With today's focus in the Internet, the basics of small business growth are often overlooked. Clearly, growth is an exciting, ongoing process of the highest order. It begins with the vision, skills and energies of an entrepreneur. Over time, it evolves. A concept slowly develops into a vibrant venture with its own life.
Growing a successful business is like many puzzles; the pieces are easy to describe but difficult to assemble. Yet unlike jigsaw puzzle pieces, the pieces of a business are abstract, multi-layered, overlapped and ever changing. How does a businessperson best undertake the formidable but rewarding task of growing an entity that will satisfy all those involved?
The business should be viewed as though it is a living organism. As growth occurs, the enterprise progresses through several stages. It begins as an infant followed by rapid growth as a youth. Maturity and aging may occur if proper care and management are not applied.
First, a basic foundation of marketing, service and finance must be put in place and afforded three years to become effective.
Qualified personnel, always scarce, and management systems utilizing technology must be added. Funds are necessary to provide fuel and rewards. The proper measures of cash must be applied in the right proportion at the right time.
Second, the management functions of planning, organizing, leading and control must align the business to drive it with available energy and least resources toward the vision.
As might be expected, organizing and leading are given priority, but planning and control should receive equal attention.
Third, a system of setting objectives, programs, schedules and budgets is essential.
These elements are best defined in a periodic, documented business plan. Results can then be compared to the plan and the resources can be regulated to realize the desired objectives.
Simple enough to state! An art form to exercise!
You must understand the functions of business, position the enterprise in its proper stage, plan its growth, apply the appropriate energies and resources to drive it toward the vision and feedback new input into a revised plan.
Once these actions are in place, business growth is best assured.