9 Tips To Help Businesses In Canada Plan For Growth
Are you considering starting your own business?
Perhaps you’ve already opened a business and are looking for ways to grow it.
Either way, you need a sound business plan and motivation to be successful.
Let’s take a look at 9 tips to help your business grow.
1. Prepare for Challenges
Preparing to grow your business means being aware of the challenges you will face.
There will be ups and downs, highs and lows. Mentally prepare yourself for the reality that some strategies won’t work out like you think they will. Others that seem like a shot in the dark will flourish.
As in life, there are no guarantees in business!
There will be ideas that you have for your business that seem like true home runs. But when they are introduced they just won’t get the reaction you think they will.
Being ready to face these challenges will help you get through the more difficult times as you grow your business.
2. Look for Potential Partnerships
Is there a business in your industry that you would like to work with? Perhaps there is a business in your area that is doing something that complements your product or service quite well.
Sometimes these businesses may be owned by someone that is well-connected in the area or who has a strong reputation built up over many years.
As a new business owner, these are things that you may not have…yet.
But don’t let your limited knowledge about owning or growing a business keep you from realizing your companies true potential!
Network with other business owners and form friendships with these people. While there is a healthy level of competition between businesses, there should be a mutual respect for each other.
Perhaps a business owner sees the product or service you are offering as something valuable to their business. Your company may be doing things a way that gives you a competitive advantage that cannot be duplicated.
Developing partnerships with another person or business has the potential to help all parties thrive.
3. Analyze How Similar Businesses Have Failed
Learn from past mistakes.
To be a successful business, you want to provide a product or service in a way or at a level that has never been done before.
While being a one of a kind business is great, there’s probably someone else who tried to start a business similar to yours.
Take a good look at what didn’t work for them.
Did they expand to quickly? Did they target the wrong market? What was it about their product or service that wasn’t received well by consumers?
Analyzing how similar businesses have failed in expansion efforts is a valuable tool for helping you to focus on innovative ways to not repeat the same mistakes.
4. Determine What It Will Take
Part of planning for the (successful) growth of your business is having an understanding of what it will take.
Do you have the financial support that will help you stay afloat during the challenging times of the growth phase?
You may be faced with expansion efforts that mean putting money out of your own pocket. Are you ready for that?
As you grow your business, there will also be a certain level of risk involved. You should be confident in your ideas for growth, but also mentally ready to react if things do not go as planned.
Expansion efforts often means recruiting more quality employees and more overhead costs. Are you prepared to expand your business in this way?
Be sure to give yourself an honest assessment. This will save you stress, time and money down the road.
5. Explore Franchising Opportunities
Do you believe you have a business model that can be replicated successfully?
As part of your plan to grow your business, you should consider whether it makes sense to franchise your idea.
For example, Tim Hortons began as a modest restaurant in Hamilton. As they began to open franchises they eventually took things outside of Canada.
Today, franchised locations also exist in Kuwait, Oman and the United Kingdom, among other places.
Tim Hortons may not be the kind of business model you have or want, for that matter. But the chain is a great example of how a business idea can be taken worldwide.
Evaluate the pros and cons of franchising before you take steps towards this with your own business.
6. Invest in Research and Development
Part of continuing to grow your business is investing time and money in developing a better product or service.
One way that you can research how what you are doing is being received is through customer surveys. But don’t just put together any old set of questions as a one size fits all questionnaire.
You should be asking questions that are targeted towards accomplishing a specific goal. Customer feedback is a valuable way to learn what you are doing right and ways you can improve.
After all, serving your customers and keeping them happy is a major factor in business success.
When you receive this feedback, act on it. If there is a way to deliver your product or service in a better way, consider the costs of it.
Another important aspect of planning for the growth of your business is investing in the development of your product. While some products are more simplified and do not change much over time, others develop rapidly.
7. Identify Opportunities for Growth
Look for unique ways for your business to grow. It may not be the size of your facility or that your product is specialized. It can be that you offer it in a way that gives you an advantage over other competitors.
Perhaps you are in an industry where there is demand for your product online, but no other business in the area has tapped into that market. Develop a strong web presence that people in your local community can find.
Maybe your business can place an emphasis on quality customer service. Consumers want to know when they buy something that the relationship doesn’t end there. Create a unique process that emphasizes being responsive to a customer’s needs.
8. Revise Your Business Plan
Your business plan is the road map that guides your company.
Create one that is easy to understand and keeps you and your employees focused on your goals. Business plans should be developed based around what your mission statement is.
You should also look at it from the short- and long-term goals you hope to accomplish. Take time to consider how your businesses growth will impact your plan.
Consider the ways you will need to adapt your business to accomodate growth.
9. Open a New Location
When you are planning to grow your business, this might entail opening a new location.
But doing this isn’t just finding a good deal on a building or warehouse and signing on the dotted line.
You have to know the market where you will bring your business. How does product or services benefit the people in that area? How will the costs to bring your product or service to customers change? What will it cost to find and retain quality employees?
Those are just some of the questions you will ponder as you decide whether or not to open a new location.
While opening your own business can be nerve-racking, it can also be very rewarding.
After all, once you get past coming up with an original business name, there’s a lot of other things to think about.
But with a unique idea, a strong business model and hard work, you can grow your company.