Growing the business is a constant driving force for ambitious owners. In this age of fast-growth, companies who do not really own anything but a service (Uber, Facebook, Airbnb) and boom-and-bust valuations, the temptation with any business is to grow as quickly as possible.
In the digital age, growing the business can be accelerated by using the online tools at our disposal. For a small photography business, you may think this is not possible. It’s easier than you think. Creating a website is one easy way to help grow. And not just by offering you visibility online to aid new client contact. It could help boost your sales, almost overnight, if offered via your site. However, the reality is that there is no shortcut to financial freedom and that building the business methodically is the best route.
In the digital age, growing the business can be accelerated through using the online tools at our disposal.
A downer on your global domination aspirations this is not. Even those companies above spent several years incubating their ideas. Turning over staff and ideas. Waiting for the market conditions where the right factors aligned and they could then take advantage. The approach to small business is no different. Other than the potential of scale. A small retail business needs to take the lessons of others. And be structured to take on the current and future market potential.
- Do not try and grow too quickly. This piece of advice is as old as time in business speak. Once you have over-committed to various responsibilities which all cost more money in the long run – be it extra staff, production capability, stock ordering, more studio space, fancier equipment – the bigger the onus is on you sustain that level of ownership. The focus should be on only having what you need. And if a risk needs taking to deliver an important piece of business, calculate the hell out of it first.
- Always assess the growth and business. It is easy to get carried away by a spate of strong orders and seemingly reliable customers who are making big orders. When these times are happening, this is when to evaluate and attempt to forecast the long-term impact on your business. Both if the trend continues and if should stop at any moment. Being prepared for both eventualities will help you find the middle ground of where exactly your business needs to operate to sustain itself.
- Trim the fat. Just as important as growth is knowing when to take the tough decisions to lose aspects to grow in future. The hardest place to do this is with people you work with. Internally or with outsourced companies. Often, they are equally as aware of the need for adjustment as you are. So the conversation tends to be far easier than you imagined. The sooner the better.
- Taking risks. When you started the business, that was a risk. Putting yourself out there, declaring your intent and proposing yourself as a professional. The comfort zone always needs a stick in the ribs and as a pro, you need to challenge yourself. Growth is a risk, no getting away from it, but it is possible to take as much potential for failure out of it as you can by planning and evaluating.