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Taking Your Business to the Next Level

September 22, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual America’s SBDC conference in Grapevine, Texas. There were three full days of intense learning about different industries and how advisors can use best practices to serve such industries. One of the workshops I attended was given by Rhonda Abrams, a successful entrepreneur that presented the topic “The Leap: The Next Level for Business.” Rhonda Abrams has conducted in-depth research with entrepreneurs in many industries throughout the country to identify the key factors contributing to their ability to turn small businesses into mid-sized companies.  During the presentation Abrams talked about the importance of having a strategy in place to grow your business and leaving aside the fear of having to personally control everything to get this accomplished. In summary, these are the main points discussed during her presentation: 

  • It is important to have a clear understanding of your current business stage and where exactly you will like your business to be in the near future. This analysis should include a section in the customer service area as well, where a growth strategy will have to be in place since customer service goes hand by hand with the growth of your business. As you might know, customer expectations are forever on the rise.   
  • Keep yourself and your business updated with the latest marketing strategies. As a business owner you have to keep your business easy accessible either by physical location or online. We live in a fast paced world where the internet has given us fast access to almost anything we need, therefore take advantage of it and don’t be scared of trying new technology. Also, remember to streamline your marketing. It’s important for businesses to measure their marketing efforts. The founder of marketing advisory firm MSCO, Mark Stevens, stated well by saying, “If you can’t measure it, don’t spend money on it.”
  • One of the most difficult tasks as a small business owner is to delegate responsibility. Part of your growth plan should be to obtain help in areas you might need. Learning how to delegate responsibility is essential. Richard Branson from Virgin group said “Virgin’s ability to grow and diversify successfully was set in the company’s early days, with my learning how to delegate and let go.”

In conclusion, the most important part of taking your business to the next level is to add value. If you grow just to grow without adding value to your business, the cost will be greater than your sales making your growth venture unsuccessful. Sometimes the fear to grow will keep you in the same place for a long time missing the opportunity to explore new options for your business, which in the future can jeopardize your business in general. And, as Rhonda Abrams said, “Your business will never reach the next level unless you take it there – set yourself realistic goals and rise to the challenge.”