Every business owner’s dream is to grow and expand their business as fast as possible. Sadly, many people start well but fail to progress beyond the startup stage.
As we all know, growth is a gradual process that will not happen overnight. However, if you fail to follow the proper steps and consider certain things, that gradual growth process will not even be feasible.
Growing your small business into the entire matured business of your dream this year involves a lot of knowledge and skills which only a few people are privileged to know. Luckily, Koen Vanpraet, a leading management consultant for large and small businesses with several years of experience and acquired proven strategies to grow businesses successfully with minimal distress, will highlight this basic knowledge and skills.
What are the challenges that new business owners face?
Koen Vanpraet: New business owners face several challenges, but I will just mention the major one, which is inadequate business knowledge.
Having adequate knowledge of the business you are venturing into is very important as it goes a long way to affect every other aspect of the company itself. It reflects how the business will eventually be run and the structure of the business.
Can you tell us a common mistake that business owners make and how it can affect business growth?
Koen Vanpraet: One big mistake is that most business owners start with the mindset of getting rich immediately. Although profit-making is one of the reasons for venturing into businesses, this should not be the only driving force.
You always need to “start with why.” If you start your business with the mindset of making money overnight, you may get discouraged early if that goal is not met immediately.
How do you think having a business plan can benefit prospective business owners?
Koen Vanpraet: I will start by saying that a business plan is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs; it cannot be neglected if you really want your business to blossom. The roadmap clearly shows the goals of your business and how you plan to execute them.
If your business plan is well articulated and realistic, it will convince investors to invest in your business.
Are there any 21st-century business development tools you will recommend for startups?
Koen Vanpraet: One of the benefits of the digital age is the opportunities it offers to business owners to optimize their businesses. Different tools are readily available that can be used to fast-track the growth and productivity of companies.
We have marketing automation tools, analytics, workflow planner, and most importantly, social media. With a post, you can get your business across to the whole world without leaving your room. Gary Vaynerchuk, an author and one of my mentors, constantly reinforces the use of social media and the internet in marketing.
Continuous learning by reading books to develop your leadership skills will also help.
Do you have tips or advice for business owners on how to grow their businesses in 2022?
Koen Vanpraet: There is no definite formula or strategy for growing your dream business, but proven ways have been used and found to be very effective. I mastered some of these tips from Simon Sinek, a profound author, and they test true. They include:
- Identify problems in your field and provide solutions to them in your business
- Form strategic partnerships with the right companies
- Know your competition and his strategy
- Build a good customer relation
- Invest in marketing
- Offer the best and quality products