful business (to some degree) underway, just how far do you go to grow it?
How Big To Grow?
Some will want to grow as big and as fast as they can, but for many their business is a lifestyle choice. All they want is to support their life at a reasonable and comfortable level.
Small business growth expert David Hardisty has looked at and worked with many start ups, small local businesses and entrepreneurs. Here we look at some fo the things he does to assess how and where to grow such businesses.
“The first thing I do”, he says, “is try and get “inside” them. Understand their psyche, their raison d’etre if you like. Why did they do this in the first place and then, where do they want to go”.
“You see, most people know they want more, but they simply cannot quantify those “feelings” of wanting more into something tangible. So, my job is to talk to these people and try and find out what makes them tick, and then to truly understand exactly why they did what they did and exactly where they see the end goal”.
Understanding Your Business Goals
“If I had a thousand pounds for every time I take someone to a place they never realised they wanted to go, I could retire”, he gives a broad grin.
“Getting to that point can be painful, but it’s worth it. It’s only once a small business owner understands where they want to take their business that you can put a plan in place”.
I guess it’s a bit like how do you know you’ve got there if you don’t know where you’re going. I think I learned that as an MLM marketer back in the mid 1980s!
So who do you help out?
“Most people I meet are the entrepeneurial types who are overworked, stressed and trying to do everything themselves. They have ended up coming away from the core skillset in order to provide that for their customers and the whole thing has ended up getting out of control”.
Getting It All In Order
“Basically I help them get things back in order”.
So, what practical help do you offer?
“It depends on what they need, I guess. Yes, I know a bit of a trite answer – sorry”.
“But anything from selling skills, to sales processes. Market identification to marketing strategies, both digital as well as traditional. But, two of the really key areas are time management and business processes. So many of these Guys are just into what they do and have no idea how to run a business”.
“It becomes almost a psychological process for people like this”
Yes, I was like that to start with.
“Once I have taught them how to run a business they can be more efficient and the business growth they are looking for comes naturally”.
Government can help as well (as well they should)!
If they do want serious growth then I help build growth strategies that include a longer term hiring and expansion path. This can, of course, include the financing option. I have also helped other businesses grow by franchising the operation. That is a very popular choice for business growth”.
David Hardisty Ltd is a business growth consultancy in Horsham West Sussex. You can find their wesbite at http://davidhardisty.com/
This video is interesting as well.