Many small business owners want to grow their business and they want to do it fast. But remember, if you rush into business development without a plan you risk losing everything you’ve worked hard to build. Take a look at the example of Wise Acre Frozen Treats, where they hire too many employees and buy too much equipment before they have the income or start-up capital they need. The company went bankrupt in just a few years.

To avoid the same mistakes, take note of the following five tips for growing your small business the right way.

1. Develop a Corporate Culture.

A strong company culture will keep the team in your small business solid throughout its development. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself and your team the following questions:

a. Why does our company exist?

b. Why do we do what we do?

c. What does our company believe?

d. What are our values?

e. Where are our company goals, or what is our company’s vision?

When employees feel connected to the company, they are more likely to endure times of uncertainty. Plus a really strong company culture can attract new customers to your business, so be consistent with the company culture and broadcast that culture everywhere, including on company websites, social media, marketing tools, etc. When your target audience can see the value behind your company, they can connect with your business on a deeper level.

2. Hire the Right People.

The recruitment stage is indeed very important to developing your business successfully. It’s important to spend more time and find the right people to work for your company. When you hire the wrong people chances are all your hard work will crumble. To avoid this, consider hiring employees based on their expertise and technical experience. You also have to determine whether they will fit during the company’s development period. For example, you can ask a candidate how they interpret your company’s vision to see if they are a good fit. Life in a new company isn’t for everyone, so find employees who are passionate about challenges.

3. Focus on Innovation in the Right Places.

When developing a small business, you may be tempted to spend a lot of money to increase production or offer more products. Instead, focus on innovation in other areas. For example, try innovating on boarding experiences or adopting new technologies such as live chat to improve customer service. Today’s business process innovations will consume less of your resources and are essential when developing a customer base. Once you achieve better stability, the next step is to think about introducing a new product.

4. Introduce Your Brand

When consumers see your logo, advertisement, product packaging, or business slogan, make them recognize it as the hallmark of your company. These are all attempts at building brand recognition. Like the slogan “Whatever the Food?” which became the icon of the bottle of sosro tea. When consumers hear the slogan, they immediately know who is behind it. Your small business may not be able to reach the level of sosro yet, but there is still time to prepare it to become a brand that consumers will recognize. The easiest way to do this is to start networking on social media. The more often consumers see your business online, the easier it will be for consumers to remember your business.

5. Don’t Forget Existing Customers

Many small business owners are too focused on acquiring new customers and there is not much effort on retaining existing customers. The facts prove, according to statistics from Small Business Trends, only 6% of small businesses are focused on retaining existing customers. To make your customers feel valued, try creating a satisfaction survey that allows you to gain insight into what customers like about your business today, what could be improved and what they need going forward. These insights can be used as feedback to improve the quality of the services or products we make. After all, customers who are happy with your business are likely to buy the products or services you offer and recommend you to their family and friends.

Growing a small business is great fun, as long as you don’t get carried away. By expanding with a plan in mind, you will be able to stay true to your values, retain your best employees, impress your customers and attract new customers, all of which contribute to resilience.

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