Every small business owner has a goal or objective that they want their small business to fulfil. Once your small business meets all its short-term goals and objectives, it is the time when you need to accelerate your small business towards the next phase- growth phase.
However, you should not create a growth plan when your small business is ready for growth. It should be created when you start your small business. When you start your small business and have a clear strategy for growth, you will be all prepared for the growth stage with all the goals and objectives, a clear strategy, sufficient funds and finances, and motivated human resource and manpower.
Now, let’s take a look at the ways in which you can prepare the small business for the next phase, i.e., the growth phase.
Always Keep the Funds Ready at your disposal
When you plan to take your small business to the next level, i.e. growth phase, you must have sufficient money to increase your small business operations, buy fixed assets, pay rent, pay salary, pay wages, buy the new business premise, hire new staff, buy new equipment and machinery, etc.
In addition, your small business also requires contingency funds for a number of expenses that you did not calculate at the starting time of your small business. You need to make sure that you arrange funds for a convenient source of additional or external finance through business loans.
Take the case of the small business owner of a soft drink company, who isn’t just expanding the operations of his business with his current products but also thinking of producing a new soda flavour. For this, he needs a lot of things. From renting office space to hiring more human resource, he has some costs already. As it may happen, he may likewise incur several other costs such as conveyance administration. For all such eccentric requirements for cash, business credit can prove to be useful.
Revision of the Business Plan
Since a business plan for a small business lists the business’s goals, objectives, and strategies, it is very crucial that you update and revise it at regular intervals. This is very crucial during your small business growth phase. You must know that a business plan is the foundation of your small business. It helps your small business to achieve the growth it wants to achieve. This provides your small business with a sense of purpose and direction. Besides, it also gives your employees a set of targets that you want them to achieve. In addition, if you are expecting some funds for your small business from your investors, stakeholders, etc., then also you need to revise your small business plan. Revising small business plan becomes imperative here.
The most imperative part of a small business plan for a small business is that it should have a clear strategy, concrete specifics, forecasts, and key tactics. The soft drink manufacturer example that we took earlier is helpful here. To make a small business plan for his small business, he needs to have in-depth knowledge of his new target market for his new soda drink, the preferences of his potential customers, the core strengths of his product, recruitment-related information, marketing tactics, and key tactics for pricing his product. He also needs to write the performance expectations from his employees. He should also write down the forecasted figures of his sales and the expected cash flow during the period for which the business plan is being created.
Prepare your Employees for the Growth Phase
The next phase for a small business, that is the growth phase, generally takes a toll on the mental health of the employees. This often happens when it is time to change for the employees. Your employees, during this time of change, will find themselves doing something new, precisely some new work that they weren’t doing earlier. Or they may have to do some new work in a different way.
All these changes can demotivate your human resource. This, in turn, will lead to a decrease in productivity. And ultimately your small business is going to suffer. Well, you can keep this from happening. How? You can avoid the same by making your human resource feel they are equal partners in the company’s growth.
Let’s now again take the example of the soft drink manufacture. In the growth phase of his small business, the soft drink company owner, first of all, thank all his employees. He tells them about how the demand for their product has increased, all thanks to the hard work of the human resource. Then, he asks his employees to taste the new product – the soda that he is going to offer soon. He also asks for their feedback on the same.
After all this, he next discusses his new business plan with all his employees and asks them to recreate the demand this soda as his existing products. Finally, he tells them this is his next growth objective.
In addition to what all discussed above, there is one more strategy to involve employees in the growth plan. You can consider creating a new reporting structure to administrate the workflow of the employees, you need to identify their roles and responsibilities, ensure that they are delivering work according to your expectations, and have their performances linked with goals and objectives. This will help in evaluating the efficiency of the employees as well.
Arrange the required Software & Technology
Small business expansion is incomplete without the required machinery, equipment, software, and hardware. So, you need to ensure that before you go for small business expansion, you have all the required material in advance, such as machines and equipment. And to buy this, you need to have enough money. This requirement can be met through a business loan. You can write the tentative cost of all the machines, equipment, and software you need. You can forecast your sales to calculate the number of machinery you require. Besides, it is also a good idea to keep the machinery acquisition plans scalable as you may require ordering more machines later.
For example, the soft drinks manufacturer wants to expand his manufacturing plant. For this, he needs to buy new machines. He can avail a machinery loan and purchase the required machinery and repay the loan in easy monthly instalments.
In the end, one can say that with a clear growth plan, motivated employees and workforce, and machinery & equipment in place, you can grow your small business and take it to the next level of success.