6 March 2021|Business Growth, Crisis Management, Latest Posts
With many businesses still struggling to keep their doors open as a result of COVID-19, it may seem unfeasible to grow your business in the current climate. However, a volatile economy can create just as many opportunities as it destroys, and the good news is that it is still possible to take your business to the next level if you are strategic and go about things in the right way.
Whether calendar or fiscal, a new year is a chance to rethink your approach, learn from past mistakes and stop settling for less in your business.
Here are 5 important steps to overcome challenges and achieve growth in 2021.
Revisit your goals
COVID-19 threw most businesses into disarray in 2020, so the way you manage your company is likely to have shifted in the last year, whether in terms of the products or services you offer or how you operate.
Therefore, it is crucial to revisit your business goals before you embark on your growth strategy and make changes that will align your team and set yourself up for success. This could mean rethinking your company message, adjusting employee roles and responsibilities, or developing new ideas and ways to remain competitive throughout the next 12 months. Take the time to revaluate your business goals, reflect on what went well and not so well in the last year, and set some specific, measurable objectives to maintain a clear understanding of what your company is striving to accomplish.
Have a solid plan
Business growth cannot happen without effective business planning, and your goals are meaningless if you don’t have a plan in place to get there.
Over the duration of building your business you have probably become tired of hearing the word ‘plan’ but there is a reason why you hear it so often – it’s vital to the success of your company no matter what stage you are at. An effective business plan and strategy will help you to focus on long-term growth rather than just short-term profit, but you must be honest and pragmatic and recognise the factors that could stand in the way of your growth ambitions, such as lack of leadership, weak cash flow or resistance to change. By identifying the potential barriers, you can address these weaknesses and the threats they could pose early in the planning stage, so you are better positioned to overcome the challenges if they do arise.
Delegate and make sure your business can function without you
All too often business owners get stuck in the ‘owners trap’, which means their business cannot function without them. They’re involved in the nuts and bolts of running operations and customers want to deal with them directly, rather than the wider team. Perhaps they’re still the business’ best salesperson as well as being the most knowledgeable person on product or service delivery, or they’re solely responsible for lead generation and nobody else brings any new business in. This is a sure-fire way to stunt business growth. Without delegation, your success as a small business owner will be limited, so creating a thriving, efficient team that can function without you will be crucial to your business growth in 2021 and beyond.
Delegating often doesn’t come naturally to business owners and is a complete change of pace from what they have done in the start-up phase but trying to do it all will inevitably lead to frustration and burnout. Learn to hand over responsibility and eventually your business should be able to take care of itself.
Take advantage of outside resources and expertise
With the growing success of your business comes the increasing demand for your resources, so look for ways to streamline every process you can, from payroll and billing to HR and marketing. Recruiting may not always be the answer. Often it can be better to outsource tasks and functions to ensure the best outcomes.
Outsourcing acts as a helping hand during key stages of business growth, where there are opportunities to access expert skills that you may not be able to afford to hire yourself and would perhaps otherwise not encounter. As a result, you can focus your internal resources on your core offering and the things that drive the biggest ROI.
Reach out to your peers
Peer-to-peer support groups are like having your own board of non-execs who will keep you accountable, motivate you and let you bounce your ideas off them. They give you a platform to learn from others’ experiences, discover new opportunities and understand how others are dealing with their challenges.
Support from like-minded professionals has never been more crucial than now and every business owner can benefit from peer-to-peer support to help them achieve their growth ambitions.
This is why we launched our franchise model, which not only provides the opportunity for proven professionals to build and establish their own business support offering under the BizSmart umbrella, but also extends vital support to professionals likely to benefit from peer-to-peer learning and engagement during this economically challenging time.
The pandemic has caused economic damage, and the atmosphere is uncertain for most businesses, but it is possible for 2021 to be the beginning of your comeback story.
By planning effectively, learning to delegate and outsource and taking advantage of peer-to-peer support, you can gain momentum and strengthen your business potential for growth.
About the Author:
Kevin Brent is director of BizSmart. An experienced and entrepreneurial business practitioner with a focus on strategy, business development and maximising value, Kevin founded BizSmart in 2012 with the aim of supporting business owners to build value growth in their businesses. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and has built three and exited from two business, and his specialties span business growth, strategy, new business/opportunity development, sustainable value growth, building cohesive teams and leadership development.