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You’ve worked hard and provided key products or services to a dedicated group of clients, and your small business is booming. It’s time to expand — so what are the considerations you need to make before taking the next big step? Do you have an optimized, accessible website for your business? Do you know what your goals are, as far as numbers? Let’s take a look at a few ways you can prepare to expand your company without stressing out:
Point 1: Strategize about your KPIs.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the backbone of any successful business. A KPI, put simply, is a value that measures progress toward achieving critical business goals. Once you have your goals mapped out, you need to make sure you are achieving them in a measurable fashion, and that’s where KPIs come in. Your KPIs should be determined based on how they contribute to one specific, strategic objective: What are your sales goals? How much money do you want to spend on marketing? After you determine these things, you can start mapping out what “performance” looks like in these categories.
For instance, you may decide you want to expand your business and fulfill overseas orders. You will first need to determine what the marketing KPIs are for breaking into international markets — how will you determine success? Make sure you do marketing research in this step because different audiences require different strategies. You can conduct informal surveys, in-person research, or collect data from national agencies. All of these things take you a step closer to writing and then achieving your KPIs.
Point 2: Get your documents in order.
As you’re making plans to take your business to the next level, you should consider forming a limited liability corporation (LLC). This basically gives your business several tax and liability benefits while keeping your management flexibility. The most well-known benefit of forming an LLC is that if your business were to be sued or go under, your personal assets would not be liable. Filing for an LLC also means less paperwork because it doesn’t require as many documents as a corporation would.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there are several types of businesses that cannot claim the LLC status, including banks and insurance companies. Please make sure to check what the particular regulations are in your state, as these rules vary across the country. You can even do the legwork yourself by filing online instead of investing your hard-earned money in lawyer fees.
Point 3: Invest your money (or time) in technologies.
Technology is the small-business owner’s best friend, quite literally. Tools like social media, data science solutions, and digital ads are all critical for today’s successful businesses. Utilizing these tools will improve your business acumen and give you better brand exposure, among other key metrics. Accounting programs can help you keep your budget straight; customer relationship management tools can assist with client retention and resource allocation. There are various software suites that provide out-of-the-box solutions for all of these necessities.
This doesn’t mean you have to invest just money in these kinds of tools. A time investment is sometimes all you need to delve into the technology and find use in it. For instance, starting a social media page and interacting with clients takes time and personalized care, but the return on customer relationships is worth the investment of your day.
In addition to engaging with customers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, in today’s online-dominated business environment, a well-designed website is critical to acquiring and keeping clients — especially as you expand your business and branch out into more markets (even the aforementioned international scene). A website can allow your company to break through geographical barriers. So before you take your next step toward expanding your business, ensure you have a reliable, optimized web presence. Contact the experts at Throlson Web Design today for a consultation.