It’s difficult to blame businesses for being hesitant about growth because of how incredibly easy it is for a seemingly perfect plan to completely backfire. All it takes is one small mistake to do significant damage, regardless of whether the problem is related to finances, marketing, inventory management, data entry, etc. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another. The odds are much higher, however, for a strategy that didn’t work for one business achieving the same result time and time again.
Some business owners might take this as a notion that it’s more important to know what not to do than it is to know what you probably “should” do if growth is on your horizon.
Here are 4 mistakes to avoid as you pursue growth for your small business:
1. GROWING IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR “HIRING.”
Increasing human capital isn’t always the most efficient way to increase productivity or revenue. This is particularly likely for businesses that lack documented training regimens or are yet to explore outsourcing. At United Capital Source, the alternative business financing company I founded, the size of our average funding transaction has grown dramatically over the past few years, despite having only increased our staff by a mere four people. Far less risky than bringing on new team members is scaling individual elements of a business, like technology, equipment, or processes for day-to-day operations.
2. TRYING TO FAMILIARIZE THE UNFAMILIAR
Successful companies focus primarily on what they do well, as opposed to taking on projects outside of their niche. Believing that a team is capable of handling every essential responsibility on its own is not only foolish, but also a massive waste of time. In 2017, for example, virtually all businesses must have a professional-looking website and an active online presence. But that doesn’t mean you should hire a full-time graphic designer and social media specialist.
At United Capital Source, we help you make these hiring decisions as well as provide funding that prevents cash flow and profit margins from taking a hit as a result. Our working capital loans, credit card processing loans, and numerous other unsecured business loans can cover increases in payroll and be paid off as sales begin to increase in the months to follow.
3. OVER-PROMISING AND UNDER-DELIVERING
The goals you set for yourself are much easier to achieve when your customers don’t know about them. You might see your competitors make promises in an attempt to attract to interest but their words are meaningless until the promise is fulfilled. So instead of offering something you can’t realistically uphold on a consistent basis, give your customers slightly less to look forward to and then exceed their expectations. Zappos exemplifies this strategy by promising delivering within five business days only to ship the majority of their orders overnight.
Customer satisfaction is a huge factor when it comes to small business loans offered by UCS. We understand that you must always offer the same level of service to your customers, despite cyclical dips in revenue and increases in expenses. Many of our business funding programs, like accounts receivable factoring are specifically crafted to stabilize tumultuous budgets and ensure vital business partners are paid on time. Accounts receivable factoring takes just a small percentage of revenue so you can keep larger clients and have money available to invest in growth the moment the opportunity presents itself.
4. LYING ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS
The abundance of inaccurate information floating around the web has made it more tempting for companies to flat-out lie about their accomplishments. They want potential customers to believe they are more successful than they actually are because they think that’s the only way to gain business. What they fail to realize is that customers stay loyal to companies that don’t need to lie because they have real benefits to offer them. If you can’t think of a reason for someone to give you his or her business without lying, you have some serious re-evaluating to do.
Refusing to be truthful about the state of your business also makes it nearly impossible to obtain additional business funding. UCS doesn’t discriminate against businesses with inevitable cash flow problems, poor credit history, or no collateral to provide. We even offer bad credit business loans for applicants looking to build their credit score as well as restaurant business loans for this seasonal industry. There’s no need to downplay the significance of one of your hardships because it most likely will not lower your chances for approval.
NOT ON OUR WATCH
In addition to their financial situation, we strongly urge our potential clients to be up front about what they don’t know. Growing a business means exploring lucrative and unfamiliar areas. But lucky for you, UCS has years of experience working with dozens of industries, so we know how to maintain a budget while carrying out almost any kind of major investment you can think of. Do not forgo an opportunity simply because you don’t know where to start. We will guide you every step of the way, and bestow expert advice for how to best execute your strategy. It’s for this reason that our clients have the confidence to pursue not one but multiple avenues for expansion as they evolve!