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Big business not just for the big guys

Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the nation’s 23 million small businesses account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales and 64 percent of all net new jobs.

Some successful small businesses, however, make the leap and become big businesses.

Just because a business starts small doesn’t mean it has to stay small. Opportunities for growth await small-business owners who are ready to take their company to the next level. Planning and preparation are keys to growing your business.

Prepping for growth

If you expect to grow, you need a roadmap to get there. Here are a few items for the top of your to-do list:

• Know where you’re going. What is your mission? That should always be your guiding light.

• Have a solid infrastructure. If you’ve got a shaky foundation, growth is going to be painful instead of enjoyable. Make sure you have the proper systems in place, such as financial, production, logistics and back office.

• Hire the right team. Not everyone will want to grow with the company, and not everyone should. Make sure you have a dedicated group in place to help reach your goals.

• Remember your customers are always your top priority. As changes occur, what are your customers saying? What feedback can they offer? Whether you speak with customers directly or conduct a survey, know what’s on their minds.

• Don’t forget about the details. Don’t lose touch with the details that make your business work.

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