A small business, in fact, any business, is like a child. It needs to grow. If it doesn’t, something is wrong with it and its future prospects are dim. Anyone who has started a business wants it to prosper and grow. The problem lies in the fact that most of us think that if our income increases, the business is growing. Sadly, it not – it’s just increasing. Increasing means doing more of the same thing. Growing means doing things that are new.
Let’s say you are selling dancing shoes. You have increased your turnover by 100% over the last 12 months and are happy. But what happens of a new fad barefoot dancing comes in and shoe sales drop by 50%? You’re not just back where you started, but worse off because your overheads have increased. So much for your increase.
But if you have grown your business, you have not only increased your business but are better protected from this kind of set back. Let’s look at some of the things you could have done over the last year to grow your business.
• You have been selling from your online store. Have you looked at selling on other sites with different product positioning? Could you have sold the dancing shoes through a party or formal clothes site as “party” shoes?
• What else can you sell along with the shoes? What about laces, shoe polish, socks, and other accessories? You are staying within your area of expertise, but even is shoe sales drop, people will still need laces and polish. In fact, they may buy more laces and polish to maintain the shoes they already have.
• What about foot care products? They are needed by shoe wearers and even more by the barefoot dancers!
• Have you upgraded your website? Is it up to date in terms of design, interactivity, and features? Does the site reflect the quality of your products and help your sales?
• Did you examine the viability of selling other types of shoes? Even with a barefoot dancing craze, people still need shoes for the office!
• Have you created a list of your customers so that you can mail them about your special offers and new products and give them information about things like why wearing worn out shoes is bad for the feet? Or the dangers of barefoot dancing?
Above are just some of the things you could have done to help your business grow. This growth is comprised of two aspects. Firstly is increasing your turnover, which could happen, although more slowly, by just selling dancing shoes.
Secondly, growth adds variety to your sales options and product lines so that even if one area of operation is suffering, your business will continue with the support of the additional selling options and products available to you. Growth is not doing more of the same ting. It is both finding new ways of doing what you are already doing and also finding new things to do.