5 Basic Principles for Better Business Performance

August 23, 2016

Starting a small business is both exciting and overwhelming. Taking the first steps requires guts, passion, and commitment to transform an entrepreneurial dream and vision into reality. Once a business is established and out of the starting blocks, a small business owner must prepare for growth…and success…by focusing on five basic principles. Master these and you'll have your business headed in the right direction:

1. Plan

Growth in a business does not happen overnight. Owners must prepare for growth by planning. Many small business owners starting out have one thought in mind...sell more and get bigger! Growth, however, requires careful consideration in many different areas of the business such as operations, staffing, facilities, finance, and marketing. Planning is about assessing how future changes will interact with each other, and how costs are affected in both positive and negative ways. Many small business owners think planning is only for large businesses, but what they don't realize is that those businesses became large through planning! 

2. People

People are the greatest assets any business can have. Without skilled, dedicated employees regardless of job position, a business cannot operate efficiently, market, sell, and service customers. Employees, however, must be groomed for growth through mentoring and training. As a business expands, growth is based on many factors...products or services, marketing, competition, capitalizing on opportunities, improving weaknesses, and taking advantage of internal resources. Qualified employees along with other strengths of a business build the foundation needed for future growth.

3. Prioritize

Successful growth requires prioritizing tasks, strategies, and goals. Owners should review business approaches that are working, goals that are being met, and tasks that need changing to further enhance the business operations and objectives. Today's decisions affect tomorrow's growth; therefore, decisions that add little value or efficiency should be given a lower priority compared to decisions that improve operational efficiency and maximize profit leading to increased business value. Prioritizing allows the business owner to focus on those items that have the greatest impact of improving the likelihood of successful growth.

4. Processes and procedures

All businesses operate with various processes and procedures. Successful business growth focuses on continuously improving the processes and procedures involved in creating and delivering a business' products and services. In a highly competitive marketplace, a small business must adapt, evolve, and improve what it does in addition to developing new processes and procedures to stay current with updated offerings and competition. It is a must for small business owners to review their entire operation and streamline processes and procedures, wherever possible, to reduce inefficiencies and costs. Eliminating costly or inefficient processes and procedures and maximizing efficient ones achieve a critical element necessary for successful growth.

5. Pace

A small business should pace its growth based on accomplishment of various predetermined milestones centered on the company's objective and goals, and then slowly increase and improve all of the functional areas necessary to handle growth. The business should progress to comfortable and realistic levels based on internal resources and strengths to achieve desired growth. As growth is successfully implemented at one level, then further growth can be added incrementally.


When these five basic growth principles are applied consistently, success in a small business can be achieved in a steady, orderly manner.