For many tradies it’s hard enough to get all the day-to-day jobs done, let alone think about ways to grow a business – but it’s worth taking a moment to look at the big picture.
If you want to hit your goals this year, it’s important to spend time working on your venture, not just in it.
Here’s how to put your growth on turbo in 2018 and make it the best year ever.
Begin by doing more planning – it’s easier said than done, but carving out some time here and there can pay dividends.
Spend time working out which areas of your business (such as particular target markets or services) you want to focus on each quarter to move your business forward.
From there, work backwards to devise a plan that’s broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly steps.
Think about the necessary order of these tasks, and if you’ll need help to complete them or not.
Having this plan to refer to will keep you on track and makes sure you don’t waste time on unnecessary activities.
To grow sales, you should try and network where you can, follow up on leads and quotes, and speak with past clients to see if they need any new work done.
As a bonus, they might know someone who needs work done.
It also pays to be proactive when it comes to tracking and measuring your sales history.
Once you know your current results, you can give yourself (and your team if you have one) a goal to aim for over the coming weeks or months.
For example, you might decide to set a target of a ten per cent increase in jobs over the next 90 days.
If you want to grow your business, it’s also necessary to grow yourself – that is, to keep learning new things.
When you broaden your knowledge base, expand your skills, and get experience in new fields, you’ll have more to offer current and future clients, and will generate more interest as a result.
Learning about entirely new things like marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, administration and other things may not seem immediately applicable at first – but you’ll be better placed to run your business.
New knowledge and understanding will also help you to identify opportunities for, or potential threats to, your business.
Even if you’re a solopreneur, you can’t do everything by yourself if you want to experience true business growth.
Find ways to surround yourself with the best team possible.
This might involve bringing on casual, part-time, or full-time employees, or it could mean you start outsourcing tasks to contractors, specialist firms, or freelancers.
Assistance can come from many different avenues.
For example, to help you with the bigger-picture thinking, you may want to talk to a mentor or business advisor who’s been in your shoes before.
These people can also act as a support system for you when you’re struggling during the hard times (and all entrepreneurs have those at some stage).
Joining business clubs and associations can also be invaluable.
Sometimes your company’s growth may stall simply because you don’t have enough cash flow available to invest in the things which will help you expand.
You may need to bring on additional staff members, purchase an expensive piece of equipment, expand your fleet, start catering to a new market, or attend a key industry event such as a trade show.
If that’s the case, it could be time for you to source additional funding.
Although a business loan may be the right choice for you, it’s also worthwhile learning about other avenues, such as a line of credit, invoice factoring services, a hire-purchase agreement, or finding a partner or investor.
No matter which option you choose, always complete research to find the best fit for your specific needs.