Setting up your own business is tough. But, sometimes, taking the next step is harder. In the beginning, you’ve got a clear plan of how you want to set your business up, what you want it to be, who your target market is, and where you will be in a year’s time. Along the way, however, these things often change. You may have found your intended market aren’t interested but that you thrive in another area. You spend the first few years muddling along, changing your plans to reflect the market and economy and leaping over hurdles at every turn.
Then, you suddenly find you’ve hit those first heady targets. Your business is working. You’re doing well. Now what? It can be easy to become complacent and just let things carry on. But, with new businesses starting up and new entrepreneurs appearing every day, if you aren’t going forward, you’ll quickly get left behind.
If you are ready to take your small business to the next level, here is what you need to do.
Focus on Customer Service
In the start, you won’t have had much time for the finer details of customer service. Now is the time to tune it up. Spend some time thinking about ways you can improve and make sure any staff know the plan. Excellent customer service is one of the ways to set yourself apart from the competition and develop a great reputation.
Make Sure You’re Still Getting the Best Deals
The deals you brokered when you started out, aren’t necessarily the best value for money for your larger business. This goes for everything from rent and web hosting to suppliers and utilities. You could easily save yourself money by making some switches. Money which can be reinvested in your business growth.
When you first set up, your targets were probably relatively small and realistic. If you’ve met them, it’s time to think bigger. Can you target a new market, should you be asking yourself “How do I start exporting?” or is it time to bring a new product to the market place?
Never Stop Learning
One problem small business owners have at this stage is thinking they know it all. Well, you don’t and you never will. Make sure you are always learning and developing. Spend some time taking courses or getting advice.
Look into New Systems
Technology changes and develops all the time. Sometimes at a startlingly fast rate. Make sure any software you are using is still the best for the job it does, consider investing in better computers and equipment and look for any updates. Staying on top of the game when it comes to technology and systems is an excellent way to keep your business fresh and ensure it can grow.
When it comes to pushing your business to the next level, it’s important that you keep an open mind. Try to think big and set yourself both long and short term targets. One problem a lot of people have is that they just don’t know what to do next. Take some time to think about where you want to be in 10 years, then start following these tips to help you get there.