Believe it or not, growing a business takes more thought than just making more sales. You could end up in a bad situation where you’re making more sales than your business can support. It can cause a serious problem with trust from the consumer, and can actually totally ruin your entire business. Better to be ready for future growth.
* Create Standard Operating Procedures. Every single business from a fast food restaurant to a service provider can improve their business by creating standard operating procedures. When you have procedures in place that are repeatable, you’ll experience smoother growing pains and even encourage growth.
* Save Money for Higher Expenses. When your business grows, expenses go up. Whether it’s marketing and advertising, materials, costs for contractors and so forth, you’ll spend a little more on expenses. But, if you’re ready for the higher costs (which can sometimes kick in prior to experiencing the revenue), it’ll go smoother.
* Set Up the Right Software. There are numerous types of cloud-based software that you’re going to need in your home based business. Whether it’s shopping cart software or a website, you need to ensure that what you’ve chosen is scalable. You don’t want to pay for more than you use, and you want to make sure it scales easily.
* Use Automation Carefully. Today you can automate so much, from social media to even accounting. But, it’s important to choose which things should be automated and which should not. Generally anything to do with engagement should not be automated, and anything that keeps you from having to do data entry should be.
* Put an Accounting System in Place. If you’re currently doing your accounting by hand and you want to grow, it’s going to be best to create an accounting system that is automated and done by a professional. You can do this with many programs, from Go Daddy Bookkeeping to QuickBooks to Quicken.
* Identify Holes in Skills. Sometimes when you want to expand there is a problem when it comes to skills. For example, if you have a service-based business such as a website building business, you’re going to have to hire people like yourself in order to scale up.
* Improve Social Media Accounts. As you seek growth, focus more on your social media accounts. Upgrade them, ensure there is a branding match across networks, and then hire someone to keep your accounts up to date and create a social media marketing strategy.
* Make Contact with Appropriate Contractors. You’re going to have to hire contractors or employees as you ramp up your business and plan for future growth. It depends on the type of business you have, but if you make contact now and get to know people now, you’ll be ready.
If you’re not ready for growth, you can actually end up losing your business. The reason is that you could end up making promises you can’t keep, or having to turn away people due to lack of supply. This can be really hard to take. But, if you prepare in advance you’ll be ready for future business growth.
When it comes to becoming a home based entrepreneur, women seem to have more challenges than men. However, these challenges can easily be overcome with some education and perseverance. Let’s go over these challenges and learn how to deal with them.
1. Being Perceived as Bossy. Sometimes in our society women who are strong are seen as bossy while a male who does the same thing is seen as strong. But, instead of worrying about that perception, women should learn to take charge and not worry about other peoples ideas. When someone calls you out on being bossy stand up for yourself and point out examples of males doing the same thing. When people are exposed to their underlying sexism they will change.
2. Building Networks. Because of the perception that most people who are business owners are men, most groups seem to be male centric. However, today there are many groups that are available for women to join. You can even start your own group like I did with Women Empowering Women Mastermind Group. www.wewmg.com But, don’t wait around for women-centered groups; join the groups that are male dominated and take a leadership position. Don’t be afraid to be a leader.
3. Making Strong Decisions. Because of the perception that women are bossy, some women have a hard time making decisive choices about their lives and careers. But, that’t the worst thing you can do. If you’ve done the research, be sure of your choices and make the decision, knowing that you’re just as smart as anyone else.
4. Being Balanced. It seems that as women we are expected to do everything. We are expected to take care of our spouses, the kids, the house, the animals and our business as well! It’s not really a fair thing for women to have to take all that onto by ourselves. Reality is we can’t or something along the way is going to breakdown. Ask for help. Ask your partner, your kids, your family or even hire someone to take care of those things that you don’t have time for. Hire a housecleaner, lawn service, babysitter (for when you are home and need to work), dog walker. If your really good at building your business then you can spend some money to hire key people in your life to help you be balanced.
5. Fear of Success. This is a problem for a lot of home based women entrepreneurs. Success carries a lot of responsibility and it can be overwhelming at times. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. If you want to be a successful home based business owner, you have to see yourself as one first before anyone else will.
6. Finding a mentor/coach. In the USA, women own 10.6 billion businesses and are the fastest growing segment of business owners in the world. The majority of the very successful women business owners have a mentor or a coach or even both! You need to have someone or a group like a mastermind to bounce ideas off, let off steam, and hold you accountable.
1. Do What You Love. Start a business that you are passionate about, instead of one that just makes money. Often times people get involved in something because of the money, and then realize how much they dislike it. But when you are doing something you love and that is also in demand, the money will come and it will also feel good.
2. Know Where to Place Your Focus. Remember the 80/20 rule? This states that 20 percent of the work you do produces 80 percent of the results. Use metrics to identify what part of the work you’re doing is getting the results, and then do more of that and less of what is not producing results.
3. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses. It’s important to be honest about what you know and what you don’t know. You want to work from a position of strength. Do what you do very well and do a lot of it. When you do too much of the things you’re weak at doing, you will lose the joy of your business as well as suffer as a result.
4. Outsourcing. As you note your weaknesses, it’s also important to find a way to fill those gaps. You may use outsourcing help, technology, or even take a course if necessary to shore up your weaknesses so that they become strengths.
5. Be Accountable to Yourself. Honesty is very important, including self-honesty. If you can’t tell yourself the truth, look yourself in the eye, and move forward with your goals, then you’ll fail at being a business owner. To help get yourself a coach or get into a mastermind group such as Women Empowering Women Mastermind Group. www.wewmg.com
6. Set Realistic Goals. Learn about SMART goal setting, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. This means that you want goals that are realistic within a particular timetable and deadline.
7. Surround Yourself with the Right Team. The right team for you may not be what’s right for someone else. Learn to trust yourself as you choose a team to work with, whether employees or contractors. Skill matters, but so does personality. If you mesh with your team, you’ll have a more pleasant and successful environment.
8. Don’t Apologize. Men never apologize for success, and women should learn not to. You’re not bossy; you’re the boss. You’re not arrogant; you’re in charge. It’s okay to be successful; you don’t need to say I’m sorry about anything.
9. Get Help When Needed. The most successful people know that they need to ask for help when it’s important. Consider that throughout history men have been successful in business - not alone, but with the help of others around them.
10. Have fun! Don’t forget the reason why you started a home based business in the first place. Remember to enjoy and love what you do so you can have a successful home based business and lifestyle.
About the Author: Doreen Dilger is a Certified Manifest Method Coach, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of Women Empowering Women Now.