In our ultra-competitive global marketplace, you’re given only so many opportunities to take chances before you’ve got to prove your business chops to investors and stakeholders.
And at this point in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) game, you’ve taken those chances and then some… The good news is that they’ve paid off! So much so that you’re now responsible for taking your business to the next level. It’s time to show the world what you can do with the lean and mean company you’ve developed.
And that’s when it hits you: You have no new growth hacks left in your toolkit. You’ve already tackled those little things that tend to thwart SMB growth. You’ve built a high-performing team and meticulously tracked tax deductions. But now what?
If this sounds anything like you, have no fear! We’re sharing four smart steps that can help boost your business growth over the long haul.
Back when you first started your business, you were probably content with an accounting software that allowed you to just be able to send invoices to clients, track your expenses and get paid online. But today, you are likely looking for more sophisticated features to grow with your successful SMB.
Not sure what to consider? Here’s a quick checklist of the top three features you should look for when upgrading your accounting system:
Think of working capital as the lifeblood of lean and mean SMBs. In its simplest form, working capital is the amount of assets you hold minus the amount of your liabilities. Assets could be cash and/or items you can convert into cash, such as funds from accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and short-term investments. Effectively, it’s the money used to fund day-to-day operations, support running costs and also, pay short-term debts and cover other expenses.
Ideally, success over the long term requires “positive working capital,” where current assets outweigh liabilities and you have enough funds to cover short-term debt. Working capital is especially important when a company’s about to take a big step. For example, this could include launching a mission-critical campaign or taking on a new partnership that has the potential to open up new avenues of success for your growing business.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level but need to balance your organization’s financial health, you’ve got plenty of options available to you. Check out these three different ways to boost your working capital:
It might seem counterintuitive since it costs money to hire outside help, but agile SMBs often have to look outside their organizations for smart solutions to help them grow. And these days, more than consider outsourcing as an important part of their growth strategy.
Why? The fact is: Outsourcing to independent contractors or third-party subject matter experts (SMEs) can save you money on both overhead and capital costs—to the tune of .
If you’re still skeptical, here’s another way to look at it: Yes, your business is growing quickly, but you need to keep maximizing your earnings to continue to grow your business at the current rate (or even faster!). And outsourcing can help with this because it allows SMBs like yours to:
The first function that many SMBs outsource is accounting and bookkeeping. Keeping track of your small business finances is crucial, but time-consuming. Not to mention that many SMB owners start their company as a passion project, so their skills don’t necessarily involve reconciling bank accounts and preparing tax returns. Often, you can outsource these functions to a virtual bookkeeper or accountant, at a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee.
Unsure about how to find qualified and high-performing independent contractors? Start with your own personal and professional connections; LinkedIn recommendations can help you identify the best of the best of SMEs. Other sources include local SMB accelerators and incubators, as well as small business networks, consultancies and other like-minded industry groups.
Today’s empowered consumers don’t just want more relevant and personalized products and services; they demand it. And so, if your growth strategy has anything to do with driving more consumer dollars into your accounts, you’d best get up close and personal with your customer base and their wants and needs.
Here are three ways to get to know your customers better:
And while you’re at it, keep an eye on your competition, too. Because, realistically, you’re only as good as how your value proposition stacks up against your competitors. You’ll need intel over time to be sure that you’re offering products and services that continue to outpace the competition.
Use these two tried-and-true business strategies to get (and stay) up to speed on your competition:
As your business grows, you need to stay laser-focused on where you’re spending your time and money.
Check out how this FreshBooks Select customer was able to set themselves up for sustained and scalable success by making a few simple adjustments to their business operations.