4 Signs of Growth in a Small Business

Owning a business is a full-time job. The nerves and excitement can quickly become panic, anxiety, and frustration. You’ll worry about money, clients, and marketing. There will be nights when you lie awake wondering why you took this journey in the first place. While those bad times are inevitable, they don’t have to last forever. Growth in a small business can happen slowly, but there are small signs of light that you can look out for. 

Stay positive and evaluate realistically. When you find yourself doing the following, you’ll know you’re on your way!

You Seek Out New Opportunities 

When a fledgling business is just starting out, it takes every moment and resource just to keep the doors open. In fact, in the beginning, the idea of reinvesting in your small business seems so far-fetched, you might stop seeking out those opportunities all together. 

Once your small business is thriving, though, that attitude will start to change. More and more, you will see small chances that can become much bigger than the sum of their parts. In fact, you might go so far as to put aside some funds just in case anything pops up that seems particularly lucrative. 

You’re Past Creating Procedures… Now You’re Optimizing Them

A new business owner is going to spend quite a bit of time trying… and failing… to create business procedures that work well for them and the industry they work in. This could include anything from choosing your business hours to figuring out your suppliers. Even the small stuff, like setting a temperature for your store, is something you have to think about when you’re on the razor’s edge between your business growing or running out of funds before profits can catch up. 

A sure sign of growth in a small business is when the days start to feel almost automatic. Things run smoothly (for the most part!), your customers are happy, your employees are well-trained. At that point, it’s time to reassess, try new things, and optimize. For example, is it time to dedicate an employee to running your social media or is it better to continue working on it yourself? Could your business hours be increased or reduced to meet customer traffic fluctuations? Are there other suppliers who offer lower prices for buying in bulk?

Change is scary for a small business, especially when you finally get the right formula, but without a little discomfort and a whole lot of reflection, your growth will start to stagnate. 

You Have a Business Plan & You’re Following It

In the early days of a small business, it’s nearly impossible to write a business plan or a budget when you hardly know what tomorrow is going to look like, much less several months down the road. Keeping your head above water in the here-and-now is the main focus, and that’s not a bad thing. Every small business experiences these first, wobbly steps. 

When a business is growing, though, making long-term plans gets a lot easier. In fact, having an actionable strategic plan creates more growth by keeping your money and your business on track. This business plan should be a living document, one that changes with the flow of your business, so long as the core goal of stoking your passion and dedication as a business owner stays intact. 

You Can Take Time Away Without Worrying

Having a small business is almost like having a baby. It’s hard to leave it in someone else’s care, for fear that a worst-case scenario could happen. In fact, while 67% of small business owners give their employees paid time off to relax and rejuvenate, you’d be much harder pressed to find an owner lounging on the beach or packing up for a winter cabin retreat. 

Once you’re confident in your abilities as an owner, in your employees’ ability to handle things, and in your business’s growth, you’ll find yourself more willing to step away from the everyday grind. In fact, eventually, you might get to the point where you’re willing to turn off your phone and stop checking emails. 

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