7 Top Priorities For Small Business Growth
As soon as I saw the article on RBC’s Small Business Survey (2011), I literally ripped the page out of the magazine so that I could share it with you. Canadian entrepreneurs were recently surveyed to determine the top priorities for small business growth and I have to say, the results were bang on.
The list below shows the most important priorities as determined by those surveyed accompanied by my comments on each point brought up in the survey.
Top Priorities for Small Business Growth
- Develop an effective business plan
- Manage time well
- Engage in networking
- Seek help and advice
- Conduct market research and planning
- Aggressively solicit clients in business
- Get financial advice before starting a business
1. Develop an effective business plan
As a business advisor, where do we come in? Obviously we help develop your business plan so it’s effective so, naturally, that’s number one.
44% of those surveyed agree that creating a solid business plan was the top priority for businesses that want to grow.
Trying to do a business plan on your own is very difficult because you often need outside people challenging your ideas: options, differences, why are you thinking that way instead of this way, etc. A business advisor really pays off for most entrepreneurs here and it seems the numbers agree!
2. Managing Time Well
This isn’t really something a business advisor can control but they can definitely kick your butt so you get into gear. I talk a lot about coaches and mentors and a big part of their job is to keep you motivated, efficient and challenged.
3. Engage In Networking
To gain small business growth, networking is absolutely KEY. Whether it’s social networking or the “old-fashioned way”, both methods work and both are crucial to success. Depending on what you do, it’s likely you can’t rely on just one or the other; they’re both important to staying relevant.
4. Seek Help & Advice
This is why you need an outside advisor because when you try to seek help internally, you are far less likely to get an honest analysis. You really need someone who is going to challenge you and asking people too close to you often end up stifling progress, in my experience.
5. Conduct Market Research
This really goes back to your business plan because if you don’t do any market research then you can’t be successful. There’s not much else to say here other than get out there and make sure you know what your competition is doing!
6. Aggressively Solicit New Clients In Business
I really like this point in the RBC Small Business Survey, especially with the use of the word ‘aggressive’. If you think that you can aggressively sit at your desk and wait for the telephone to ring…it’s not going to happen.
You’ve got to be out there asking new people for their business and you have to regularly talk to your clients encouraging them to refer you. Never sit and wait for business to walk through the door. Ever.
7. Get Financial Advice Before Starting A Business
This is another really important point and it hits home for me after spending the past few weeks dealing with people who are just starting a new business and they’re coming to see an advisor prior to starting their company. There hasn’t been a single case where one of those people walked out my door and I didn’t think that they are going to be much more successful than the people that jump in with both feet from day one without a plan!
Do yourself a favour and seek out professional advice before you jump into the deep end. It will save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long run to have your best foot forward from the beginning.
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the survey from RBC, make sure you go take a look at it here.
What do you think is the most important priority when it comes to small business growth?
About the Author
Ken Davidson is a Chartered Accountant with BDO Canada LLP, with their Kelowna accounting firm. Ken specializes in helping Kelowna businesses that are in start-up mode, companies in Kelowna that are in their growth phase and are ready to take their revenues to the next level, and professionals to secure their financial future with solid investment advice. Ken is best known for his strategic planning advice that positions him as a trusted advisor above and beyond being a Kelowna accountant that gives typical tax planning advice. To contact Ken for a Strategic Business Review to learn how he may be able to help your Kelowna business, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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