Pros and Cons: Growing Your Business

growing green plants

A string of good fortune in sales and income can tempt any small business owner to consider growing their business. An unexpected spurt of sales or growth can provide the financial resources to take that leap into expansion, whether it be expanding services or taking on new products. Yet before any decision, it’s good to consider possible problems caused by rapid growth:

— Hiring new employees requires more office space. Can you sustain your commitment to a higher lease amount or the expense to build out?

— Will new employees create staff turnover due to competition, hurt feeling of being passed over, or unusually heavy workloads?

— Will expansion hurt employee morale? A shortfall of cash to meet expansion costs could mean that workers must generate more income, creating a burden on all employees and risking the loss of experienced workers.

For business owners experiencing rapid growth, it essential to understand whether the growth is temporary or permanent, for example, the result of demand for your product or service or a local scarcity due to a competitor’s closing. Regardless of the reason, expand sustainably…that means, find a professional business adviser to help you:

  • identify your goals
  • understand the key phases of product life cycle
  • extend the skills and capabilities of staff and management
  • negotiate complex deals and contracts
  • minimize any business risk

At DL MoneyMatters, we wish all our customers good fortune, growth and prosperity!

Small Biz Outlook 2023

Small Business Expo in Cincinnati is in the rear view mirror, but those who attended were determined to make this a healthy business year, in spite of recent dark clouds. There’s one thing small business does well —we’re nimble and very bullish about our businesses.

Since 1973, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has tracked and recorded Small Business Economic trends via questionnaires mailed to their members. We thought it would be helpful to share a few of the numbers.

Of note for 2023 is their Small Business Optimism Index that shows an overall Index of 89, after their 49-year average of 98. The reason for the dark clouds? Inflation!

Stressed businessman looking at laptop screen in modern office.

While the survey tracks labor markets, capital spending, sales and inventories, compensation and earnings, borrowing and credit markets, inflation was what hit small business owners the hardest. 

This Inflation information should be informative for our readers to measure their performance compared to the rest of the small business world:

The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased 4 points from March to a net 33% seasonally adjusted, the lowest since March 2021. Unadjusted, 12% (up 1 point) reported lower average selling prices and 48% (down 2 points) reported higher average prices. 

Price hikes were most frequent in construction (59% higher, 7% lower), retail (59% higher, 8% lower), wholesale (54% higher, 14% lower), and finance (52% higher, 5% lower). 

A net 21% of small business owners plan price hikes (down 5%).

Consumer spending increased, but consumers were purchasing product from inventory made in prior quarters. Those small bank failures that made the news were not due to bad loans but to poor risk management! Even as the Government was pouring massive Covid relief into the economy, banks allowed those deposits to be withdrawn in 24 hours.

For those who enjoy tracking where your small business stands compared to other small businesses, read the entire report (Copyright NFIB Research Center publication: NFIB Small Business Economic Trends, April 2023).

Keys to Successful Workplaces

If your business never faces challenges, congratulations. The rest of us entrepreneurial congratulate you! But if challenges are a way of life in your small business, we want to share a few ideas from the “pros who know.”

Embrace Growthkey to success: key bridging a chasm
Modern business challenges rely on a growth mindset. This doesn’t mean hiring more employees! It means adopting a growth mindset that views obstacles as opportunities for learning and growth, like these:

  • Maintain a positive attitude. 
  • Focus on the solutions rather than problems. 
  • Think of setbacks as temporary and necessary steps towards growth.

Always Be Learning
View challenges as opportunities to gain knowledge and experience. Embrace continuous learning and always be seeking new skills and insights to overcome obstacles.

Set Goals and Milestones
When times get tough, the tough set goals that are SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals are essential for small business. As circumstances change, your goals may need to be modified to remain relevant and achievable.

Track Progress
To stay motivated, monitor your progress regularly. Keep a record of achievements and take time to reflect on how far you’ve come and to reinforce your determination to overcome challenges.

Visualize Success
Imagine yourself overcoming the challenges and achieving your goals. Visualizing your desired outcome vividly serves as a source of motivation during difficult times.

Seek Inspiration
Read books, listen to podcasts, or watch interviews that showcase other small business owners’ keys to success. 

Celebrate Accomplishments
No matter how small they may seem, acknowledge every milestone you reach and reward yourself in some suitable way. This will keep you motivated and reinforce a positive mindset.

Build a Support Network
Surround yourself with the right people and mentors that can make a significant difference when tackling business challenges. 

Collaborate and Network
Engage with like-minded individuals in your industry. Join a Chamber of Commerce, a MasterMind group, networking groups, online forums, or a Business Roundtable near you. Sharing experiences, challenges, and successes can provide a fresh perspective and keep you motivated.

Remember, adopting a growth mindset, setting clear goals, building a support network, and prioritizing self-care are key to rising above any obstacles you encounter. You’ve got this!