If you are like most women business owners, starting your own business was either about turning a passion or hobby into something more tangible and lucrative, or you created the business as a result of a financial or personal need. Many of us are happy with keeping our businesses small, manageable and debt free. We are doing something that we are passionate about, whilst having flexible schedules that allow us to raise our kids and have a work/life balance.
Nevertheless at some point, we have all experienced that crossroad moment when we are faced with the dilemma of “What next? Do I grow my business or do I maintain my position? And if I want to grow my business, how do I go about getting there?” We are also forced to come face to face with our self-confidence issues. In a lot of cases, the lack of self-confidence is one of the main obstacles that prevent us from going for growth.
So what does it entail to take our businesses to the next level and beyond? While women owned business have their own unique issues, when it comes to business growth and exit strategy, it is no different for male owned businesses. The road is paved with similar obstacles, challenges and rewards.
We just need to step-up our game. Taking our business to the next level means that we always need to be generating profitability and value. The next level also requires that your business and you are aligned and in sync. The way you grow your business needs to be aligned with what your exit strategy looks like. Do you envision selling your business to another company, handing over the reins to a family member, selling your business via the stock market in an initial public offering or IPO, or closing down your business and selling the assets that you have?
Aligning your business and personal goals and objectives will result in relevant business growth that is in line with your personal development as well as improved commercial and personal performance.
10 guidelines to help you to take you business to the next level:
- Your business plan is your road map. Keep it updated and relevant
- Boost your core business by improving and building on your existing services and products
- Develop and grow new lines of business
- Expand the markets you operate in
- Work on your business versus in your business
- Consistently outperform the competition
- Continuously yield a positive return to your stakeholders
- Develop organic as well as acquisitive growth potential
- Sustain a realistic yearly growth percentage
- Make sure your exit strategy is viable and achievable
For many women their business is an extension of themselves and therefore an intricate part of who they are. Self-confidence plays a crucial role in succeeding and thriving at the next level. It requires your ability to maintain a consistent positive belief in yourself, as well as a passion and enjoyment of what you are doing.
- Step out of your comfort zone
- Think big
- Harness and leverage the entrepreneurial spirit that started it all
- Believe in yourself and what you are doing
- Network with like-minded women who have achieved the kind of results you want
- Work with a mentor who will encourage and support you as you navigate your way through this process
About Luciana Cousin
Luciana Cousin is a Director at Foster Principles; a company specialising in helping women and women in business reach their full potential. With over 20 years of corporate experience, she dynamically applies keen entrepreneurial perspectives to design and create innovative strategies. The result is both a clear vision of the future as well as a practical and realistic plan for implementation.