So you’ve taken the plunge and quit your day job to start your own business. Things are going pretty well; you’ve managed to make enough money to regularly pay a small amount of staff, your profits are looking alright and you’ve cornered the right niche for your product. All in all, you’re glad you made the decision to quit, and thinking about your current situation in contrast to your old job fills you with warmth.

Despite all this, though, there’s just still something missing. Your business is trundling along, but it’s missing that rocket fuel, that spark to really elevate it and push you onto the next level. You know your business idea is worthwhile; you’ve got demand, you’ve got solid suppliers, and your staff satisfaction level is high. You shouldn’t be content just to coast on that, though; the entrepreneurial spirit demands you take things to the next level. Here are some tips on how you can do just that.

Set ambitious goals

The best way to run a business is with goal-oriented management; always have a goal in sight and work towards it, thus ensuring you’re always chasing something and never resting on your laurels. Maybe the goals you’re setting for your business aren’t ambitious enough, though. Hold a staff meeting and talk to your employees. Explain to them that you’re really happy with the way things have been going, but you’re thinking it’s time to take everything up to the next level. Tell them that, if they can perform to an even higher standard than they’re already doing, there’ll be big bonuses in it for them. When the money starts rolling in faster than ever, you can afford to hire more staff and expand your operation, but you’ll need to get the ball rolling with your existing staff and set them goals that really make them reach for the stars.

Expand your finances

Are your old headquarters looking a bit ropey? Do you feel like you could really do with moving to a bigger, more expansive location with more space for your growing business? It might be time to look into expanding your finances and filling your bank balance up a bit. One of the best ways to do this would be to take out a loan and use the money for boosting up the business; pay your employees generous bonuses, for example, or use the money to either redecorate or change your premises. The best loan providers, such as the one we linked, will consider you no matter your credit history and the turnaround for money in your bank is quick, too. Don’t let your finances stagnate; the best path to making money is spending money, after all!

Focus on your customers

The only way you’re ever going to learn how you can expand and grow as a business is to talk to the people who are using your services, i.e. your customers. What do they want you to provide that you’re not already providing? If you’re an e-commerce business, you can send out surveys via email (as long as your customers are happy for you to do so) and ask them how they think you could improve your service. If your service improves, more customers will be attracted to your business, and you’ll start growing before you know it. If you’re a supply-side business, then talk to the companies you’re working with; go for lunch with high-ups in those companies and chat to them about your business and anything they wish you did that you don’t currently do. Talk to your contacts and your customers, and you’d be amazed how much help they can be.

Study your competition

How is your competition marketing itself? Who is their key demographic? Is there any way you could poach a few of their customers (in an entirely honest way, of course)? You need to be consistently asking yourself these questions if you’re going to improve the way you do business. Knowing how your competition handles things, even if they handle things poorly, will only impact your business positively as long as you use the knowledge in a productive way. Don’t just copy what your competitors are doing; study their actions and motives and create a business plan that will counteract anything they’re doing better than you. Customer-facing companies can try offers, discounts and other ways to sweeten the deal for hesitant customers; there’s always a way to increase your business and compete with other companies.

Don’t get complacent

If your business is doing well, that’s great; it means you’re doing something right as a business owner, and your staff are working in a satisfactory capacity. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should rest on your laurels. You should constantly be looking for ways you could improve your business, no matter in what area; the smallest sectors of your company could be the biggest catalysts for positive change. Don’t underestimate small changes you can make, and don’t stop talking to your staff and studying your books to see if there’s literally anything you could improve. If you love your business, this won’t feel like a chore; it’ll feel like tuning up a machine until it’s performing as well as it possibly can.

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