Small business is the backbone of the economy. If you have a small business, you probably have dreams of taking it to the next level to become a larger business. Here are some steps that will help you do just that.

1. Networking

Take the time to talk to people in the industry. Look for small business events that apply to you and go! You can also use online resources such as Linked-in. While networking, you will meet people who can give you advice on what worked for them. You might even meet potential investors or partners who want to grow with you.

2. Utilize social media and technology

Technology and the internet are powerful tools for your business. The first thing to do is to develop an online presence. Create a website and social media accounts for your business. Provide an incentive for people to follow you and leave reviews. Also, post interesting content that could potentially go viral. That’s free advertising! You can do most of this yourself to start when business is slow or after hours.

Internally, you can use ADP or other software to help manage employees efficiently. It simply makes things easier for you and your employees. For example, employees can quickly and easily look up an online pay stub. You won’t have to manually go through time cards and files to find the things you need.

3. Quality matters

If you want your business to grow, you need to have a product that people want. That means it needs to be a working, high-quality product. Poor quality can result in less customers and negative reviews. If you do notice a quality problem with your product, be sure to correct the problem immediately. Finally, customer service is a part of quality. When a problem does arise, handle it accordingly. If you can’t handle it yourself, make sure that your employees are always polite and helpful when dealing with problems. An employee with a bad attitude will only make the situation worse, and it cannot be tolerated.

4. Spend wisely

As a business owner, you need to make a lot of decisions on how to put money into your company. Be careful to prioritize what needs to be handled now and what you can put off. It’s also important to look for places to save. Work as much as you can so you don’t have to pay employees. You can save money on advertising by using social media. You can also make more money by cutting items you don’t use in your inventory. Take a look at your books to see where you can save money. That way, you can spend that money on more valuable things.

5. Hire the right people

Your team is essential to your success. Vet your employees by taking the time to verify past employers and perform a background check. Utilize your employees in the most resourceful way possible. If someone has talent with accounting, don’t put them on your marketing team. You also want to make your team feel appreciated so that they don’t go elsewhere. Show appreciation on occasion with lunches or small outings. A happy employee is an employee that will work hard to help you succeed.

6. Work, work, work

For your business to grow, you need to put in the hours. You may have to sacrifice some social outings and sleep, but you will only succeed if you work hard. Keep working until you are successful enough for someone else to do the leg work for you.

You will experience plenty of growing pains as your business expands. Embrace the experience. You will learn a lot, and you can always correct any mistakes that you make. However, everyone makes mistakes on their way to the top. Using these tips can help eliminate some of those mistakes before they happen.