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Your Business Should Grow - « back to Articles

Rapid changes in technology, products, services, competition, and consumer demographics will reflect on the way the consumer acts in the marketplace. Most good businesses will show growth, which is a natural reaction to changes in the market place. Many businesses will need to grow to avoid being left behind.

Growth should be controlled growth, it should not be growth for growth's sake. Growth should come from the identification of new opportunities arising from changes in the marketplace and then using these changes to your business advantage.

Growth must be established from a firm foundation. You will need to work closely with your Management Consultant to ensure that careful planning, tight budgeting, financial and inventory controls, and information gathering systems are in place.

Control systems do not need to be elaborate. They should provide you with timely information on a monthly aged listing of accounts receivable and provide a regular comparison of actual results with budget figures. These measures will assist you to identify possible trouble areas.

With monitoring systems firmly in place you are able to begin looking for new ways to grow your business. The marketplace is an ideal place to start your search.

As you look at opportunities ask yourself these questions:
  1. What are the new opportunities being generated by the changing market?
  2. What new technologies are forcing consumers to shop differently?
  3. Can I participate in the new technology marketplace or will the new technology changes leave a void in the marketplace for service of the old technology?
  4. What are the potential target segments and what needs are being inadequately met at the present time?
  5. Have I identified a way in which to expand my own marketplace by improving service or products?
  6. Has the marketplace shifted from one geographic area to another?
  7. How have the Demographics changed in my market area?
A key to growth may simply be a question of marketing your existing products or services in new ways. Evaluate each of the four components of your marketing strategy:
  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion
Prepare a detailed action plan. In this plan you should outline:
  • new opportunities
  • competitive forces
  • strengths and weaknesses, business and personal
  • income and revenues
  • expenses
  • cash flow projections
  • human resource requirements
  • projected capital expenditure
Do not forget that there are many people who can assist you in the preparation of the plan:
  • Management Consultants
  • your banker
  • your lawyer
  • your accountant
  • suppliers
  • trade associates
  • chamber of commerce
  • customers
  • friendly competitors
If you are not an expert in each and every aspect of small business management (few people are) take steps to keep the basis of your growth decisions strong; make the most of opportunities you find.

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