CPA Australia interviewed more than 2900 small business owners in eight markets in its annual survey of small businesses in the Asia-Pacific and the findings provide some quick reference points for the DOs and DONT's in growing a small business.
The factors that had the most positive impact on businesses over the past 12 months were strongly "people-focused" with the categories of 'customer loyalty', 'good staff' and 'improved customer satisfaction' showing a rating of 38% or higher, whether or not the business grew.
However, the businesses that grew strongly were significantly more likely to say that 'improved customer satisfaction', 'improved business strategy' and 'improved business management' had a major positive impact on their business.
Among those small businesses showing significant growth, the focus tended to be on innovation, e-commerce, social media, training and exporting and were more likely to reach out to existing and potential clients through social media and e-newsletters and thereby make it easier for consumers to buy online.
Those businesses were also prepared to invest in staff and increased training as their firms expand.
Following on from the survey, we've prepared a quick list of the DOs and DON'Ts for growing your business:
Innovate - offer new technology and products or services
Ask for outside advice - Consult your financial adviser a couple of times a year
Plan and measure your progress - Map out the future
Hire the best and keep them engaged - Offer stimulating work and a positive culture
Build strong relationships - Work out where yours are and nurture them
Don't rely on too few customers - reach out through social media
Don't underestimate the importance of effective financial management - Use your accountant and adviser to best advantage
Don't leave contingency planning too late - Plan for the slow times during the good times
Don't ignore what is happening in your market - keep up with technology and production advances
Don't wait too long to get help - Seek assistance from accountants, planners and bankers
In short, confident businesses are significantly more likely to undertake the activities that will help them grow over the long term.
For a confidential discussion about how your business might benefit from advice, contact us or book a consultation.