Did you know the biggest challenge faced by all small businesses as they grow and scale is the need for Capital?
It doesn’t matter which stage your business is in; you need an infusion of external capital to capitalize on the available opportunities and take your business to the next level.
A majority of small businesses resort to borrowing to meet their capital needs.
But, borrowing money for your business needs is challenging.
There are several hurdles to be crossed before you get the capital your business needs.
Banks often turn down business loan requests due to lack of collateral, insufficient business history, satisfactory credit scores, etc., and even if you manage to get the capital you need, you will have to pay steep finance costs on the principal, which can further add to your financial challenges.
But, worry not!
I am going to share with you Top5 Secrets, if implemented correctly, will help you to grow your business, without borrowing debt or with minimum borrowing.
Secret Tip #1: Diligently Monitor and Track your Cash Flow
“A healthy cash flow is the first stepping stone to grow and expand your business.”
If you’re looking to expand and take your business to the next level, the first step is to understand your cash flow.
For example, having several slow-paying customers can, in turn, slow down your expansion plans, as a significant chunk of your receivables is pending.
While pending receivables are part and parcel of regular business operations, having too much outstanding can put the brakes on your expansion efforts.
Here are a few business growth tips to get customers to pay on time:
- Offer discounts to customers who pay up-front.
- Keep track of pending payments and pursue them diligently.
- Tighten your payment policy when onboarding a new customer.
There are several cloud applications that can help you Automate the collection and follow up process.
Having your inflows and outflows at your fingertips is crucial for business growth.
It gives you a clear picture of how to budget and better use the available finances in hand.
Secret Tip #2: Maximize Profits and Redirect Them for Expansion
“Every business wants to make a profit. But, not many channel their efforts to increase profits.”
As your business grows and sales increases, it’s easy to lose track of products and services that are your cash cows.
Cash cows are products/services that are profitable and give you high revenues.
Try to identify the highest-profit making products in your portfolio.
Try to focus your efforts on expanding sales of these products via additional marketing.
This helps in boosting your profits, which you can then redirect to expanding your business.
Secret Tip #3: Tap into your Customer Network to Scale Growth
If you’re wondering how to expand a small business, the answer is right in front of you.
Yes, we’re talking about leveraging your existing customers to help you spread the word about your brand.
It’s an easy and effective strategy to scale up.
Here are a few ways to implement this strategy:
- Ask your Happy Customers to Post a Review on your Google Business Page, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Send them direct links to where they can post reviews directly so that they can post quickly, without much of a hassle.
- Provide your Customers with a Referral Code to Spread the Word. Creating a referral program is a great way to spread the word about your brand. A referral program offers existing customers an incentive to market your business to their network. Think of it as free promotion done by existing customers on your behalf.
Secret Tip #4: Seek out Non-Debt Funding Options
While non-debt funding options are difficult to come by, it is not entirely impossible.
Some popular non-debt funding options include leasing excess equipment out (to make additional revenue), merchant cash advances, invoice discounting, etc.
These are a great way to borrow without steep financing costs.
For example, in invoice discounting, a third-party lender purchases your receivables and pays you around 50% to 80% of the invoice’s value upfront. The lender then collects the receivables and pays you the remainder. They charge a nominal fee for this service. This non-debt funding can help you access ready cash.
Secret Tip #5: Establish Brand Presence in your Industry
“In today’s cluttered marketplace, brands that have a unique voice and personality stand out and win customers in the long-run.”
You need to focus on building brand presence.
Authoritative brands are those that customers trust.
Only when customers trust your brand they are likely to spread the word about your brand in their circle. This helps in establishing the longevity of the brand.
For example, be willing to share helpful information to customers via different channels through social media posts, Instagram or Tik Tok Videos, Corporate Social responsibility, etc.
Growing a small business takes time, effort and resources. Just because you’re cash-challenged, it doesn’t mean you have to put your business expansion dreams on hold.
Explore the tips listed above and brainstorm creative ways on how to grow your business.
Remember that for any business to grow, you need to focus on 20% of the tasks that yield 80% of the Results so start thinking about which part of your business needs a Productivity Audit so that you can have the Joy and Fulfilment from being more productive whilst still growing your business, freeing up your time to focus on core business practices and expansion.