Too many small business owners end up owning their job instead of owning a business. They grow just large enough to support themselves and occasionally justify bringing in help. Few grow their business far enough to bring in employees who can run things while they can afford to step away for a while. Others fail to grow their business fast enough to support themselves while trying to rely on its income. Here are a few tips on how to grow your business faster.

Focus on Established Revenue Streams

Too many businesses try to grow by expanding into related areas. For example, the restaurant tries to offer catering or delivery. A service provider tries to increase income by offering a related, complementary service. However, this has only the potential of increasing your income while adding expenses with a high risk of failure.

Instead, focus on improving your established revenue streams. If you’re selling bottled sauces to your customers, look for ways to sell more of the product to your customers instead of trying to expand into the supermarket. If you already have a customer base, instead of trying to recruit brand new customers, improve the repeat business of customers you already have.

Improve Cash Flow the Right Way

Don’t cut staff to the point that quality of service suffers, driving away customers. Instead, ask them for tips on how to improve service or streamline operations at relatively little cost. Your team could generate ideas to reduce waste, save time, and improve service in little ways that improve cash flow without costing a lot of money. Don’t cut costs like liability insurance and increase the risk that a mid-sized problem will now put you out of business.

Invest in Low-Cost Marketing Methods

Look for low-cost ways to market your product or service so you can grow your business at relatively little expense. One option is asking your current customers for referrals; now your customers become word-of-mouth marketers. If you offer modest incentives to those who refer their friends, you will see significant word of mouth referrals but won’t pay anything to those who don’t. You can also use coupon codes sent to customers who haven’t bought anything for a while to entice them to buy.

Expand the Right Way

Our tips so far have focused on growing your customer base or your cash flow at relatively little expense. However, the next step is expanding the business itself. You should expand the right way for you, increasing the size of the business at a rate you can control without hurting your central location.

One option is franchising, setting the rules that others must follow to use your established brand in exchange for a regular payment or percentage of revenue. For business owners, this can be an attractive option over opening a new location on their own. If you have a product you’re selling but don’t know how to take it beyond the local market, you could license your product so that larger companies can do that for you. Licensing is the ideal case for inventors who are selling something online or pounding the pavement to find customers because someone else gives you the money up front and/or royalties for sales while doing all the work.

If you want to grow your business quickly the right way, don’t try to do something totally new or barely related to your core business; improve established revenue streams instead. Look for ways to improve cash flow and business operations. Favour low-cost marketing methods, especially cultivating word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business. Expand your business in ways that don’t cost a lot of money or require a massive amount of work on your part.



Elena is an executive at CSB Group, a firm dedicated to relocating businesses in the Maltese region.  If you wanted to relocate your business in Malta or want to learn more about all the benefits of establishing a business in the region, visit today!

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