Many small business entrepreneurs are great at their craft and have become fantastic at fine-tuning several processes vital to operating their business, all in the pursuit of growth and expansion. Unfortunately, juggling the many facets of business requirements can lead to unfocused and unprofitable processes and procedures as part of their business model and strategies.

A recent conversation with a business colleague about business models led me to look at various resources and research outcomes. Business models over many years have grown with the demands of society depending on economy, culture, traditions, awareness, resources, demands, alliances, and trends. It’s interesting to see the variations in models according to industries and stand-out business practices, let alone the evolution of technological tools.

I came across a brilliant article written by Phillip Salter for Forbes Entrepreneur section in May 2016 titled; The Six Steps To Scaling A Business based on Sherry Coutu’s Scale-Up Report from two years ago. The six steps were lovely, simplistic, and equitable:

1.   Commit to grow

2.   Build broad management skill set

3.   Build collaborations

4.   Establish standardised processes

5.   Identify core competence

6.   Articulate competitive strength

The steps seem straightforward, right? Then why do so many small business entrepreneurs fizzle out in their first one to three years of working tirelessly to get their business off the ground?

As you well know, there are many answers that can be given, but the basics are just the basics. I know I am someone who likes to expand details and enjoys applying the processes, but we must be ever so careful not to get carried away and lose sight of what builds a strong foundation for a business.

Having trained and assessed in Business, Management, Leadership, HR and many other qualification topics/subjects, one still needs to come back to basic tools to assist in growth. These six steps and other steps, principles, and strategies are covered in our Business Building course The 13 Pillar Business Blueprint, and in our Marketing and Sales course 5 Steps To Creatively Successful Marketing & Selling (see below for further details).

Growth is influenced by internal and external factors, predominately as a reaction to consumer demand. But, how prepared are you for that demand? Whilst consumer trends and demands can be unpredictable, a solid process and an enthusiasm to implement tools to help expand your business is the best basis to rely on.

Many of us like to try to get ahead of the game and have several contingency plans per action, per game; yet still, basic tools can be forgotten to be continually utilised. For example, Focus Groups, Data and Case Modelling techniques, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and PESTLE (political, economic, social, legal, environmental) analysis tools are wonderful to use from the different perspectives of the business and the consumer. Not everyone considers the tools from both perspectives. Following this process can often lead to some fabulous new insights and also to assist you in differentiating your business in the marketplace.

There are many business models and strategies, tools and practices available for businesses to use and implement in the pursuit of growth. The most important consideration must be given to your specific skill sets, products, and services – including the industry you operate in, as well as aligning and opposed industries.

Your growth enables the micro and macro-economy, industries, and idea creation to flourish for society. This is where you need to know how to play a good game, be creative, and keep moving forward in business.

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Sonia Clark

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