TAKING YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL LIKE BILL GATES

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Starting a business is a very simple thing to do because anyone can come up with a thing or two that they could exchange for money and so as long as there is exchange of money for product/service its a business. Many people from around the world owns different kinda businesses dealing with either products or services, starting out in business is a very key decision that will help you elevate your life if you employ the proper strategies needed to succeed. 
But now that you have started whats next?, You can't just start a business and decide to stick to your starting point because the aim of every person who starts his/her own business is to take it to the next level, so it can get to a point where it will give you all that you hope and also employ if possible thousand of people just like Bill Gate's Microsoft. 

For those of you who have survived startup and built successful businesses offering either products/services, you may be wondering how to take the next step and grow your business beyond its current status. Key point to remember is that the growth depends on you, you have to set goals and target and ensure you meet up to these goals. AS your business grows bigger you will instinctively develop strategies to help you grow even more bigger. Our team in investodia are working tirelessly to see that we help our audience grow their businesses, so if you are up for it we will guide you through the steps. Here are a few point of how to grow your business...

1. Set Goals
Your small business won’t grow -- at least at the rate you want it to -- if you don’t have goals and a plan to reach them. As a small business owner, you must be savvy enough to recognize market opportunities when they present themselves and be quick to act on them. Your products should deliver clear, definable benefits to your customers and you must present a challenging, rewarding work environment for your employees. When these aspects are firing on all cylinders, you will be able to increase your sales, which will increase your capital and ultimately spearhead your business’s growth.

2. Extend your market reach.
There are several ways of growing your business by making your product or service available to a new pool of customers. The most obvious is to open stores in new locations, such as opening a store or kiosk in a new town. New locations can also be virtual, such as a website with an online store. Another approach is to extend your reach through advertising. Once you’ve identified a new market, you might advertise in select media that targets that market. If your new market consists of a younger demographic, you may want to use social media for advertising, (See How to Create a Social Media Plan.)

3. Contain your costs.
Surprised? Bear in mind that when we’re talking about growing your business, we’re actually talking about growing your business’s bottom line. And the difference between pre-tax and post-tax money can make this a very effective growth strategy. There are two main approaches to cutting costs; liquidating your “loser” products and improving your inventory turnover. 10 Ways to Cut Business Costs provides details on these two strategies and more.

4.Diversify
You can be successful, but you won’t experience much growth if you only focus on one product. Coca-Cola doesn’t just sell soda in red cans. It also sells juice, sports drinks and bottled water. Apple manufactures computers, MP3 players, phones and tablets. These are examples of major corporations that grew due in large part to the diversity of the products offered. However, don’t start concentrating on other products until your primary products are selling well and your customers are satisfied with the results. Spread your resources too thin too early and it can hinder your small business’s growth rather than promote it.

5. Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity
This point came immediately after diversification to help you understand the concept better. Bette Fetter, founder and owner of Young Rembrandts , an Elgin, Illinois-based drawing program for children, waited 10 years to begin franchising her concept in 2001-but for Fetter and her husband, Bill, the timing was perfect. Raising four young children and keeping the business local was enough for the couple until their children grew older and they decided it was time to expand nationally.
"We chose franchising as the vehicle for expansion because we wanted an operating system that would allow ownership on the part of the staff operating Young Rembrandts locations in markets outside our home territory," says Bette. "When people have a vested interest in their work, they enjoy it more, bring more to the table and are more successful overall. Franchising is a perfect system to accomplish those goals."
Streamlining their internal systems and marketing in nearby states helped the couple bring in their first few franchisees. With seven units and some time under their belt, they then signed on with two national franchise broker firms. Now with 30 franchisees nationwide, they're staying true to their vision of steady growth. "Before we began franchising, we were teaching 2,500 children in the Chicago market," says Bette. "Today we teach more than 9,000 children nationwide, and that number will continue to grow dramatically as we grow our franchise system."
Bette advises networking within the franchise community-become a member of the International Franchise Association and find a good franchise attorney as well as a mentor who's been through the franchise process. "You need to be open to growing and expanding your vision," Bette says, "but at the same time, be a strong leader who knows how to keep the key vision in focus at all times."

6. Ask for referrals.
That's not to say that getting new customers is a bad approach. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask your current customers for referrals. But notice the verb. Having good products and great customer service and just assuming that your customers are passing the word about your business isn’t going to do much to increase your customer base; you have to actively seek referrals. During or after every job or sale, ask your satisfied customer if he knows anyone else who would be interested in your products or services.

7. Merge with or acquire another business
In 1996, when Mark Fasciano founded FatWire , a Mineola, New York, content management software company, he certainly couldn't have predicted what would happen a few years later. Just as FatWire was gaining market momentum, the tech downturn hit hard. "We were unable to generate the growth needed to maximize the strategic partnerships we'd established with key industry players," Fasciano says. "During this tech 'winter,' we concentrated on survival and servicing our clients, while searching for an opportunity to jump-start the company's growth. That growth opportunity came last year at the expense of one of our competitors."
Scooping up the bankrupt company, divine Inc., from the auction block was the easy part; then came the integration of the two companies. "The process was intense and exhausting," says Fasciano, who notes four keys to their success:
  • Customer retention. "I personally spoke with 150 customers within the first few weeks of consummating the deal, and I met with 45 clients around the globe in the first six months," notes Fasciano. They've retained 95 percent of the divine Inc. customer base.
  • Staff retention. Fasciano rehired the best and brightest of divine's staff.
  • Melding technologies. "One of the reasons I was so confident about this acquisition was the two product architectures were very similar," says Fasciano. This allowed for a smooth integration of the two technologies.
  • Focus. "Maybe the biggest reason this acquisition has worked so well is the focus that FatWire has brought to a neglected product," says Fasciano.
FatWire's acquisition of divine in 2003 grew its customer base from 50 to 400, and the company grew 150 percent, from $6 million to $15 million. Fasciano expects no less than $25 million in sales this year.

Conclusion

So here you have them, these point will help you boost your business to the next level but don't let this get you, this point will only work with proper application. So my advice to you is to pick one or two of these point and apply, remember that only knowledge with application is wisdom. So in essense apply wisdom to your business and tell us how its sky-rocketing your business to the next level.
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