During a recent session with a coaching client, I asked him to describe the one thing that he wanted to accomplish more than anything else. Here’s what he said:
“I want more. I want to have more clients and make more money.”
While being ambitious is commendable, it’s important to note that “more” can be a negative experience if your business can’t support the growth.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year.
With the deck stacked against small businesses, before you decide to expand or bring on new clients, make sure you consider the following:
1. Is your industry growing?
BigFuture.org has a comprehensive list of industries that will provide the most new-wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018. They also predict which industries will have the fastest employment rate.
MSN.com compiled a list of the top 20 fastest-growing industries in the United States. Among those industries slated for growth include construction, accounting, advertising, research, and photography.
Need a global view? WorldFinance.com cites renewable energy, cybersecurity, biotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence as its top five fastest-growing industries in the world.
2. Do you have the resources necessary to meet new demands?
With the end goal in mind, have you considered how many new hires you’ll need to meet new demands? With growth comes the unknown. Do you have the right skills to lead an organization in a stronger competitive market? Are you trained to speak with the media if necessary? Do you have the right people in place today that can assist in molding future employees?
And, at the end of the day, do you have enough financial resources to embark on this new endeavor? Have you researched a small business loan? Do you have enough cash on hand to get you through some unforeseen bumps in the road? Are you considering raising money from venture capital companies?
3. Is your business plan up-to-date?
Expanding your business also means updating your business plan. When you started your business, it most likely didn’t include a strong future forecast. Most people overlook the importance of a business plan. It acts as the framework for your company and includes specific benchmarks to determine if goals are being met. Remember, the basic components of a business plan include:
- Executive Summary: Overview of the product/service description, primary target audience, a problem the product/service will solve, and markets to penetrate.
- Mission or Vision Statement: Clearly outlines the purpose and value proposition of your company.
- Key Differentiator: Outlines why someone should choose to do business with you over your competitors or providing it for themselves.
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis: A competitive and current analysis of your industry/market.
- Team: Include a management team and also human capital needs for the future.
- Marketing: Mediums, you will use to build the brand, attract new clients/consumers, or increase awareness.
- Sales: Will you have an outside or inside sales force.
- Financials: At the minimum, it should include a cash flow statement and revenue projections.
Whether you’re a business owner or financial professional, the tools you need to get started are within reach. Contact me, or schedule a call, and I’ll be happy to discuss your marketing needs with you.