As a small business owner, you should understand that it’s okay if your priorities change over time. You don’t need to have it all together and it’s also important to also acknowledge that you need help sometimes too. But if your company is growing fast, you may choose to stay inside your comfort zone and miss out on all opportunities out there. Here, we share some best practices we took from industry leaders and how they shifted their priorities for different stages in business but still succeed. Spoiler alert: It’s not that easy!
Priorities for Different Stages in Business
This is where it’s a great time to let your imagination run wild. Come up with your business concepts then what you intend to offer either as a product or service. You can use the Wh questions as a guide on what you need to explore about your potential business ideas. Not only that, but this is also where it’s free to go beyond and unleash your creative thinking side. Write down all your ideas on a piece of paper.
From there, you can do pros and cons list or an idea map to keep your flow going. There are no right and wrong answers. You’re free to come up with amazing ideas without sparing a single penny yet on anything so make the most out of it. But if you’re willing to take an extra step, you can go ahead and test the waters by offer your products or services to people around you. There are free resources and platforms that you can take advantage of such as Canva for branding and design, Brand Glow Up for helpful business tips and tricks, and more.
2. Score your first paying project
Since you’ve already done the work and established a cool presence online, you can now pitch in ideas to your target market. Besides this, you can also explore marketing efforts that can help you reach more people without spending much on ads. Things to take into account at this stage is your own security and seeing yourself as someone worthy. Prepare solid contract drafts, come up with onboarding kits, set a timeline, and do the work.
Here, it’s best to build your credibility to encourage clients to put their money into your offering. Once the deal is closed, it’s now time to work hard and deliver beyond expectations. It’s also very important to leave a positive impression on your client or customer as they are the start of many — your very first advocate. What they say about you will either help or hurt you in closing your next projects.
3. Don’t go crazy with 10 and more clients
This is the prime time when you start to get accustomed to everything you need to do on the day to day basis. However, talking to different people and managing projects can be taxing in the long run. We see that you’re already doing well and there’s potential to grow your business further if you improve your client management system — 17hats, Dubsado, and Honeybook. This can help you save a lot of time in crafting invoices, setting appointments, and other time-consuming tasks.
Not only that, you can now have a concrete track record to analyze and see what you can improve, what service you can add, or where you went wrong. Doing so ensures that you also grow along with your business and you grasp all lessons you got from previous projects. This can also help you acquire better clients in the future whom you love working with.
4. Winging it for the short term
After a few years in the business, you may be experiencing some plateau and that’s okay but don’t stop there. Set your goals for the first three years of doing business. It may be aligned to increasing income, getting more clients, reaching more places, and others. Doing so helps you to establish where you intend to go and move forward towards that. This can also be a great key performance indicator to see what areas you can explore further.
Since you’re doing this and we’re proud of you, it may be the perfect time to get some help. You can hire a few people to join your team and add refreshing minds and skillsets into the mix. These people can help you move towards your goal and also allow you to accommodate more clients in the long run. It may also be a great idea to work with a business coach who can help you see the bright spots while also acknowledging the areas of improvement too.
5. We’re going stronger at 5 years
Going beyond the third year means a more stable business situation. There are people in your team who helps you achieve your set goals. This also means that you’ve established a reputation in the industry that people already like to work with you. Not only that, referrals are a thing too and your previous clients can help you get more clients if you continue to deliver excellent quality work.
Since you’re no longer occupied in doing all the menial tasks, you can now take this moment to diversify your revenue. Expand your business through passive incomes that no longer need your full commitment but brings revenue. Besides this, you can also invest more in reaching more locations and areas to tap more clients that you can work with.
6. The golden years
It’s finally the time when you have it all together. The golden years are when your business has consistent clients that bring revenue and referrals keep coming in. Another telltale sign is that you also managed to maximize all potential offerings, your income is diversified from different streams, and more. Moreover, you have a trusted team that handles all jobs well. By this time, you can now take a step back and know that the business will continue running.
Take this opportunity to focus on other aspects of your life. You can explore new hobbies or come up with new business ideas you can invest your time in. Spend more time with your family and give back to the community to show your gratitude for all the blessings you received. This is the perfect time to celebrate how far you’ve come.