Small Business

How to Grow your Business in its Second Year

As your business grows to meet and surpass your initial goals, you may want to think about expansion. This will be an important next step toward investing in your company’s future. Here are typical considerations to keep in mind when preparing a plan and budget for the next phase of development.
Enhanced Infrastructure

Your business expansion may require an extended workforce to support a growing infrastructure. Critical functions that have been handled generally or farmed out to local professionals can now be managed in-house by hiring qualified staff. An accountant, human resource personnel, departmental managers and supervisors, and even a maintenance crew may be the add-ons your company needs to manage the new and increasing workload as well as to be equipped for continued growth.

Business Loan Funding

To take your business to the next level, you may need to apply for a business loan. Check with the lender where you have established a business account or a professional relationship. Many loan providers like LendingClub have loans specifically for already established small businesses. If you’re looking to start up a new business there are options for you out there as well. Alternatively, you can shop for the best loan opportunities based on your company’s credit rating and expansion needs. With many types of business loans to choose from, carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each before choosing the one that will best support your company goals.
Watching your business take off is exciting and challenging. Based on your strategic plan or economic gains, map a plan to guide the company to its next milestone, through a thoughtful analysis and detailed budget.

Selective Outsourcing
With the addition of more professional staff to oversee important company operations, this may also be the time to outsource basic tasks like transcription, record-keeping, or payroll. Paying specialty companies to handle these functions will add a new line item to the operating budget, but the benefits will include fewer onsite staff to pay with benefits and the opportunity for current employees to specialize in their jobs. The entire business can be streamlined to become more focused and purposeful to accomplish the organization’s future goals.

Training and Development

To capitalize on your company’s core strengths, you may want to create a training and development program to recruit new employees or utilize those already hired to polish their strengths or develop new skills. This type of program helps employees reach their career goals and increases their value to the company.

Recognition and Rewards

A proactive approach to rewarding customers and employees who demonstrate company loyalty helps to underscore their commitment, which in turn may motivate them to tell others and increase the customer base. Distinguished customers often buy more and shop more frequently. Similarly, employees who are recognized company-wide or regionally are more apt to appreciate their employer and stay with the company. Dedicated employees usually have lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and a better attitude.

Expanded Product and Services

At this juncture, you may have identified a need to change or upgrade your product line, based on customer feedback and sales data. In addition, this might be a good time to improve or expand your customer service. For example, you could hire another customer service rep or upgrade the website or phone system to provide customers with alternate means of registering a complaint or submitting a request. Facilitating customer service will impress clients who don’t like waiting on hold for several minutes before speaking with someone or leaving a voicemail message.
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