Updated: Jul 25
For small business owners, in particular, growing a business has always been something of a challenge. On the one hand, you don't want to grow too quickly - doing so can significantly damage the trajectory that you've set out on. But at the same time, you also don't want to grow too slowly as this too can cause you to remain stagnant and get passed by some of your competitors.
All of this is also true at higher levels, particularly when it comes to taking that pivotal step from a $1 million business to a $10 million one. According to studies, most businesses generate about $500,000 in revenue - meaning that they just need to find that next step to get to the desired level. It's certainly not an impossible feat as countless others have done it, but it is something that requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
Growing Your Business: Breaking Things Down
First, it's important to acknowledge that getting to $10 million in revenue for your business isn't actually "the hard part." Most experts agree that getting to that $1 million level is far more difficult.
This ultimately comes down to the disparity between the concepts of "wealth" and "income" - two ideas that people sometimes have a hard time reconciling. Having an overall net wealth of $1 million is certainly an attainable goal. Getting to that point in one year may be less realistic.
Therefore, one needs to understand that ramping up the revenue of a business at the same pace is equally unrealistic. Once you learn to live by the idea of "slow and steady wins the race," you put yourself in a much better position to succeed over the long term.
Indeed, this shift in mindset can pay dividends across the entirety of your organization. You need to re-evaluate your risk aversion, for example, so that you know which opportunities are worth capitalizing on and which must be passed by. You need to be objective with yourself about how tolerant you are to risk in the first place. You should also let that insight inform many of the decisions that follow.
Another way to grow your business from $1 million to $10 million (and beyond) also has to do with being realistic with yourself, albeit in a slightly different way. If your business has grown stagnant, you need to ask yourself why. Is it due to a legitimate lack of opportunity, or is it because of a general pessimism about what the future might hold? The latter is understandable to a certain extent, but it also stands in the way of the growth-minded leader that you need to be. It causes hesitation at moments when action is critical, and it is something that ultimately holds a lot of people back.
It is also good to keep on mind that your business involves not just learning how to market, but learning how to market correctly. Marketing is a terrific avenue for not only keeping existing customers informed and satisfied but for attracting potential new ones as well. A certain amount of experimentation will be needed and you must spend time getting to learn as much as you can about your audience. Creating buyer personas is a great way to accomplish precisely that.
Finally, you also need to make a determination about what you value in terms of business in general. Some business owners don't actually have an urge to grow - they're perfectly fine existing exactly as they are right now. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you do have the mindset that growth is in your future, you need to prioritize it in a specific way.
You need to ask yourself WHY you want to grow. Is it for wealth, are you trying to expand, or do you want to leave a legacy behind for the next generation of your family? All of these are important questions to answer because they will dictate a lot of the decisions that you make moving forward.
In the end, growing from a $1 million business to a $10 million one isn't an unattainable goal. It will, however, require you to adjust your mindset and follow crucial best practices like those outlined above.
If you'd like to find out more information about how to grow your business, or if you'd just like to speak to a member of our accounting team about your own needs in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us today.