If you are lucky, you will get to the point with your small business when you are working at full capacity, and you feel that it is time to grow. Moving from a one-man-band business to something a bit bigger can be a scary step, whether that means taking on extra staff, taking on a physical business premises, or something else.
Weighing up the risks and rewards of each option can leave you more confused and worried than you were before. Here are some tips that will help you focus and decide what step is best for you.
Consult an Accountant
If you’re truly unsure of what you should and shouldn’t do as a business, then consider going to someone else for advice. Many people think that their accountant is just there to do bookkeeping, tax returns and VAT, but the best small business accountants can often give you good advice too. Find a firm that specialises in accounting for small business, and you can get advice that’s tailored to your situation. They will be able to help you weigh up the costs, risks and benefits of taking on property, extra staff, changing your company structure or any other changes that you may be considering.
If you do want to expand your workload without having to take on a property or full-time employees, you can always consider outsourcing some of what you currently do to other businesses. If you outsource some of your work to other businesses, it means that you and your team will have more time to focus on other projects instead. You can outsource areas of the business which you have less interest or expertise in, and take on a genuine specialist who will probably do the job more efficiently and effectively.
If you feel like you need to expand your marketing efforts, one thing you could try is collaborating with other businesses or influencers. If you can get together with other small businesses in your area who focus on the same target market, you can refer your customers to the other businesses and receive referrals from them in return.
I recently helped my client who runs a baby sleep consultancy to collaborate with another business that does hypnobirthing and baby yoga. You can see how they could easily refer people to each other, without in any way reducing their own business.
New Products or Services
Another way in which you can expand your business is to add additional products or services to your offering, and/or maybe consider how you deliver those services. One thing the pandemic has shown us is that businesses that you would normally think of as face-to-face can also work quite well online over Zoom.
My children both benefited from music lessons online during the lockdown periods, and I’ve noticed that many music teachers are continuing with this method of teaching alongside the face-to-face lessons that they can now do again. If you are able to offer your service online in any way, then you can reach a much bigger audience than the ones who can physically come to your premises. If you can then condense some of your expertise into a digital product that people can purchase and consume in their own time, then you are well on your way to adding a source of passive income to your offering.
There are various ways in which you can expand your business that don’t necessarily involve you having to do more work in the long term, and there are many people who will help you to decide which one of these methods is right for you. Consult an accountant or a business coach and you will hopefully be able to plan the path to success.
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