As a small business owner it often feels like you are putting in 110% effort just to keep up with things as they are now. But if you are hoping for business success then you also need to be looking ahead to the future and thinking about how to grow your small business, not just stay afloat. This particularly applies to startup businesses where you need to keep the momentum going in order to be able to move onto the next stage of growth.
One business that has had to learn how to do this is Crowdcube. Crowdcube is a crowdfunding platform that enables anyone to invest in startup, early stage and growth businesses through a range of equity and debt investment options. Crowdcube has recently celebrated its 5th birthday and CEO Darren Westlake has shared the following 6 tips for how to grow a small business, based on his experience at Crowdcube:
When recruiting, put the right team in place that can take you from startup to growth. Make sure that the team has all the core skills that are needed to grow the company, especially if you as the founder don’t have these already. It’s also important to recruit the kind of people that reflect the type of company you want to be, and who are passionate as well as talented.
Aim for an open plan working environment rather than silos or isolated departments. This gives team members the opportunity to work across disciplines and to get involved in areas or projects outside of their immediate core skill set. This is not just motivating for team members but may yield astounding results in terms of creative contributions.
Show and Tell!
Many small businesses make the mistake of not prioritising marketing, and not dedicating any time, effort or money to it. But if you do want to grow and build a brand then marketing is vital. Explore and exploit every opportunity to focus on your core mission and vision as a business and to communicate this both internally and externally.
Take Your Partners ….
One effective way of facilitating growth is to partner up with other businesses. You would need to be careful to choose partners who reflect your values and vision as a business but if there is a good fit it could enable you both to grow. So if there are gaps in logistics that would prevent you either from growing or from continuing to maintain quality during your growth phase then consider taking a partner who can fill those gaps for you. Sometimes your need may be for an expansion loan, in which case Fair Business Loans would be happy to talk to you: we have helped numerous businesses such as yours grow and expand – you can read more here.
Keep Things Balanced
When considering how to grow your small business, you need to find the balance between ambition and stability. There will be a lot to learn and it is vital to communicate and keep everyone in the business up to date so that you can continue to inspire them and keep them fully on board. You will find that you learn as much – if not more – from your mistakes, as well as your successes.
One of the sad realities of running a small business life is that as the business grows it can lose its sense of freshness and fun. To really make things work it’s important to play hard as well as work hard. So never forget to be friendly and fun, rather than getting bogged down and serious. Make time to socialise with your team and take every opportunity for celebration!
Enjoy deciding how to grow your small business! If you do have a need for an expansion loan then do get in touch with us at Fair Business Loans about how we can help you.