As an entrepreneur, the dream is to grow your idea into a booming business. For every person reading this, what is considered “booming” will be something different, of course. Some of us dream of maintaining 100 clients, others want 1000. No matter how large you aspire to grow your business, you will need to do it thoughtfully.
The one major mistake we have watched entrepreneurs make time and time again is failing to honor their existing contracts and keep their clients happy while they chase after new clients. Here is some solid advice on how to achieve your business growth goals while keeping your current clients engaged with the quality of service they are receiving.
First things first, before you can start out on the hunt for new clients, you need to know how many clients you can realistically handle at one time. So ask yourself the following questions and give realistic answers:
If you are working alone as a one-person shop, you need to be extra careful when it comes to overcommitting yourself. This is a big issue amongst motivated, go-getting entrepreneurs who tend to overcommit to projects. In reality, not only do they fail to meet the short timelines they promise to their clients, but they burn themselves out very quickly in the process.
You do not have to promise your clients the work within a week, or even two weeks (depending on what type of project you are taking on), especially if you are working alone. Clients would rather know up front that the project will take six weeks than be promised two weeks and not get what they paid for. This scenario ultimately leads to losing money, lack of referrals, bad reviews and going out of business.
Resources will always be the name of the game when growing your business. As you expand your client list and number of ongoing projects, be sure to hire more staff to complete these projects. If you are a small business owner and do not have time to personally interview candidates, try appointing someone else to handle it. You can either put one of your best managers in charge of the hiring or personally hire someone to be your HR person and then let them do their thing. Be sure to always keep oversight, though. You don’t want to micromanage your managers, but you should know what is going on in your organization and who is working for you personally and professionally.
Growing your company is hard work, but it is also exciting as you watch that growth flourish into the next level of business. Stay focused on your goal and trust your instincts. You’ll thank yourself later for doing so!
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