When a business is up and running, the regular cashflow can be a welcome respite from the intense start-up period. Success should be enjoyed, but owners have a perfect opportunity to grow their profits when a business is cruising.
Newfound stability gives more scope to improve services and experiment with ideas that may have been overlooked. The additional time resources provide an excellent opportunity to futureproof and expand revenue, while refining processes in preparation for more testing times.
Successful businesses are often the most difficult to improve, but without constant progression, it is easy to reach a plateau. Knowing where to look may be difficult, but here are seven areas to consider.
An SEO strategy is vital in today’s online world. Even the most stunning website will be useless if no one can find it, and competition for search engine real estate is fierce. Specialist SEO agencies can be engaged to boost search rankings, while self-driven initiatives such as a Google AdWords or paid social amplification can promote interaction.
The creation of original content such as blogs, eBooks and infographics will also help sites to climb the rankings.
Admin is the bane of any business, but automation can significantly reduce these thankless tasks. The concept may sound technical, but there are lots of simple tools available to small businesses.
Social media posts can be scheduled for distribution in advance, automatic responses for email campaigns can be created, and financial processes can be improved with products such as instant billing. Some programs also have alerts to highlight financial anomalies and send payment reminders.
Add new services
Expansion of services is one of the most obvious factors for those looking to grow. That said, it is easy to fall into the trap of creating new products or services for the sake of it. New ideas have a far better chance of succeeding when backed by research, and those that complement existing products will be the most likely to work.
Refine your skills
On the other hand, refining scope to focus on the most profitable areas of a business can help remove distractions. Rather than attempting to master multiple disciplines, some SMBs are much better suited to specialising and building a reputation in one area alone. Streamlining can help to focus marketing efforts and make operations more strategic.
Think about franchising
Once a business model is tried and tested, and a reliable brand is built, franchising can help to expand opportunities beyond the capabilities of an existing team. A solid set of books will help to attract investors, and a specific set of guidelines are needed to maintain control of the brand. Simple business models that have a physical and local presence are particularly well suited to this approach.
Buy out another business
Businesses that are lucky enough to have significant levels of spare capital can use acquisition to add new capabilities or gain a new and existing customer base in another market. That said, merging two entities with different cultures and ways of working should not be underestimated. The key to success is retaining the brightest staff and making sure the original business is not negatively affected.
Find new markets
If a business has been successful at home, exploring similar niches overseas is a logical next step. Acquisitoin is one way to achieve this, but only if another brand has brand has succeeded with a similar concept first.
Overseas expansion requires significant knowledge of the new market. Research into areas such as global shipping and e-sales is key. Another option is find a foreign distributor who can carry an inventory of your product and resell it in their domestic markets.
Alex Alexandrou has been with Reckon for over a decade, and after holding several senior management roles, he was appointed General Manager in 2016. During his time, Alex has overseen the shift to cloud technology within the industry and the company and has helped guide thousands of business owners across Australia as they harness new and emerging technology to grow their business.