Growing a business takes a lot of hard work. As much as we all would love to have an idea, put it out into the world and poof we're a success, it just doesn't work that way. Success doesn't come over night, despite how easy other business owners make it look.
The main thing you need to realize is that growth comes with change. You must be open to change and willing to go through some sort of transformation to get your business to where you would like it to be on the other side. You have to be open to changing some policies, procedures and systems, or changing your ideal target customers and even changing people. If you want to win at this business growth game, you gotta play to win.
Changing Policies, Procedures and Systems
A successful business operates via systems. These systems are created out of the policies and procedures that are in place and the need for efficiency in your business. No matter how good of a process or system you have, in order to grow bigger there will come a time where you will have to change that system. That system will only take you so far. The change may be small and minor tweaks or it could be a massive overhaul. Either way it's inevitable. In order to determine if you are at the stage in your business where you need to re-assess some of your policies and procedures, think about these things:
- Is what I have been doing all along still working?
- Do I constantly have to adjust my current process every time I provide a service or sell a product?
- Do I still feel like I am spiraling out of control, no matter what I do to make the current process work?
Changing Ideal Target Customers
As your business grows, you will get better and better at what you do. Your skills will sharpen and you will become more knowledgeable. Sometime this will require a change in who you serve. Starting out you are inclined to help those in need of our services at a certain point in their life, career or business. But as you grow this ideal customer could change. This changes comes about with your increase knowledge as you become more in tune and aware of where you would like your business to go and who you can help along the way. Your current customers may not play in that space. And that is OK. Changing your target customer does not mean you no longer care about the customers you currently serve. It simply means you have grown to be able to support customers at a new level.
Changing people is one of the hardest things to change. Simply because people don't like change. We want things to stay the same. But that can't be. Not only do you have to embrace change but you also need to have staff who want to grow too. This is why it's important to bring people on board who compliment you and whose strengths are your weaknesses. Make sure they know up front what you are trying to do and where you want your business to go. And make sure they are on board for the ride. When the time comes to make a shift, you all have to be willing to shift too. Those are not willing make need to get off the ride at your current stop.
What changes have you had to make in your business in the name of growth?
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