Small Business Growth Tips from Start-Up to Exit – Steve Strauss

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As we all know, this last year and a half has been hard on us all but especially small businesses. Sadly some businesses closed, others were able to scrape by, and some have done quite well. I spend a good part of my time interviewing entrepreneurs, from well-known names with large companies to those just starting. I took all of that content and consolidated it in my new book Your Small Business Boom to provide everyone with the insights I gained from those interviews.

In my experience, small businesses tend to be late adopters when it comes to changing their processes. Once they find a process that works they keep repeating it over and over again even though there might be an improved way to do it. What I found though, is small businesses that do well and boom are the ones taking advantage of new technologies and processes to help them scale. There are so many tools today that have been built with the purpose to make our lives as small business owners easier and more automated. It might take a little time to learn something new but on the other side, we are better for it.

When we think about using social media for our businesses we tend to gravitate towards the platforms we use or like. However, those might not always be the same platforms your prospective customers are using. Having a successful social media presence is less about getting likes and more about getting your audience to engage with your content. A simple way to determine what platforms your customers use is to send them a poll or a survey. Once you have that answer then you can begin to engage them with relevant content.

The problem that is common across all businesses is growing and scaling the business is difficult when the owner is trying to do everything. A great business has team members that specialize in their areas of strength. In my case, I’m good at creating content and speaking but managing finances is not my specialty so I found someone that is great at that. I’m not a tech person but my business relies on our websites being up and functioning. So I have Abby that makes it all work and keeps our website up and running. If you are serious about scaling your business you have to bring in a team and let them fill in the gaps where you aren’t as good. Growing your team shouldn’t be looked at as an expense but rather a necessity to scale.

At some point along your small business journey, you might decide you are ready to exit the business and move on to other things. The number one thing that must be true is that the business can continue running without you being there. For a lot of small businesses, this is where they struggle. They are their business and without them, there is no business. That is where creating systems and processes is vital so that someone else can come in and run that part of the business. Then you take the time to optimize your business so it runs smoothly and generates a profit. That way when a potential buyer looks at your business they can easily see how they could step in and run the business and you get a good valuation for all your hard work.

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