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5 Tips for Growing Your Business

By: Susan Gorham

Most small to mid-size business owners have a lot on their plate. Not only are you still involved in much of the day-to-day operations at your company, but you probably also wear the hat of accountant, marketer, recruiter and more. This shifting list of priorities can make it tough to focus on building and growing your business. Here are just some tips for business owners looking to grow their company.

1. Don’t Panic When It’s Taking a While to Hire for an Important Role

The best candidate isn’t always going to be the first, tenth or thirtieth person who applies for a job. Patience is key. “Recruiting can be expensive, and a bad hire can be really expensive. So be discerning!” said Linda Pietras, the human resources director at Gross Mendelsohn.

Make sure you’re giving a realistic preview of what the job is when hiring. Interviewing is a two-way street. You want to ensure the candidate has the same goals in mind, so you end up hiring someone who is a good fit for the role and your company’s culture.

That means just because you’ve been short a controller for two months, don’t panic and hire someone who you know is a bad long-term fit. Wait until you find the right candidate, and if things get dire, you might need to outsource until you find the right person to take over.

2. Tax Planning Can Save Your Business a Lot of Money

There’s more to taxes than just plugging numbers into a tax return. Tax planning can save your business money by creating strategies based on your goals and reducing your overall tax liability.

David Goldner, CPA, CFP®, CVA, said it best, “Nobody likes to pay taxes, but you have to make choices.”

For example, let’s say you have some excess cash in the bank. Your CPA might recommend that instead of paying taxes on all that cash, you use some of the money to upgrade the machinery in your warehouse. With less tax liability after the upgrade, you pay less in taxes and the money you would have paid in taxes goes toward your business instead.

3. Your Company’s Website Legitimizes Your Business

If you haven’t invested in a website that clearly communicates who your business is and what it does, now’s the time. Websites are increasingly becoming places of legitimacy. People are turning to their phones and computers more and more to find information. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, you’ll be non-existent to a growing majority of the population.

Does word of mouth still matter? Sure. However, if one of your customers tells their friend about your business, there’s a good likelihood that the first thing that friend will do is look up your company online first. If your business isn’t there or your website is outdated, they probably will never end up contacting you.

“With all the free tools out there, there's no reason for a business not to have a website,” said Dan Schepleng. Business owners can use easy online tools like Squarespace to build a website for their business. “Squarespace is super easy,” Dan said. “Our first agency website was in Squarespace, and I built it over Christmas break.” 

4. Hire a Bookkeeper Who Knows What They’re Doing

Small businesses often fall into the trap of hiring the wrong person to manage the accounting side of their business. This can lead to some big issues down the road, like visits from the IRS, paying hefty fees to get the books back in order, etc.

One of our accounting veterans says, “They don’t have to be a CPA, but you have to have somebody with at least a reasonable background and experience, who is able to keep a set of books and a general ledger in reasonably good shape.”

That means, don’t just give the bookkeeping job to the least busy person at your business because they have extra time to spare. Hire a professional, even if you have to spend a little more than you’d like.

5. Give Your People Opportunities to Succeed

You know what can ruin a good day? Hearing that one of your top performers is leaving. No one will argue that salary isn’t important when it comes to employee retention. However, making your employees feel cared about can be just as big of a deal.

“Companies need to build relationships with their employees,” said Linda Pietras, “Employees need to know that they are cared about and understand their value at your company as well as the impact of the jobs that they do. They need to know that they make a difference.”

Give your people opportunities to grow at your business. That can mean something as small as giving them the lead on a low-level project. If you give people the opportunity to grow, you’re demonstrating that you care enough to help grow their skillset. That can help you retain employees. Bonus: you’ll be better equipped for internal advancement down the line.

Need Help?

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Published March 11, 2020

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