Sudden or unexpected business growth can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Most businesses start small and tend to be underprepared when they experience a surge in growth.
As your business grows, you will undoubtedly face new demands and challenges that will test your patience and resolve. With this in mind, it is best to anticipate certain aspects beforehand so you can tackle these situations head-on when the time comes.
Here are the 3 things you should think about as you begin to expand your small business.
#1 – Local and digital visibility
As your business begins to grow, there are two spaces in which you will want to have a strong foothold: local and digital. In other words, you want to have a strong presence online and in your local community. While there are some exceptions to this rule depending on the nature of your business, in general you will want to focus much of your efforts on these two areas.
The most effective way to conquer these two spaces is by setting up a good local SEO strategy. This will allow you to gain visibility in both areas at once and attract new customers to your physical or digital points of sale.
#2 – Incorporation
Unless you plan on running a micro-business forever, at some point you will have to consider whether business incorporation is right for you. Incorporating your business comes with many benefits and can give you a competitive advantage in the long run. Among these advantages you will find:
- Limited liability: you will not be held personally responsible for corporate debts
- Income and tax: you can decide when and how you receive an income which can be beneficial when tax season rolls around
- Small business tax deduction: business owners in Canada can benefit from a number of income tax deductions
The downsides of incorporation include having to file a second tax return every year, doing some extra paperwork and paying the cost of incorporation. If you can handle these relatively small inconveniences, the benefits are well worth it for most businesses.
# 3 – A plan for the future
Can you visualize where your small business will be in one year from now? Even if you have a crystal-clear idea of where you want to be in one year’s time, you need a concrete road map to get there.
This means doing your research. Analyze everything on a regular basis, from your most profitable product or service to your target market to your business processes and customer retention strategy. Smart business owners always have a clear plan for growth management that will ensure that their business can thrive well into the future.
Some essential things to analyze in your long-term growth strategy:
- Cash flow and financial management
- Company culture and talent recruitment
- Competitive analysis
- Key performance indicators
- Customer satisfaction
Passivity and short-sightedness are simply not a viable option when growing a small business. As an owner, you need to be proactive and start planning and implementing strategies that will keep you afloat and flourishing.
Focus on improving your online and local visibility, decide when you want to incorporate your business and develop a long-term action plan that you can adjust when you run into inevitable roadblocks along the way.