Many people assume that my entrepreneurship journey has been an easy one. Well, I will just say that I have learnt a few tough lessons along the way. And one of them is that you will never get new results if you keep doing the same things over and over again.
Many times when I evaluate the sprouting businesses, I get a sense that they are afraid to grow from where they are now and that is often explained away as not wanting to rock the boat. Why take a chance and spoil what is already working out so well?
But If you have watched any of the business mentorship type TV shows, you may have noted that most investors will always ask the budding entrepreneurs how they intend to scale up.
They want to know the business growth idea and plan of execution. As a business person, it is always good to have one for your business, no matter how small it is, but also, remember not to get into the pitfall of succumbing to social pressures.
Move at your own pace while keeping your eye out on what is happening in your industry.
Different strokes for different industries
For the small businesses, those whose client base is not that expansive, you have the merit of having a manageable enterprise. So your main challenge is increasing your clientele. Have a number in mind. A manageable number. I recently watched a documentary on war and countries with large numbers of soldiers and police force.
Most commanders said that the country’s population ultimately determined the size of the force. This can be applied to the business model. Take for example Uber and Air BnB. They don’t require much personnel. At least not physically interacting with clients.
They also don’t need much investment, since people come on board with the resources the companies need; i.e. cars and homes respectively. That means they mostly depend on your investment to make their profits which in itself is genius.
But if you have a restaurant, every consumer needs to be attended to. You then need to calculate how many employees will guarantee consumer satisfaction. A happy consumer translates to a growing business.
The Uber guys scale up idea may be covering more countries. For the restaurant owner, it could just be increasing the number of customers they serve at every mealtime. Long story short, you will need to look at the industry you are in and ask yourself how you need to scale up.
Do the legwork
The beauty of having a small business means you can interact with your consumers and conduct ‘experiments’. Every time I open a business I take an eight-month to a year growth test.
This is a research period where I will learn client patterns, the business challenges, and the adjustments I need to make.
The profits may look good, but always ask the consumers why they keep coming back and what could be done to improve the situation of the business. Always remember that as much as it’s your business, you are not the consumer.
Adjust. Do not be afraid to make changes. I think I learnt this sometime last year. Instagram had an internal meeting and they decided to change some features on the app.
The outrage that came with the changes was enough to get the Instagram team revert to the old settings. This shows you that the consumer Is king. It doesn’t hurt to carry out a survey before you roll out a new campaign.
Appreciate the loyal
Discounts and offers. I once gave advice to a young entrepreneur and my key point was that while budgeting on your capital, allow for discounts and offers.
If you had planned to buy 100 units, buy 30 more and put those on offer or discount. What that does is that it gives your business a certain allure. And which business can’t use that?
A no-stress experience
Most consumers are just looking for an efficient working system, they pay and get service and product of their value. That’s how simple the trade business is.
Make your product unique but simple, appealing yet efficient. All these values I had to learn over the years. I have failed several times but used those moments as learning curves.
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