Second stage businesses are established entities that have survived the startup phase, and have the intent and capacity to grow. Take your company to the next level with the help of resources around planning, marketing, human resources and more. The questions many entrepreneurs ask is “How do I maintain business growth?”
Plan your business
Drive your business to the next level with a well-crafted business plan. And if you need funding for growth, your lender will want to see a business plan.
Drive profits through marketing and sales
Marketing is all about customers: knowing their needs and wants and creating the environment that makes it easy for them to buy. Use the Resource Navigator to find organizations near you that provide marketing and sales development services. SCORE offers a great template to help you plan your basic marketing strategies in six easy steps. Also, you can use this template from the Small Business Development Center to dig a little deeper into your plans.
As businesses establish themselves, increased opportunities for growth can come from targeting new markets through opportunities like government and federal contacting. Check out the BusinessLink Calendar to find upcoming programs on these topics
Selling to the government
Government contracts are a tremendous financial opportunity for small businesses and the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of assistance to help entrepreneurs ready to take this step. The federal government is the largest consumer of goods and services in the world and, as such, buys all types of products and services — in both large and small quantities. By law, the government is required to consider buying from small businesses.
The government wants to buy from small businesses for several reasons, including:
- Ensure that large businesses don’t “muscle out” small businesses
- Gain access to the new ideas that small businesses provide
- Support small businesses as engines of economic development and job creation
- Offer opportunities to disadvantaged socio-economic groups
Hire great employees
Your people are your company’s most valuable asset. Be thoughtful in how you attract and retain the right employees to support your growth. Here is an excellent human resources blog covering topics like leadership, recruiting, performance management and much more.
All businesses, big and small, have to comply with a myriad of regulations surrounding Human Resources. Business demands eventually push companies to hire employees and in turn, based on the number of employees, additional laws apply.
There are several sites to assist businesses in West Virginia with compliance related to employee administration:
US Department of Labor: labor regulations
Internal Revenue Service: obtaining your Federal Identification Number and tax forms
Workforce West Virginia: Unemployment Accounts, Workers Compensation information, filing wage reports and pay unemployment compensation contributions online.
West Virginia State Tax Department: West Virginia withholding, sales tax, use tax, and tax forms
US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) : Employment Verification Form
Maintain permits and registrations
Most likely you licensed and registered your business when you started. As businesses grow, their licensing requirements may change, especially if and when employees are added. The West Virginia Secretary of State offers the Business One Stop Portal to assist with licensing, business registration and a central link to many of the other agencies you will need during your business operation.
A solid plan for moving your business forward includes a plan for how you will obtain funding to start and grow your business, and will carry you through the early period while you are developing your business brand. We go into the topic more on our Get Funding page.
Also, all business owners can search the Resource Navigator for specific assistance for their business!