Are you ready to grow your business?
Before you embark on your journey to growth, make sure you’re set up for success with the right plans in place, the right resources, and the right mindset.
Business growth checklist
These questions will help you work out if you’re ready to grow.
1. Do you know what your goals are as you grow your business?
A. Yes, I’ve set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals.
B. I think so, but I haven’t outlined them yet.
C. No, I’m not sure what I want to achieve by growing.
2. Have you consulted a mentor, advisor, peer, or other professionals for advice?
A. Yes, I’ve talked to professionals and peers about the pros and cons of business growth.
B. I’ve consulted some people, but I need to talk to more.
C. No, I haven’t talked to anyone yet.
3. Do you have enough funds to cover the costs of growth?
A. Yes, I know how much I need and how to secure it.
B. I’m figuring that out now.
C. I don’t know how much I need.
4. Do you have the time, energy, and resources to grow your business?
A. Yes, I have a plan to bring it to life.
B. I think so, but there’s just so much to do.
C. I don’t know. I haven’t found time to think about that yet.
5. Are your business processes and structures flexible enough for growth?
A. Yes, I have processes and structures that can adapt to growth.
B. I think so, but they need a few tweaks.
C. I think so, but they need a lot of improvement.
6. Do you have a business growth plan?
A. Yes, and it’s been reviewed by an accountant.
B. I’ve started it, but it needs work.
C. No, I’ve just got a ton of notes.
It looks like you’re poised for growth. It’s time to take your business to the next level.
You have potential for growth, but your plans need some developing. It’s time for more homework.
You’re not quite there yet. It’s time to think things through in more detail.
Six things to do before growing your business
If you’re ready to grow your business, tick off these items on your to-do list before diving in:
1. Do your research
Assessing risk, evaluating the market, and understanding your competitive edge as a business will help you determine if you’re really ready to grow. It’s also worth looking at your sales forecasts and budget. Work through the numbers with your accountant before your business moves to the next phase.
2. Get professional and peer advice
Consult as many professionals as you can – accountants, advisors, lawyers – to help build on and validate your research. You might need to pay for their expert advice, but the money you spend will be worth it.
Talk to other small business owners who’ve been through the same experience. Find out how they overcame obstacles and succeeded in growing their business.
3. Set goals
Before starting on the path to growth, ask yourself these questions: What am I trying to achieve? What do I hope to gain from growing my business? Where do I want my business to be in one, two, or even five years?
Having clearly defined goals from the start will help your business stay on track as it grows. Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
For example, Asha is a personal trainer and wants to grow her business. To do that, she sets the following goals:
4. Create a business growth plan
Growing your business is an exciting time, but it has the potential to go wrong. That’s why you need a realistic plan with clear strategies for growth and specific ways to achieve your goals.
You’ll need to keep track of your progress and take note of any warning signs indicating your plan isn’t working. Have a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected.
5. Factor in time, energy, and cost
It takes a lot of time, effort, and emotional energy to grow a business, so be prepared for that. You’ll also need enough funds to cover the costs of growth and make sure your business stays afloat.
6. Consider building your team
As your business grows, you’ll find it difficult to be across every tiny detail. You’ll need to delegate more, and that’s where employees come in. They’ll take over some of the day-to-day tasks in your business so you can focus on the more important work of growing it.
If you’re not ready to take on new employees, your team will need to grow in a different way. This involves increasing the capabilities of your current employees through training, or adopting new processes and ways of working.
What if my business isn’t ready for growth?
You don’t have to give up just because your business isn’t ready for growth now. It might not be the right time to grow your business, or you might be in the very early stages of growth.
Find an advisor or mentor you can work with and network with fellow business owners to get their advice and support. Look into accelerators, boot camps, incubators, or business courses to give you the push you need to grow your business.