You've decided to get serious -- really serious -- about growing your business. Now what? Do you keep doing what you're doing? Do you work harder? That's what you are doing and it's not working. You need a different approach to achieve a rate of growth that is sustainable.
Now that it's crystal clear you can't continue down your current path of business development, it's time to make some tough decisions. Are you ready?
1. How will you grow? That's not a trick question. We've already established that working harder isn't an option. What other options are on the table?
Do you grow by introducing new products and/or services for new market segments? Do you enhance your core business with new products or services that are an extension of your current product or service line? Or, does expanding your current product or service line in your present market make sense?
The choice is yours. You've got options to grow your small business.
2. What will you eliminate? Let's be honest. We're all involved in activities that consume our time and don't budge the needle for growth. We cling to these activities in hopes they pay off -- someday.
Guess what? Today is the perfect day to dump all non-growth producing behaviors, activities, engagements and programs to make room for growth producing activities!
3. How will you fund your growth initiative? Where can you make smart cuts in your budget to allocate the funds needed to launch your growth strategy? And, by smart cuts, I mean slash fat and gristle without cutting into the bone or meat of your business.
Eliminating what's not contributing to growth (See #2) is the perfect source of cash to re-allocate to growth.
4. What can you outsource? Any activity performed by you, Mr./Ms. Small Business Owner, which is not tied directly to your core business is on the chopping block to be outsourced.
Bookkeeping, website updates, paperwork... whatever you're doing that can be done by someone else (who is likely more skilled) is up for outsourcing.
Even though you've honed your skills in these areas and can perform these activities masterfully, doesn't mean you should... especially if you're serious about growth. As you start your outsourcing, however, let me offer a word of caution. Be sure you outsource to strategic -- not tactical -- service providers.
5. What additional support do you need? It's tricky to stay abreast of the latest industry developments and keep pace with business trends. "No man (or woman) is an island."
To stay on top in your industry and relevant in business requires a team approach. Bringing in outside help that is highly skilled in their area of expertise expedites your growth -- especially when you can't afford to get it wrong.
Nicholas Sparks said, "Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy." That certainly pertains to the tough decisions ahead. When everything is said and done, you have two options -- grow or don't grow -- and only one choice to make.
Is it time to grit your teeth and make some tough decisions? The growth of your small business depends on it.