Business 101 with Sage: 3 Ways to Grow Your Business

Leading Sage Canada, I have come to realize that sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. Experienced business owners know that when you’re on the front lines, it’s hard to stand back and see how things might be improved. With over 20 years of experience, I’ve noticed some very basic things that small and medium-sized businesses can do to improve their bottom lines.


Your business is unique, you have very specific and advanced accounting needs and you’re making key financial decisions, but you need to know what changes to make and why. You want to understand how specific changes can help you grow your business. You want to put workflows in place that will allow your business to become more flexible and allow you to find more balance in your work-life. If this sounds like you, here are three things that can help:


  1. Focus on Real Growth

It’s important for you to focus on real sustainable growth. This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. When you’re making your decisions, think long term rather than short term. You don’t want to grow too fast or too slow. Create a realistic long-term plan and ensure that your decisions support it. Sometimes short-term gains look attractive, but if they cause you to miss deadlines or negatively affect quality, they will hurt your business in the long run.


  1. Focus on Going Green to Lower Costs

You’d be amazed at how much waste can be eliminated in the workplace by going green. For example, encourage staff to use the printer only when it’s necessary, use glass cups in the kitchen and ensure that lights and computers are turned off when not in use. By weaving environmentally-friendly practices into your business model, you can fulfill your corporate responsibility and save money. If you involve your staff in the process, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cost-saving ideas they bring forward.


  1. Focus on Your Competition

Have you examined the competition? Have you analyzed what makes you different? What are they doing right – what are they doing wrong? In some cases, you may even consider acquiring a competitor’s business. If this is the case, you really need to go into the negotiation with a comprehensive understanding of their business model. Take your time and do your homework. Absorbing one of your competitors may open up entirely new markets and opportunities for you.


Running a business can seem like a 24/7 endeavour. It’s important to take time to find a balance between your work and your life. If you’ve found some innovative ways to improve your business, please share them with us in the comments below.


Nancy Harris is vice president and general manager for the Sage Simply Accounting business.
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By Adam

July 26, 2012