20 Ways to Grow Your Business

20 Ways to Grow Your Business

01. Open Another Location
This might not be your best choice for business expansion, but it's listed first here because that's what often comes to mind first for so many entrepreneurs considering expansion. "Physical expansion isn't always the best growth answer without careful research,, planning and number-planning," say experts. One can check the following tips before considering another location:

• Make sure you're maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit and that you've shown steady growth over the past few years.
• Look at the trends, both economic and consumer, for Indications on your company's staying power.
• Make sure your administrative systems and management team are extraordinary-you'll need them to get a new locations up and running.
• Prepare a complete business plan for a new location.
• Determine where and how you'll obtain financing. (See "Got Cash?" for finance tips.)
• Choose your location based on what's best fro your business not your wallet.

02. Franchise you Business
Think about turning your business into a franchise or business opportunity. While most home based business remains small, yours may have the potential to hit the big time though franchising, licensing or wholesale distribution. The key question to ask yourself is if your business can be converted into a business format that somebody else could operate (a franchise) or if you have a standardized product or service that someone could resell multiple times (a business opportunity). While you may think expanding your business requires raising capital, hiring employees buying equipment and leasing office or warehouse space, it's often more profitable- ad less risky -to license your product to a big corporation with manufacturing capabilities and an existing sales force to do the work for you. Well you get to be doubly sure before taking this route to grow, as it involves huge managerial issues. But this is the fastest and sure-shot way to growth. First you will need to streamline your internal system and marketing and then select the location you want to spread your business to.

03. Licence your Product
This can be an effective, low-cost growth medium, particularly if you have a service product or branded product. You can receive upfront payments and royalties from the continued sales or use you software, name brans etc- if it; successful. Licensing also minimizes your risks and is low-cost in comparison to the price of starting your own company to produce and sell your brand or product. To find a licensing partner, you should start by researching companies that provide products or services which are similar to yours. But before you set up a meeting or contact any company, you must find a competent attorneys who specialized in intellectual property rights. This is perhaps the best way to minimize the risk of loosing control of your service or product.

04. Diversify
Diversifying is an excellent growth strategy as it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and of curse, increase sales and profit margins. Rolling out the new lines allow you to expand the reach and thus sales. It will also broaden the target audience and increase presence in the marketplace, giving you the credibility to approach much larger retailers. Once you've hit on a product or service that customers really like, don't miss the opportunity to bring out related items to diversify your product line. Not only does that give your products more appealing to retailers, who typically like to stock a line of products as opposed to a single item.

Some of the Ways you can Diversify are:
• Sell Complementary product or services
• Teach adult education or other typed of classes
• Import or export your or other's products
• Become a paid speaker or columnist

05. Merge With or Acquire Another Business
Well, this is how most big corporation of the world became really big. But you should have the capacity to manage one. The advantages are many. A merger or acquisition increases your size overnight. In addition, you staff strength also grows, giving you the capacity to execute larger projects. Besides, it will also give you access to newer technologies, products and geographies overnight.

06. Expand Globally
But you don't need to acquire another business to expand globally. You just need to prime your offering for an international market. You'll carry an inventory of your product and resell it in their domestic markets. You can locate foreign company. Trade groups, foreign chambers of commerce, and branches of Indian chambers of commerce in foreign countries are also good places to find distributors you can work with.

07. Expand to the Internet
Thanks to the Internet, it's no longer necessary to open a store to reach retail customers. For marketers of speciality products like rare books, collectibles and gourmet foods, a web-based boutique lets you reach millions if shopper around the world out paying for rent, utilities or garbage collection. And while creating websites once designer or programmer, do-it yourself website are now available for less than Rs 1,5000 a month with no technical knowledge required. Typically, the companies that help you register you domain name (web Address) will provide online templates you can to build your site, host your web pages on their server and provide you with multiple e-mail address as well. E-commerce capabilities can often be has for an additional charge. You can also set up low-cost website through web hosting companies and search engines.

08. Find ways to increase sales to your existing customers

It's a lot cheaper that finding new ones. Even if you can't expand you product line, you can boost revenues by selling more of your existing product or services to the clients you already have. One easy way to do this is through volume discounts. Especially if your products cost little to produce, offering your customers the chance to buy, say, two T-shirts for the price of one lets you ring up additional sales without sacrificing much profit. Another common practise is to reward loyal customers by giving them a punch card that entitles them to a free product or service for every 10 times they buy. This technique is common at hair salons, car washes and arts-and-crafts stores, but home-based business can use it, too.

09. Join forces with another business to promote you company
Partnering with a company in related industry is one of the cheapest and easiest forms of marketing that you can employ. If you make spa products, for example, you may be able to convince a local health club to carry them in its store by offering a discount to its members. Likewise, you can send a free, one-day health club pass to anybody who buys your lotions and scrubs.

10. Breaking down tasks to last activity in system
Prima facie, what us essential is a broad under standing of what you want to achieve in a business for which no short-term vision is adequate. A long term perspective has to be drawn, breaking it down to the nitty-gritties of business, in terms of proposes turnover, markets and customers that have to be services and identification of personnel to implement activities successfully from among existing team members. Alternatively check weather some activities of the company can be outsourced P.G. Subramaniam, CEO, ASAP Management consultants says that the decision on out sourcing some activities of the company will depend on the entrepreneurs's ability to perform and generate returns on investment and not be determine by costs involved on out sourcing, as these are usually long-term costs.

11. Banking on Networking
The upcoming entrepreneur will have to bank on his own networking circle as well as on interaction with colleagues, vendors and customers for growing the contact base of the company. Some professional networking sites like LinkedIn are useful in providing information on people involved in various activities provided you are able to identify then an reach out to them. Small startup can also expand their networking base in their own industry by tapping he contacts of friends who are in the same line on business.

12. Focusing on cash Flow
Upcoming entrepreneurs tend to ignore or undermine the significance or understanding cash flows. This includes keeping a track of funds in terms if revenue earned though sale of products an planing expenses on production and other activities. This would mean maintaining a cash book and recording expenses on actual accruing basis for operational purposes. Depending solely on funding received from ventures capitalists is not advisable as money generated from one's own business is important for operational efficiency and for meeting daily expenses. Loans or large fundings can be deployed in meeting system and infrastructural needs of the company.

13. Result -Linked reward system for Employees
In small startups, attrition tends to pose a problem, hence retaining and attracting talent is important. Talent can be taped through the networking route and then retained by adopting a result-oriented reward system. This would also call for transparency in the operating system, leaving no room for error in zeroing down on the deserving person or persons. Ideally, maintaining a personal rapport with your co-workers, with certain freedom to innovate in work, helps in retaining talent.

14. Strengthening regional Footprint first
Before panning out to an all-India level from its regional roots, the company has to first gave a strong regional footprint. To move to the national level, the company has to be stables and profitable at the regional level. Thereafter, the entrepreneur has to understand the company's bandwidth to grow and hire people who have worked earlier in a national company an posses the competencies to help him achieve that level. Such achievers have to be remunerated accordingly, for which the upcoming company has to be prepared to shell out adequate money from its profits. Capital funds for going national can be accessed through initial public offerings, private placements, bank funding, venture capitalists and market development funds from the government of India. A focus on enablers for every activity like customers and sales will facilitate the process.

15. Risk Taking
L Ganesh, Chairman Rane group, ha highlighted some points that need to be kept in mind while growing one's business: "The leader must have the ability to take calculated risks. Despite all the financial evaluation and due diligence, the final decision- especially on new ventures- is always fraught with risk." The culture in the organization, especially among the top management, must be one with the ability to take decision with many uncertainties and then course correct these as required without getting bogged down by either problems or failures.

16. Perseverance
Any business will go through ups and downs both due to external reasons or internal problems. It is therefore very important that a leader and indeed the top management team, should have the perseverance to stick to their vision and goals despite such fluctuations. This should not be confused with rigidity or obstinacy. The goal can still be rigid but the path is to be flexible, depending on the journey. Successful leaders are those who have this ability to preserve through severe trials and turbulences.

17. Hard Work
Leadership always means leading from the front. This would means sustained hard work for a long period of tie. It may be fashionable to talk about working smarter and not harder. "I believe that such as approach will work in deal making and not in building and growing an organization over a long period. Growth often means very hard work in the initial stages till the organization gains a momentum," says Ganesh. Thereafter to take it to a different trajectory again, and work is required from the leadership team.

18. Ability to choose Good leaders
The most important event or decision in any organization is to chose the leader. Leadership is not often evident in the external behavior of people and definitely not related to academic qualifications. To spot a good leader and groom him or her with a good sense of timing is important. The other aspect is fit. Leaders often perform well if the fit or culture of the organization is conducive the culture when it warrants and still make it a success.

19. Empowerment
Empowerment is extremely important, particularly after a point in the growth of any organization. It is very difficult to define this point but the leader has to sense the same out of experience and starts increasing the empowerment. A hands-on closely controlled management style is very effective in smaller organizations. However, the same style starts stunning the growth or organization beyond a point. A good leader will sense this point and also design the right kind of empowerment, still having a good of review to keep the organization on track.

20. Institutionalization
Growth would mean transition of an organization from a one man show or partnership of few key people to a large professionally managed organization. It is one of the most important objectives of a leader to start working on this system and only then will there be a good foundation for smooth on this system and only then will there be a good foundations for smooth growth. If not the organization can grow rapidly but at some stage start collapsing without this professional foundation.