Many small businesses find it hard to grow. You want it to happen, but it can get out of hand if you don’t plan for it and handle it well. On the other hand, sometimes your goals for growth could really use some help.
You didn’t start your business with the goal of having it fail. You want your team to go places, get known, and find new ways to serve markets. Even though you can see these plans in your head, it’s not as clear how to make them come true. Here are three things you can do to get your business ready for growth.
1. Give out tasks like a boss
You used your ideas to start your own business. So it’s normal to want to keep an eye on everything. And when a small business is just starting out, everyone’s roles can be less clear. There needs to be one clear voice that shows the way.
But this chain of leadership can slow down the growth of your business as it starts up. If your workers are afraid to act without your permission, their ideas will fail. Team members won’t feel like they have any power or trust, so they won’t share their skills and knowledge.
Your team can also fall behind if roles aren’t clear. Employees won’t know what they are in charge of and what they are allowed to do. Staff members won’t do anything because they don’t want to step on someone else’s toes. Role uncertainty can make people feel confused, annoyed, and unmotivated.
Because of this, Thryv, a company that makes software for small businesses that does everything, suggests a grid layout. The business owner in a matrix system is like the head coach of a football team. You’re in charge of the game plan, but give those who help you tasks and give them the power to do them. Each project has a leader who is in charge of the project and handles it with the help of other workers. Everyone on the team knows what they need to do and how it fits into the overall plan of the company.
2. Conduct a Process Audit
People usually fail not because they’re bad, but because they don’t know how to follow the rules. When procedures and resources don’t work well, business growth can stop. Procedures that are too specific or lack any at all can be the root of these issues.
You have to play detective to figure out what’s wrong. Find out what tools and plans of action your team uses in different situations. Say it’s up to your marketing team to help your store sales team. Marketing makes handouts and other tools for salespeople to use in the store.
But the shops always say they have trouble getting promotional items on time. Also, the information on the handouts and flyers is often wrong. The review process has too many people involved, according to more research. Marketing is rushing to make changes at the last minute, and the general direction is not clear. Employees are also sending things by mail that they could send out online using technology.
By going over these steps again, things will go faster and be more accurate. You could start by getting rid of people who aren’t needed in the approval chain. With better technology at the shop level, sales staff will be able to print the basics whenever they need to. And better planning and deadlines could make it easier for marketing to do creative work without the stress that can lead to mistakes.
3. Improve communication inside the company
When people in a company don’t talk to each other well, it doesn’t just cause chaos. It makes more than 40% of workers less likely to trust the team and the people in charge. And a larger number of remote workers have trouble with internal contact. About 54% of people who work away say it hurts their trust in leaders, and 52% say it makes the team less committed.
It doesn’t matter if your small business is run from home or in person. It’s about how, when, and what you say. To communicate well, you need to avoid sending mixed messages and use the right methods for sharing different kinds of information. You wouldn’t explain a big change in the company’s direction over Google Chat any more than you’d call an all-hands meeting to ask a question about an invoice. You can get your message across in the right way and at the right time if you choose the right route based on the situation, your audience, and the type of information.
Slack is a company that has internal communication down pat, which is not a big surprise. Its real-time texting tool lets team members talk to each other right away, so there are no long email loops and decisions can be made quickly. Conversations are kept organized, and important team members are involved through routes. And because workers can search for talks, they can always find the information they need.
How to Make Your Small Business Grow
All 33.2 million small business owners in the U.S. want their businesses to do well. Putting your growth plans into action can help you get the steady market footing you need to stay in business. Things outside of you have an impact on your goals, but generally speaking, it’s what’s going on inside of you that prevents you from achieving them. By improving sharing practices, processes, and internal communication, small businesses can remove many of the things that get in the way of their growth.