7 Top Priorities For Small Business Growth

Small business growthAs 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

  1. Develop an effective business plan
  2. Manage time well
  3. Engage in networking
  4. Seek help and advice
  5. Conduct market research and planning
  6. Aggressively solicit clients in business
  7. 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!

Related: How The Employee Mentality Holds Back New Small Business Owners

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.

Related: 3 Ways To Improve Customer Engagement

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!

Small business growth

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.

Related: Wages Vs. Dividend Income For Small Business Owners

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?


4 Responses to 7 Top Priorities For Small Business Growth

  • John says:

    Hi Ken, i am in the process of writing a business plan for my new retail store and need help! if this is something you could help me with please email me back asap.


  • Helen Wilkie says:

    Great points, Ken. In today’s environment it’s important for business people to understand the need for what you call “old fashioned” networking – the kind where you actually get to meet and speak with people! I love social media and use it more and more in my business, but when you combine it with face-to-face networking its power increases exponentially.

    • Ken Davidson says:

      @Helen: You’re absolutely right, Helen. It’s interesting how face-to-face has taken a backseat against technology in the past couple decades. Funny enough, it’s becoming a new “secret weapon” when combined with these new social media applications. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad someone pointed that out…I had a little laugh to myself while writing that part.

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