What would you do to grow a small business?
Q. I have a small business and want to grow my business but I think I need help. What would you do?
This is what I did to grow Switzer Financial Services. First, after a few years proving the model, my wife and I recognised our strengths and weaknesses and we brought a business coach on board for a few years, who really helped us create systems to kill off frustrations. The independent eyes provoked us to test out our goals, our processes, our systems, our people and ourselves. We found a good accountant, who gave us advice and we paid to see him quarterly. His job was to be objective about what he saw in our accounts. We continually tested our marketing and we worked hard to build our network operating off the idea that “givers get”. It didn’t always work out but mostly it did. We tried not to burn bridges, even when customers were pain in the necks and we often accepted the advice of The Godfather in the movie of the same name — “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Lots of businesses have benefited from mentors or business coaches but others have not tried them, for money reasons. Gerry Harvey says there have been things he should have done but he didn’t, and thinks that sometimes you have to be adventurous to get the results you really want. Sure, things can go wrong when you take risks, but if they’re calculated, then the investment can bring fantastic returns. We once gambled when I left university to build up our media business and a key media business I worked for was sold off by the banks. This was a big challenge but the threats really made us think outside the square, and we ended up being miles better off from rolling the dice and having a go. Get great people around you who you can learn from and read books of great business builders and copy them. Watch business TV and give up the distractions that will never help you make money and be a success.