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Bits ‘N Pieces


Growing your business

Your business is successful, but you’re ready to take the next step.

Here are 10 tips from the Small Business Administration to grow your business.

  1. Open another location. If you feel confident that your current business location is under control, consider expanding by opening a new location.
  2. Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity. Franchising your business will allow for growth without requiring you to manage the new location.
  3. License your product. This can be a low-cost growth medium. To find a licensing partner, research companies that provide products or services similar to yours.
  4. Form an alliance. Aligning yourself with a similar business can be a powerful way to expand quickly.
  5. Diversify. Diversifying is an excellent strategy for growth because it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and increase sales and profit margins.
  6. Target other markets. Determine what other markets could use your product.
  7. Win a government contract. Work with your SBA and Small Business Development Center to determine the types of contracts available to you.
  8. Merge with or acquire another business. Investigate companies that are similar to yours, or that have complementary offerings, and consider combining forces or acquiring the company.
  9. Expand globally. Locate foreign distributors by looking for a foreign company with a U.S. representative.
  10. Expand to the Internet. Establish an online presence to maximize your exposure.

The gig economy

Increasingly, workers are choosing to forgo regular employment and join the freelance, or “gig,” economy.

According to a Freelancers Union survey of more than 1,000 American workers, 34 percent had done freelance work in the last year; and of those, about 60 percent had earned 25 percent or more of their income from such jobs.

Fast Company magazine predicts that with inexpensive access to cloud computing, improved tools for working remotely, and an increase in enterprise-level technology platforms for independent workers, the trend will continue to grow. That will allow companies to access the talent they need for the specific amount of time they need it to become more efficient, reduce fixed costs and improve the bottom line.

Disengaged employees could destroy your business

Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share, according to Gallup. In addition, these companies realize:

  • 41 percent fewer quality defects
  • 48 percent fewer safety incidents
  • 28 percent less shrinkage
  • 65 percent less turnover (low-turnover organizations)
  • 25 percent less turnover (high-turnover organizations)
  • 37 percent less absenteeism

A highly engaged workforce can be the difference between a company that thrives and one that struggles. When employees are engaged, they are passionate, creative and entrepreneurial, and their enthusiasm fuels growth. When they are not, they are indifferent toward their jobs – or worse, outright hate their work, supervisor and organization – and they can destroy a work unit and a business.