If you are a business owner, you already know how much work goes into starting and running your operation. What you might not know is how much more work is going to be involved in helping you grow your business. What’s more, you might be at a loss in coming up with ways to actually grow your business. While the internet is a great source of information, ensuring that you are getting the right information, at the right time can make the difference between your success and your setbacks are you continue to move toward growth. Growing a business is about learning and doing. You can’t hustle your way through growth. Here’s how you can learn what you need to learn in order to grow your business.
Talk to Others in Your Industry
While it might seem counterproductive to talk to your competition about their business growth, it’s better to have the mindset that you are working alongside this person or company in the same industry, rather than competing against them. They might not see it that way, in which case, you can find another business owner to talk to, but it’s worth sticking your neck out to get some first-hand information. Ask them about the barriers and obstacles they came across as they were growing their business. In many cases, sharing those struggles is an open-book policy in many new companies that want transparency to be an important part of what they do. You aren’t looking for them to give you the answer to “how” to grow your business. You’re looking for some insights on what to avoid doing. You’re still going to have to figure out the logistics of growth on your own. Nobody can give you a magic formula for that. But talking to people is a great first step to learning what you need to avoid doing.
Read. A lot.
If you want to learn to grow your business, you are going to have to weed through the mountains and valleys of useless information found online and in books. Keep in mind that books that are traditionally published were actually written over a long period of time and some of that information might not actually be relevant by the time it hits bookstore shelves. Blogs, articles, research studies, and case studies are all more likely to give you recent and relevant information to help you learn how to grow your business. However, if you get caught in the trap of consumption instead of doing things to see if they are going to work, you’ll find that your growth efforts stall out faster than you imagined. A lot of business owners fall into this routine of consuming content but not applying the content the way they had hoped. Everyone starts out with the best of intentions, but you need to take action in order to get a result.
Try and fail.
Failure is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the exact way you find out how to grow your business. Learn by doing is a great way to do anything; and if you are learning to walk, sell hamburgers or promote a cannabis dispensary, you are going to make a lot of mistakes. The magic happens in the mistakes, though, and every successful business owner will tell you the same thing. You might worry about how to look or be perfect in business, but it’s pretty impossible. If you want to learn how to grow your business, you do it by doing more in your business. Taking classes, seminars, and attending conferences can all help you see paths forward, but without the action of trying what you learn, you fail ahead of time.
Growing a business isn’t any more work than starting a business, but it is certainly a different kind of work. A lot of business owners think that when they reach a certain milestone that they’ll be able to settle down and relax into their money and success. The truth usually wakes people up to change their mind: maybe this isn’t for me? It’s not easy to admit that growth is hard, but giving up doesn’t get you any closer to the goal. The key is to continue to seek out new information, find ways to connect with that information, and put it to good use.