The biggest challenge with growing a business is accepting that change is constant. With that, opportunities are born. Opportunity also makes room for exploitation.
The average small business is going to need funding, rather a capital injection, at some point. A big order, one that pays a few times over a period, retainer type, from government or larger corporates is also a good deal. Just make sure you know where the bargaining power lies.
To get the bargaining power over to your side, make sure you do the following:
1- Get it right before you invest too much
Work on perfecting the product for the customers that are currently buying from you before you look for funding, invest in hiring staff, buying machines and seeking contracts with these large entities. Build something that can be sold now while you work on the next better version.
2- Use your customers to refine your product and improve quality
There is no better validation for a business idea than a customer. While we typically measure the growth of a business by its turnover, the number of people it employs and how many area codes it operates in - the true measure is in how many customers the business attracts. Use customer feedback to improve the product and the service.
When you’re looking for funding, you’re able to say which market you dominate and use that as validation to expand. When an order comes from a larger corporate, your experience will come a long way.
3- Be aware that you do business at the level of your self confidence
Once you have products and services that attract customers, you soon realise you didn’t need funding as much as you needed customers to refine the offering and keep investing in it by buying from you.
Keep working on those three components and you’ll soon realise that the only way to deal with the challenge of growing a business is to keep improving to stay relevant to the market.
You don’t believe me? Do some research on Kodak and how cellphones made them irrelevant.
By: Marang Marekimane, May 2018