If your business isn’t growing then it is failing. If you aren’t moving forward then you are moving backwards. Once you have the right people in place and have developed a good customer base your company should focus on continual growth. There are lots of ways to promote growth in your company and the specifics will be based on your particular business. For example, growth for a retail business may mean opening up a new store front or developing a new product line. Growth for an IT company could be purchasing or developing a new system. Whatever your company does you need to figure out ways to expand it. This goes beyond just figuring out ways to earn more money. Creating Strong Business Relationships Creating business relationships that are strong is the foundation of growing your business. Customers, clients, suppliers and business associates are the life blood of your business’s growth. You simply cannot forge ahead down the path to success without these helpers, which means you need to develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with them. These relationships are established on trust and honesty. Communicate often. Communication between your business contacts is extremely important. This is especially true of your customers and your suppliers. These contacts rely on you to tell them what is going on, which includes letting them in on any problems you are experiencing. Communication should be a top priority for your business relationships. Meet deadlines. When a customer deals with your business they expect you to hold up your end of the bargain and deliver on your promises. This certainly means meeting your deadlines. When you promise something to a customer or supplier, you want them to consider your word as your bond. Not having to worry if your business will fulfill its requirements builds trust with customers. Try to prevent surprises. Customers and clients generally don’t like surprises; especially if the service your company provides has a direct link to their livelihood. While it may not be possible for you to prevent unwanted things from happening, being honest with your customers and maintaining communication with them regarding what is going on can help you to eliminate unwanted surprises. Being Honest The value of being an honest business cannot be overstated. Your company will grow faster and reach further if it is based on honest principles and ethics. It is important to strive for honesty at all times and at all levels of your business. Honesty will keep your customers coming back. No business relationship can last if it isn’t based on honesty. Being honest with your clients and customers will help them want to continue to give you their business. Honesty builds trust and this can create a business reputation that will help you grow and get you more clients. You should be honest with everyone that has to do with your business, not just your customers and clients. You need to be honest with your employees, your suppliers, your investors and everyone else. This means not making up lies to cover your own basis, owning up to your own mistakes and acknowledging the business’s state to your employees and investors. Again, this kind of honesty creates loyalty. Be honest with yourself. Don’t forget to be honest with yourself too. This can be the most brutal form of honesty and one of the hardest things you can do. Being honest with yourself regarding what you really want from your business and what goals you are really looking to achieve is extremely important. Lying to yourself, even in tiny ways, can end up causing you to compromise your business, its ethics and its principles, which can spell disaster. Be honest about growth. Don’t try to grow your business too quickly either. There is always the idea that a business a business should grow as quickly as it can, but this concept can often lead to trouble. Sustained business growth comes from a clear and detailed strategy. It also comes from having the appropriate systems and processes ready to go in order to cope with this new growth. Don’t focus on everything at one time. Pay attention to the required resources needed to sustain this growth, as many smaller businesses simply don’t have access to the right resources and can get in over their heads.