Need help reenergizing your business? Out of creative ideas for reaching your business goals? We’ve compiled a list of the top 100 tips to improve your business. Consider it your checklist for maintaining a successful business.
Expand Your Business
1. Take on the World
Want your company to go global? Keep these 9 tips in mind when eyeing foreign shores:
Research and map out your export journey.
Know where you want to go and go there.
Take that decisive step and follow it up with sensible judgment. Jump in with both feet first, but keep them firmly planted on the ground.
Keep your ego in check. Don’t let the prospect of “going global” inflate your ego and cause misjudgments.
If it smells, looks, or feels bad, don’t try to rationalize otherwise. Trust your instincts.
Treat people as you yourself want to be treated.
Make personal contact with attentiveness, courtesy, professionalism, and consistency.
Factor in a three-year lead-time for world market penetration. It takes time and patience.
In a global marketplace, welcome the unknown.
2. Where to Find Expansion Financing
You may have used personal savings or money borrowed from friends and family to get started, but where do you go when it’s time to grow your business? If you’ve been in business for less than three years or have nothing to offer as collateral, you might find traditional lending institutions unwilling to finance your business. There are options, though – if you know where to look. Try these three funding sources to fund your expansion plans:
Go back to those same friends and family. If your first loan wasn’t formalized, do it this time by drawing up documents with a set repayment plan and interest.
Go the government route. Many entrepreneurs get financing, including microloans, from SBA-backed lenders.
Talk to your vendors. Another method of obtaining financing for supplies or materials is to approach vendors of those products about opening a line of credit with them so you can stock your inventory or buy raw materials for your product without having to put the cash upfront.
3. Should You Open Another Location?
This might not be your best choice for business expansion, but it’s what often comes to mind first for so many entrepreneurs considering expansion. Take a look at the following six tips to see if opening a second location is the right move for your business:
Make sure you’re maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit and that you’ve shown steady growth over the past few years.
Look at the trends, both economic and consumer, for indications on your company’s staying power.
Make sure your administrative systems and management team are extraordinary-you’ll need them to get a new location up and running.
Prepare a complete business plan for a new location.
Determine where and how you’ll obtain financing.
Choose your location based on what’s best for your business, not your wallet.
4. Franchising and Licensing
Have you ever considered turning your business into a franchise or business opportunity? The key question to ask yourself is if your business can be converted into a business format that somebody else could operate (a franchise) or if you have a standardized product or service that someone could resell multiple times (a business opportunity).