Once you have established your business, defined your market niche and generated a steady demand, your business has landed in the survival stage. Now, your business is a successful and efficient entity that earns revenue and hopefully profit.
What is the Survival Stage?
The survival stage is the second stage in the growth of a small business. Here, your business has started to generate profit, and your biggest challenge is to make sure these profits keep coming in and are utilized efficiently. You do not only need to attract and entice your customers with effective marketing and promotions, but you also need to examine and analyze your ROI and engage in serious strategic planning.
Being open for business is no longer the primary concern. Now you have more important challenges to overcome, such as developing procedures, systems and plans to make sure your profits keep pouring in.
As you grow beyond survival stage, consider these three questions:
- Are you ready to delegate minor activities and organize operational systems?
- How can you improve internal and external communications?
- What does your business need to improve and expand on?
The Key to Growing Beyond the Survival Stage
There are five keys to growing beyond survival, and your ability to master them will ensure your business thrives.
Focus on Expansion
You cannot expand unless you delegate everyday tasks to your employees, and concentrate your energies on more strategic matters. You need to be willing, emotionally and mentally, to let go of these tasks and trust others to take care of them by defining job requirements and tasks.
Expansion should not only be your goal and target, but your policies, strategies and plans should also adequately address all the needs of expansion. As you expand, you’ll have to hire employees and learn employment law and best HR practices. You’ll also increase your inventory and offerings, so you’ll need efficient processes and procedures to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and as promised.
Acquire Necessary Resources
Innovation and advancement are the key to success. Unless your business is adequately equipped with all the necessary financial, technical, human and intellectual resources, it cannot function, operate, innovate and succeed. Make the right investment decisions and acquire the necessary resources you need to grow while maintaining adequate cash flow.
Formalize Operational Systems and Procedures
Formalizing operational systems and procedures helps day-to-day activities run without a hitch. Have employees document best practices and keep these documents up to date.
You need to improve communication within your business so that your employees and contractors know the goals and can work towards them. Likewise, ensuring external communication with your customers, bookkeeper, accountant and legal team helps keep your machine running smoothly.
Spend Time Strategically Planning
Strategic planning is the secret to expansion and growth. When everything is organized and running smoothly, you can allocate time to concentrate on strategic planning.
Concentrate on all the changes and innovations you need to pursue in order to make sure your business continues to flourish and expand. Then, create and document the plan so that you can work towards achieving them.