Effective strategies for managing a growing business change all the time—the onus is on the owner to develop a mindset of continuous education. It's in your best interest to identify learning resources in a few key areas that are critical for growing your business.
Let's focus on debt consolidation, business loan attainment, supply chain management and sales and marketing tracking because they all affect your ability to generate positive cash flow and ensure that your operations solidly support your growth objectives.
When growing pains hit your business, you could unexpectedly find yourself in a mountain of debt.
Rather than letting the situation get out of control, you might consider debt consolidation, which involves taking out a new loan to pay off the debt and associated interest across your accounts. Debt consolidation loans are typically installment-based, meaning you pay them off monthly over a set time period.
Provided you procure a loan with a lower interest rate than that of your other balances, debt consolidation may make sense for you. Learning resources that teach the ins and outs of debt consolidation include a local credit union, CreditKarma, Debt.org and NerdWallet.
Business Loan Attainment
Once upon a time, getting a business loan meant walking into your local bank branch and convincing the lender to take a chance on you. Fortunately, there are more online options than ever before, but you must know what to look for.
Many online tools—such as Salesforce and HubSpot—provide one-stop shops for organizing, tracking and nurturing customer activity, and are also essential learning resources in becoming more CRM-proficient.
Your growing business can benefit from a variety of financing solutions with low interest rates. Some common solutions include term loans, in which a lender provides a lump sum that you may back over a specified time period of one to five years; and business lines of credit, in which you borrow a maximum credit limit and pay interest rates on only the capital borrowed from the credit line.
And unlike the loans of yesteryear, you don't have to wait very long. Most online business loans get you the money you need within a few days. If your business needs a capital infusion to keep up with industry changes, check out learning resources like the Small Business Administration and Fundera to identify the loan that best addresses your business requirements and unique financial situation.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management refers to the oversight of processes that transform a raw material into a final product, and the shepherding of goods and services from manufacturing to customer delivery. When supply chain management is effective, the flow maximizes company profit and customer value.
Due to industry changes and technology developments, you'll need to keep up with the help of learning resources like SmartSheet, which offers certifications, books and in-depth industry and study guides to educate both new and experienced global supply chain managers.
Another terrific outlet is the Supply Chain Management Review. SCMR covers topics such as sourcing and procurement, software and technology and transportation and logistics. You can read content by supply chain practitioners and business school professors alike in a variety of formats including articles, research studies, webinars and case studies.
Sales and Marketing Tracking
Sustaining a growing business' momentum includes an enhanced focus on customer relationship management (CRM). Many online tools—such as Salesforce and HubSpot—provide one-stop shops for organizing, tracking and nurturing customer activity, and are also essential learning resources in becoming more CRM-proficient.
There's also DestinationCRM, which is a top online resource for information, products and services relevant to the CRM user marketplace across many industries from retail to government.
On the marketing side, you might use Google Analytics or Kissmetrics to assess the lead generation process associated with your campaigns (metrics include conversions, site visit percentages, customer interactions and sales). Finding the places where you never attract or outright lose customers allows you to refine your approach and ensure your marketing is getting a return on investment. If sales and marketing tracking is a new area for you, you might consider a free online course through Alison or edX.
As a busy owner, deciding where to invest your time in continuing education is difficult. Hopefully, these learning resources sparked some ideas for future focus.
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