How to grow your business as a sole trader in 10 steps

To grow a business as a sole trader can be challenging – because it’s all up to you. Not having people around to bounce ideas off could lead to bad habits that stop you expanding your business. Or perhaps you just simply don’t have the knowledge or resources to take the next step.

This growth checklist will offer tips on going self-employed and sole trader growth ideas that are designed to help you grow your business. So, here are 10 contractor tips that to help you increase your business growth moving forward.

1. Get the basics right

Once your business is set up as a sole proprietorship you can get cracking on growing your sole trader business. Yes, you are very keen to grow your business, but you’ll need to get the basics right first. The first step to growing your sole trader business is to ensure you have a solid foundation to build your success on. From ensuring your tax and super are sorted, to ensuring you know the regulations that you operate under, there are many things to consider before you start expanding your business.

This is especially important for sole traders, who take on unlimited liability,meaning your personal money and assets may be at risk if things go awry. This is why business insurance is especially important from the start, as not having enough coverage when a claim is made against you could be devastating.

Fortunately, sorting out your business insurance is an easy fix through BizCover. With just a few quick clicks of a mouse or a phone call, you’ll get multiple competitive business insurance quotes. Select your preferred policy, and you’ll be covered instantly, so you can get back to growing your small business.

2. Build a business plan

The second thing you could do to grow a business is to create a business plan. This document will eventually be your blueprint for success and is designed to grow with you on your journey. Think about your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. Consider performing a market analysis and consider your business’ SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

This is also a space to manage your finances and ensure you have a consistent budget for business growth while still being paid yourself. From logistics and finances to marketing, there is a lot to consider when it comes to growing a business.

It may take some time to align these factors with your business growth goals, but the more you put into your plan, the clearer your next steps will become.

3. Reach out to the experts

One of the more handy sole trader growth ideas is seeking help from experts. If the previous steps sound a bit confronting, fear not! There’s plenty of ways you can delegate tasks you may not feel comfortable with. From social media marketing and accounting to asking other small business owners about their experiences, there are many experts who earn a living by helping out small businesses in specific areas.

Being a small business owner doesn’t necessarily mean that you are all on your own. Simply asking for help could be the best decision when it comes to growing your business.

4. Be strategic – look back to look forward

As you grow, you may benefit from steering away from tactics and instead towards strategy. Ask yourself what is your overall vision and how you will a achieve it? Now’s the time to invest in your business rather than working in it. Can you drop the tools one day a month to reflect on the previous month?

Carve out time to take stock of what’s going well, what needs to change, and reflect on your business finances. If the monthly reflection is not achievable, consider taking time out every three months to set a 90-day plan.

 5. Build your support crew – delegate to experts

Number five on our growth checklist is to build your support crew. Being everything to everyone is simply not sustainable long-term. You risk burning out. That’s why you can benefit by surrounding yourself with experts as you grow. As a minimum, consider engaging a trusted accountant, lawyer, business insurance adviser, and a business coach or mentor.

6. Stand out with your unique selling point (USP)

Contractor tip six is all about making your business stand out amongst the competition. Do you know the main factors that make your business more attractive to your customers than your competitors? Whether you are in a very competitive or saturated industry, it’s important to have something that’s unique about what you do – your ‘special sauce’.

If you’re not sure what your USP is, go to your regular customers and ask them what three words come to mind when they think of your business. Essentially you want to find out why they do business with you and not with your competitors.

Once you know your USP, use the messaging across all of your marketing activities.

7. Take financing seriously

The seventh step to set up as a sole proprietorship is taking financing seriously.

Just like people, businesses need fuel to grow, and that means money. There are essentially three ways to secure business financing – your income, your credit, and investment. Of these three, your income is often the most important because it can play a key role in determining whether or not you can get credit or investment at all.

8. Know your numbers – manage and see your finances

Every business needs visibility of its data – especially if they’re growing. You need to see and understand your basic business financials – including cashflow forecast, a profit and loss account, and a budget.

It’s important to have a qualified accountant who can help you interpret your figures. They can help explain to you what the figures mean in plain English and help you to make financial decisions based on what’s going on in the broader context of your business. It’s easy to let finances be swept to the side as you focus on the operations of your business, but it’s important to keep on top of your administration and finances.

9. Aim for sustainable growth

Number nine on our growth checklist of contractor tips warns about the troubles that may occur if your business grows too fast. Growing your business too quickly can pose its own problems; instead, aim to achieve sole trader growth in a healthy and sustainable way. To make this happen, all parts of your business should align with each other.

If one part of your business starts forging ahead while the other parts lag behind, you could be setting yourself up for a world of trouble. For example, if you roll out a publicity campaign to drive sales, then make sure you can promptly fulfil the increase in orders you expect to receive.

10. Automate as much as you can

Our final sole trader growth idea is all about automation. Technology is not replacing humans overall. It is, however, capably dealing with many of the mundane tasks us humans used to do. This is a huge benefit to everyone, and particularly for sole traders looking to grow their business. What’s more, key technologies have now become mainstream and affordable.

The bottom line

While it may seem that growing your sole trader business requires that you put on many hats and do it all on your own, that doesn’t have to be the case.

These 10 sole trader tips can help to set you in the right direction to expand your business sustainably for years to come.

Support business growth by reducing your exposure to risk

While business insurance isn’t a growth strategy per se, it can be an effective way of supporting your business growth by reducing the impact on your business when things don’t go to plan.

At BizCover we offer an easy, efficient, and hassle-free way to compare competitive business insurance quotes online – enabling sole traders to sort out their business insurance in 10 minutes and get back to rolling out their business growth strategy.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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