What can you do to take your business to the next phase? These ten tips can help you expand in 2016.

Fire Your Worst Client

You may feel that you can't afford to lose even one client but chances are, there's one person who demands more time than the others. Unless that client is paying for that extra time, this is the year to cut ties. Even if the client pays the same as the rest, the daily stress that comes with dealing with demanding, finicky clients isn't worth it.

Reach Out to New Prospects

If you focus solely on existing customers, you'll stagnate. To truly grow, you need to add new clients, which will in turn require bringing on additional staff. Set a goal this year to reach out to at least one new prospect a month to increase your chances of adding a few new clients.

Expand into a New Market

If you've limited yourself to a particular regional area or industry, consider going beyond those boundaries this year. One new client in previously-unexplored territory could lead to referrals to others in that area, growing your business exponentially faster than staying within your comfort zone.

Travel to Meet a Client

So much of business today is handled remotely, entrepreneurs can go months without seeing clients face to face. In some cases, they have clients they've never even met. This year make an effort to meet at least one client in person. You'll find the face-to-face experience helps form a bond you wouldn't have otherwise.

Outsource the Small Things

In the early days, business owners often take responsibility for everything, since they can't afford to hire employees. But today's business owners can outsource duties online through services like Upwork and FlexJobs. By outsourcing small things, you can focus on attracting new clients and growing your business.

Change Your Hiring Practices

If you've already grown to the point that you have a team of employees, consider shaking up your recruiting practices in 2016. Hire someone who brings a unique skillset to your team, even if it means contracting with a recruiter to find the perfect person. By diversifying your talent pool, you'll bring a new perspective to your daily work environment, brainstorming sessions, and client meetings and possibly open doors for your business to pursue new projects.

Attend a New Conference

When you started your business, you may have skipped conferences due to a lack of funds. If you did attend them, you probably focused on a few events within your own industry or region. This year, consider attending a conference outside your industry or in a new area of the country. You'll make new connections and get perspectives you wouldn't have otherwise heard.

Pursue Your Passion

Spend some time thinking about what makes you happy, whether it's through your business or in your free time. Then set time aside each week for that activity. Studies show pursuing a passion can add an extra eight hours of happiness to your week. Most importantly, it will prevent burnout and remind you why you work so hard each day.

Participate Online

If you own a business, chances are you have a website and several social media accounts, but are they active? If you aren't participating in your online presence, you may lose followers who see your sites as outdated. Use a dashboard service like Hootsuite to keep up with all of your social media accounts in one place.

Take a Course

Truly successful people never stop trying to learn and better themselves. Find a way to take a course related to your business, whether it's a webinar, local networking workshop, or through an online education site. Even if the course is on a subject you've already mastered, you may feel inspired by a refresher on the basic principles of that subject.

Each new year provides new opportunities to take your business to the next level. Make sure you know what your goals are and work each day to eventually reach those goals. You'll not only be maintaining your business's current success, but you'll be ensuring your success for many years.

Published on: Jan 11, 2016