Grow Your Business Into 2015

Take time now to plan, strategize

For many business owners, December is a hectic time.

Marla Michel

Marla Michel, Director

If you’re in retail, you’re likely working 80-plus hours per week to keep up with your customers’ demands and are exhausted. If you’re in the service sector, you may be working frantically to get those final contracts signed and are frustrated that no one’s calling you back. Whatever your mode, give yourself a break and take a few minutes to think about how your business is doing.

At the Business Growth Center in Springfield, Mass., we think the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on the previous year. Indulge yourself and your business by thinking about next year. Get a head start in growing your business.

Write down some things you want to do differently. Write down those suggestions your customers made that didn’t sound so outrageous. Write down what’s working. Putting these ideas on paper, or into an online document, is the first step in creating your growth plan.

As I’ve said before, taking the time to work on your business is a wonderful thing. It allows you to set goals and be intentional. Too often, however, we are in “reactive mode” – just trying to stay afloat. Reacting only ensures your business will lie flat and prohibit you from getting to that next level.

For 2015, give yourself the gift of the Business Growth Center’s Growth Advisory Program and let a group of mentors help you sort out your growth ideas and develop your action plans.

Companies in the Growth Advisory Program are paired with an advisory team made up of local business professionals and entrepreneurs with a variety of backgrounds and skills that are custom-selected to complement your business needs. Company leaders meet with their Growth Advisory team for 90 minutes every six to eight weeks and are mentored in areas including financing, staffing, strategy, intellectual property, sales and more.

The Growth Advisory Program gives you, the business owner, a confidential place to test your ideas or express your concerns and meeting minutes that help you keep track of key action items you can follow up on in between team meetings.

Our mentors are regional professionals who want to see you be successful. The meetings you will have with them are confidential. The model is simple to help ensure you can manage it in addition to everything else you do.

The cost is low or free to qualified business owners, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Carve out 10 minutes in your day and call me to talk about Growth Advisory Program at the Business Growth Center in western Massachusetts. You can also take a few minutes and read more on our website.

The growth and success of your business is worth it.

I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a very prosperous 2015.