Are you looking for the latest and greatest in small business growth advice? Keen to hear about what top industry thought leaders are suggesting a business like yours might need to be thinking about next? Or perhaps you just need some pointers as to where you might be going wrong?
Delve into this, our inaugural growth roundup, for some of the best fresh growth tips, hints, and ideas from across the web. In this month’s roundup, you will learn how to underpin rapid business growth with sound financial systems, avoid the perfectionism trap and much, much more. Enjoy!
1. Everything you ever wanted to know about growth hacking … but were afraid to ask
Far from being just a new business buzz word, growth hacking, when implemented correctly, has the power to totally transform your business and position it exactly where it needs to be … right at the center of the action, naturally!
Forbes agrees, as evidenced by the recent publication of their comprehensive and useful guide, Growth Hacking 101: A Crash Course On Leveraging This Marketing Technique.
Written by Phil Laboon of YEC, the article explains the concept of growth hacking in simple, non-technical terms – which is somewhat of a rarity these days – emphasizing rapid experimentation as the key to unlocking core growth hacking techniques. He goes on to cover some of the goals you might consider implementing, along with the strategies you will need to get you moving on them.
We say: Growth hacking is more than a flash in the pan … it’s a whole new mindset for approaching business growth. But it can be easy to get swept up in the tide. Remember to keep one eye on what’s already going well and one eye on your innovation strategy to strike the right balance.
2. Boom-town … how to scale sensibly
Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing, growth included. Rapid growth has been the downfall of many small business operations, particularly when there has been limited ability to scale appropriately.
So what types of checks and balances should businesses who are poised for growth be putting in place to safeguard against any nasty surprises? Janet Berry-Johnson of the FreshBooks blog has a few suggestions.
Among them, paying close attention to budget and cash flow are two key strategies to keep at the top of your mind. Remember, cash is king. Running out too fast can mean you stall just when you should be going full throttle. There is also great advice here for how to test the waters through outsourcing, managing your payroll and investing in your team.
We say: Never truer words were said than everything in moderation, especially when it comes to growth. While growth is a great thing, too much too fast can be disastrous, especially for the unprepared. Take the time and headspace to put in systems and processes now for that day in the future when your business hits its straps. You’ll be glad you did.
3. The perfect is the enemy of the good
Many business owners strive to improve the quality and performance of their business, but what happens when these good intentions tip over into perfectionism?
Well according to Lynda Shaw, contributor for Forbes, this obsession with being perfect could mean you are putting your business growth at risk into the bargain. In a recent article, she runs through five ideas for letting go of perfectionism and taking things as they come.
Although relatively brief, the article does provide some food for thought on how to recognize when perfectionism is taking hold of you and how to stop it in its tracks. One of the key messages is that you shouldn’t let focus overly on mistakes, but rather embrace the learning from them and let them inform you as you move on.
We say: Perfectionism doesn’t just hamper business productivity and growth. It can lead to all manner of ills, including stress and anxiety, micro-management and burnout. Try and determine before you take on any major business task or project what the “good enough” threshold will be so that you can finish what you are doing and move on to the next thing. If you still wish to circle back and tinker at the edges later, leave this for when you have some available business downtime, rather than letting it chew into prime available project hours.
4. New trends fueling small business growth
One of the biggest advantages of being in small business is that it’s relatively easy to try new things. As a business owner or manager, you are much more agile and free to experiment than your counterpart within a massive corporation, for whom innovating is akin to trying to turn the Titanic around.
For this reason, it pays to stay up to date with the latest and greatest technology trends and to watch how others are applying them within their business. Business News Daily recently reported on a study by Intuit and Emergent Research which explored key small business trends and statistics, including the top 5 technology trends currently fuelling small business growth.
There is much more detail to be gleaned from both the article and the original report. However, we can reveal that the top 5 trends included
rapid scalability enabled by cloud computing and associated technologies; access to machine learning and big data; the flexibility allowed by a veritable army of freelance workers; the increased opportunities offered by a global online marketplace and cost-effective, highly targeted online marketing.
We say: Embracing new trends isn’t just about staying abreast of the latest technology. Innovation can be found everywhere, including in new ways to manage people, build teams and deliver an excellent service to your customers.
5. Growth lessons from the top
You’ve heard the stories… star business performers that rocket their way to the top, straight out of the box. But what’s beyond that meteoric rise in business growth? Did you ever wish you could lift the hood and check out what makes them tick?
Well, now you don’t have to die wondering. SmartCompany recently released its top tips for business growth from some of the best and brightest up and coming companies on their annual top 50 list.
Unsurprisingly, many of the hints have to do with raising your sights (and consequently, your capital), and thinking differently about your brand and yourselves in a global market, as the founders of wine resellers, Vinomofo, testifies in the article. Others advocate learning more about your industry and your market, and about the capabilities you will need to reach them, wherever they are.
Regardless of the actual advice offered, a common thread running through stories told by successful start-ups stresses the kind of transformative mental leap that is required if you are a relatively small operator looking to jump out of your pond and become a bigger fish.
We say: The secret is out! Stories from the entrepreneurial trenches seem to suggest that an unswerving vision of greatness and a deep capacity for imagination (and re-imagination) are the key ingredients necessary to set you on the path to global business domination. Who knew?
We hope you enjoyed our first ever business growth round-up. If you did, why not check out our related content: