Grow Your Business by the Numbers

14158_056One of the most effective ways to achieve business growth is to make growth a priority and set corresponding goals. If you don’t manage your business by the numbers, you are putting it at risk and limiting your growth potential.

Here’s a quick test: Ask yourself if you know what your revenues were for the past three months or what you think your revenues will be for the next three. Do you know the answer?

How about this: Ask yourself how many customers you’ve had in the same time period. Can you identify the repeat customers and those who were new to your pipeline? Do you know how much it cost to get their business? How about your costs for goods sold?

This is only a sampling of the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself to gather the information you will need to effectively run your business. Knowing the answers will put you in control and enable you to grow more intentionally.

Business owners in western Massachusetts who come through the doors of the Business Growth Center have made growth a priority. But many can’t access key details about their businesses without significant effort, and that contributes to their stagnation, frustration, and burn out. When we start asking the questions, and the owners start assembling the answers and setting goals, they make amazing progress.

Some business owners have the IT skills to start collecting the numbers on their own. They’re proficient with data processing tools like Excel and Quickbooks. They can take on the work of gathering data but need help processing it. There are also a lot of business owners whose IT skills don’t correspond to the passion for their work. The Business Growth Center exists for both of these types of business owners.

We recommend that business owners start taking some of the many seminars offered either by us or our programming partners – such as the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center and SCORE, who are both also Growth Center tenants.  These seminars help owners learn the language of business as well as acquire tools and techniques for evaluating growth and potential.

There are seminars for pre-startup, startup, high growth/second stage, and established businesses. The seminars are one and a half to two hours long so are not a big time commitment. They are listed on our website under Programs. For those who are ready to roll up their sleeves and really work on their business, we’ve got the eight-session STRONGER BUSINESSES™ program starting Oct. 7. Owners can bring colleagues with them to the sessions to make it easier to implement what’s learned and also receive a completion reimbursement at the end of the program, making it one of the most cost-effective, highest return-on-investment workshops you will ever take. For those who need the discipline of meeting regularly with a customized team of mentors in a confidential, safe environment, we encourage business owners to become members of our Growth Advisory Program. Having this kind of individualized support and encouragement can really keep you motivated.

When you can say with confidence that you are projecting a sales increase of 15 percent because of the addition of 30 new customers in the next six months and have data behind those numbers, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, vibrant business. And your quality of life will increase, too.

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