Growing your small business isn’t just a great idea, it’s actually necessary for your business’s ongoing survival. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s just like that old cliche “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. Break your goals up into smaller objectives and get going. Once you start, you’ll find you’re re-energised and excited about what the future holds.
But if you don’t know where to start; you don’t know which part of the elephant to start nibbling on, here are a few tips to get you going.
Explore Your Existing Market
For all you know, you may only be taking a tiny slice of the pie in a market that you are comfortable in and doing a great job in. So think about the customers you already have and use your existing relationship to up-sell.
Ask for Referrals
Use your existing relationships, and the goodwill that you have built within your business, to ask for referrals. It’s a no-brainer. When you finish a job or a project and you know your client is happy, ask them if they can suggest anyone that would benefit from your service. It makes sense that someone who likes your product or service will be happy to refer you on to someone else.
Next (bigger) Steps
Ok, so you’ve taken on these couple of tips and they seems easy enough (which they are). But true growth comes from new opportunities and the best way to be in the running for increased market share is to start tendering for business. Here’s how.
Identify Opportunities That Suit Your Business
There are myriad ways of finding tendering opportunities. But finding the right opportunities for your organisation is crucial. There are websites dedicated to advertising just tenders, for example Australian Tenders. Do some research amongst your customers and competitors to get an understanding of the best places to look for opportunities.
Make Sure Your Bid/No Bid Framework is Up To Scratch
Once you find this treasure trove of opportunities it is so tempting to try and go for everything that suits your business. But don’t do it. Be strategic because making a poor choice around bidding for work is a key reason for failure. So wait for the opportunity that is right for your business.
Tendering for business can be a costly undertaking particularly if you don’t have much chance of winning. It’s a significant undertaking that requires investment (of both time and money) so be strategic and develop a robust “bid or no bid” framework.
PLAN PLAN PLAN – Get Tender Ready
The first tender you do (particularly if you rush in with excitement) will take a long time to put together. Try to avoid a long and painful ‘baptism by fire’, and develop a suite of documents you can use for multiple bids. There is always a long list of core information that every tender requires. Start now. It’s called a tender library and you will be visiting this place a lot! A tender library includes staff CVs, policies, accreditations, insurances, company history, documented processes among so much more.
Keep trying. You may not win the first time you tender for new work, but keep going because with every tender you do, you will get better at it. You will get to know your buyers, become more informed about the market and will better understand what is required from a winning tender.
If you need some help with the tendering side of business development it’s worth thinking about doing some tender training. Dawtek’s online tender training course covers all of the above, and so much more.
In fact, it is designed by me, for people like you. I understand how hard it can be because I am a small business owner and when I got to the point where I needed to grow, tendering for new business changed the trajectory of my career. If you’d like to know more about how tender training can help you grow your business, visit us online here.