How To Move Your Business Forward

THIS-WAY-FORWARD

Starting a business is exciting, but maintaining the momentum is more difficult.  So if your business is looking more like a broken down bus than a lean mean machine speeding towards success, then you need to find ways of moving forward. Read on to find out how to up the tempo, and establish a plan for getting out of a business rut.

Identify the problems

Like a shark, a business needs to keep moving. But to know what action to take, you need to identify the problems before putting a strategy in place. The problems can be financial or motivational – but ultimately, it’s down to you to identify what is wrong. If you’re not feeling excited or inspired this can be a pretty good indicator that you’re not stretching yourself or your employees. If the problems are financial then you need to take a good hard look at your profit and loss sheets. Or perhaps you’re just in a holding pattern, where no dramatic action is needed to survive, but everyone is bored to tears. Whatever the problems are, identifying them is the first step to changing the situation. Just make sure you are being completely honest with yourself.

Look at your Competitors

What are your competitors doing that you’re not? This can be a really good of identifying services or products that you can offer.

Find Inspiration

Taking some time out to think about new directions you could go in can be valuable, but even more valuable is utilising the ideas of your employees. Ideas management schemes are a brilliant way of inviting employees to contribute fresh ideas to the business. The ideas employees come up with can create new products or systems that will take your business forward into new areas or markets. This can be done through an ideas suggestion box or more sophisticated innovation management software. Either way, your employees are best placed to create something of value that will move you forward, so don’t disregard the best ideas resource you have!

Be Focused

If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of ideas, then pick one and DO IT. Identifying risks first is important, but prevaricating once you have all the information you need shouldn’t be on your radar. Follow the project through from the beginning to the end and stay focused on it to increase your chances of success.

Expand into Overseas Markets

Successful businesses are constantly identifying new markets – so if you feel you have hit the wall with the country you trade in, then it’s possible that you can open up whole new markets abroad. Whether you’re manufacturing or providing a service, there is a wealth of opportunity beyond a domestic marketplace. However, don’t assume that your product or service will be unique to another country. Before taking any action, thoroughly research the possibilities, and consider the local culture and any competitors. Finance will be needed to implement expansion, but you may be eligible for grants to help you expand into other countries. For help and advice, contact the UK department of Trade and Investment.

Wendy Lin enjoys working as a free-lance writer and spending her free time enjoying socializing at her local cafes.