Marketing was the focus of last week's post on growth. That is your ability to grow outside your business. Another way to grow your business is through capacity building: working on your company's ability to do more internally. Two areas that can contribute the most new capacity to grow your company are your skills and systems.
Improve Your Skills
Your own skills as a small-business owner can limit how much you can grow. While we all learn by experience in our businesses, you can accelerate your learning through the experience of others. You probably know right off the top of your head the No. 1 area where you need to learn more. For many entrepreneurs, that area is finance or accounting. Start now by finding the books, blogs, or newsletters you need to read regularly to build your skills. Make a daily or weekly appointment with yourself to focus on learning. If you are always growing personally by learning, you can grow your business as well.
Small businesses are notorious for being unsystematic. We do things this way because that was how we figured it out originally. It takes a lot of time to show someone how to work with us because none of it is written down. That also means that none of it is optimized. Imagine if each important or daily process in your business were actually documented to the point that any new employees could start being productive for you on their very first day. Or you could delegate to virtual assistants easily by sending them the exact process they need to follow. Two books to help you improve the systems in your business are The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and Work the System by Sam Carpenter.
Becky McCray is a small-town entrepreneur, the co-owner of a liquor store and cattle ranch. She writes about small-business and rural issues, based on her own successes and failures. As a consultant, she helps small businesses and small-town governments get things funded and get things done. McCray is also a noted speaker on small-business issues. She blogs at Small Biz Survival .