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A logical first step in growing a small business is figuring out what differentiates your most successful competitors from those who remain stagnant. Skeptics will tell you this is a waste of time since it’s pretty obvious what separates the two: money. Let’s pretend you had access to a similar amount of capital as the former group. Would you know which elements of your business deserve the largest portions of cash? Do you know which investments are most likely to lead to rapid growth?

Earlier this year, executive coaching organization Vistage surveyed more than 1,000 small business owners to determine what the fastest-growing small businesses do differently. The results revealed which areas to focus on as well as what tools are required to put their strategies into action.

1. More Strategies And Involvement

It quickly became clear to the researchers that the fastest-growing small businesses were involved in more marketing, sales and customer service initiatives. While slow-growing companies might be utilizing the same basic strategies, their more successful competitors are going the extra mile to do more work in these areas. This suggests that growth is connected to stepping outside the norm. There isn’t just one or a few ways to spread brand awareness, make sales, or serve customers. You have to do something that makes each effort more effective than more traditional methods.

So, the next question to ask yourself is, “What do I need to do more marketing, more sales, and tend to more customers’ needs?” Chances are that whatever your answer may be, you’re going to need more money to pay for it. Even if the answer is simply “time,” this is one of many vital resources that becomes accessible when you work with a business lender that understands your dilemma and knows how smaller companies can dedicate more time to the aforementioned three areas without compromising their most crucial revenue-generating activities. Some small business loans are even designed to give business owners the extra time they need to put a new plan into action without worrying about what the slowdown in productivity will do to their operational funding.

2. Do Your Research

Spending more time on certain initiatives is only wise if you know what you’re doing. In addition to doing more work, researchers found that the fastest-growing small businesses were more likely than slow-growing companies to achieve their desired results. This begs another question: How can you know that your new strategy is going to be successful? It seems that before you think about borrowing, you should make sure your idea possesses a high likelihood of increasing revenue. In other words, it’s time to do some research. Which would help you make more sales: better equipment or more salespeople? Should you hire a full-time social media specialist to handle your marketing or outsource a digital marketing team that specializes in pay-per-click ads on Google? Which would give you more time to tend to more customers?

Preparation is unquestionably the most stressful part about taking out a small business loan but you’re much better off being stressed before you have to repay debt rather than during the repayment process. The more time you spend ascertaining the effect your investment will have on revenue, the less you will have to worry about it interfering with your accounts payable pressures or regular expenses.

Some business lenders offer working capital loans that are based on the amount of revenue you are projected to earn by an approximate date, like a merchant cash advance (or “credit card processing loan”). Other business funding programs, like a accounts receivable factoring, could act as a cushion for additional monthly expenses, like increased payroll or the lease for a new piece of equipment. Initial payments would be smaller during slower periods, saving the larger payments for when your strategy hopefully has melded into your daily grind and the people involved with the investment have returned to their usual level of productivity.

3. Strong Leadership

The final finding of the survey determined that small businesses that execute marketing, sales and customer service initiatives effectively do so with the help of dedicated leadership. They don’t just put a new strategy into play and expect their employees to implement it with success. Without constant oversight and feedback, mistakes get made and goals are not met, at least on time. This further illustrates the importance of staying involved in the three aforementioned areas. With the right small business loan, you would have the time to train new employees, monitor the progress of marketing campaigns, and give all customers the same level of service. Many clients of United Capital Source are able to do this because they receive funding when business is on the slower side but do not have to make significant payments when they are busy ensuring the success of their investments.

Speaking of leadership, United Capital Source offers their own form of guidance for clients who are ready to take a major leap forward, especially those who have little experience with borrowing. Business funding is our expertise, therefore it’s our job to lead our clients while they make payments and maintain a steady budget. A true leader never leaves someone hanging in unfamiliar territory, so you can be sure that every concern you have will be tended to as soon as it arises

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