Strengthen your brand, focus on what is most profitable and shed inefficiencies. Five ways to turn business ideas into reality and make your business a better place for customers and staff.

5 Strategies That Can Turn New Business Ideas into Reality

No matter what type of business you own or how long your doors have been open, there is always something that can be improved. As new business ideas emerge it can be challenging to implement even the best of them when it means challenging the status quo and overcoming internal resistance to change.

1. Create a formal system for evaluating business ideas.

“It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.” Anatole France

Entrepreneurs and business owners usually don’t have a shortage of ideas. Without a formal system where ideas can be evaluated, plans of action can be developed, responsibilities can be assigned and measurements can be defined and tracked over time, most ideas – even the best of ideas – might never see the light of the work day.

2. Involve everyone.

“Ideas are like pizza dough; made to be tossed around.” Anna Quindlen

There’s a saying that goes, “too many cooks spoil the brew.”  This might be true in the kitchen, but in organizations that want to grow and change, the more people that weigh in, contribute, buy-in and become personally invested in change initiatives, the better. When your staff feel listened to and ideas are refined to reflect their feedback and concerns, they are much more likely to buy in and get behind transformative business ideas.

3. Embrace real change.

“The difficultly lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” John Maynard Keynes

It’s human nature to resist change and fall back on what is familiar, especially if new behaviors don’t bring instant gratification. Remember you will not be able to achieve new goals with old ways of thinking and old ways of doing. The pace of change in today’s competitive marketplace alone dictates that you need change ambassadors in your organization if you want to grow. Empower and rely on people on your staff who aren’t afraid to take on big challenges and learn new things!

4. Proselytize.

“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of connections is the key to quality.” Charles Eames

If you want to achieve big things, you can’t afford to have staff that don’t believe in the vision. Everyone in your organization, everyone, ultimately has the power to contribute toward or against your business goals. Make sure they are all on board.

5. Invest adequate resources.

“Money is a wonderful thing because it enables you… to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback.” Steve Jobs

Your willingness to fund and allocate staff, time and other corporate resources to a given initiative is a direct reflection of your commitment to achieving the goal. No matter how sound or exciting your business ideas are, without allocation of adequate resources – including money – turning them into reality will be difficult.

Our business finance tools could be ideal options if your business lacks the working capital needed to execute ideas that will help your business grow in the New Year. A merchant cash advance can provide your organization with a lump sum of working capital that can be used for many different business purposes.

How to Make and Keep New Business Goals

An Outbound Engine survey found that less than half of small businesses have a plan for growth. But many business ideas need a marketing or operational plan in order to succeed. As you implement new ideas make sure they are tied to plans that include specific goals and measures. offers up several tips for setting and sticking to goals, and we’ve adapted their list for business owners here:

  • Don’t try to do too much at once, limit to one or two goals that are most important
  • Set realistic goals with specific, measurable benchmarks and a finish line
  • Don’t wait until New Year’s Day – make goal setting part of your organization’s process on an on-going, systematic basis
  • Be accountable and assign goals and tactics to specific people with dates set for measures, reports, and contingency plans
  • Be accountable to your accountability plan – where does the buck stop?
  • Communicate and celebrate incremental successes
  • Embrace change; you can’t achieve new goals with old thinking and the same tactics
  • Each day ask the question: what can I do today to move toward the goal?
  • Make sure that your company is “healthy;” fix what goes wrong internally so that employees can focus on reaching the goal
  • Have some fun along the way!

We often think adding a second location or more square feet is the only way to expand, when, in reality, there are many ideas for expanding a business that add revenue – and boost profits – without adding additional overhead in the process.

Expanding a Business – 5 Ways to Boost Revenue Per Square Foot in Your Business

Price per square foot – it’s one of the biggest costs of doing business. Whether you own or lease, for each square foot you pay for, you must be able to generate a minimum amount of revenue per square foot over and above that number, just to break even. To grow, you must be able to get even more profit out of each square foot of your business.

What does each square foot of your business cost? It’s much more than the price per square foot reflected in your lease agreement. The real cost of doing business, for each square foot, includes each and every expense of your business, including supplies, inventory, insurance, taxes, payroll, etc., divided by the number of square feet in your business.

But you can also calculate revenues or profit for each square foot of your business. In fact, it’s important to be aware of these numbers because for your business to be profitable and generate the money you need to grow, profit per square foot must exist, which means you need to know how much revenue per square foot your business must generate to produce a profit.

If a business can’t produce a profit (money left over after expenses and depreciation), it will have a difficult time growing, because most growth strategies require capital. Capital is where we come in. In particular, when it comes to implementing growth strategies, commercial cash advance financing can provide a business with fast access to the money it needs to grow to the next level.

Essentially, business cash advances provide an organization with a lump sum of working capital which is repaid out of future sales. This is one reason that it’s a great option for businesses that want to use a cash advance to finance inventory, equipment, marketing, or other capital expenses that will lead to increased revenue or open up new streams of revenue.

In fact, one of the best parts about being in the business of cash advance financing is hearing about how our clients use their cash advance to grow. While some do use cash advance financing to add a second business location or incorporate adjacent vacant space because they need additional square footage to grow, others add new lines of revenue without incurring as much additional cost, essentially expanding a business without adding physical space.

Growing a Business – 5 Ways to Expand Without Adding Square Feet

New Equipment

In just about every industry, as technology evolves, not only does newer equipment provide you with the ability to enhance a product or service or produce a completely new one, it often does so on a smaller footprint. When the benefits of increased efficiency, productivity and reduced space requirements add up to new or boosted business revenue, it might be smart to upgrade. This is where expanding a business in it’s current location without adding square feet can help.

Likewise, if you have enough space to add new equipment, you may be able to add whole new lines of revenue to your business in the form of new products or services. If your competitors are providing products or services you aren’t, or you would like to provide customers with items they typically purchase right before (or right after) purchasing yours, this might be an area where adding new equipment could give your business revenues a big boost.

The cost of adding new equipment may be well worth the expense, even if you take on a business financing obligation in the process. You also need to consider what the cost of not adding new equipment could be, especially if your competitors are gaining market share because they can serve clients products or services that your business is not equipped to provide.

New Skills and Training

In service-based industries like salons and spas, dental, medical, etc., education and training can be a vehicle for adding new lines of revenue without adding square footage, and sometimes even without a significant investment in equipment or inventory. As with equipment, assessing advantages of competitors or innovations and trends being pursued by industry leaders can provide insights as to what new services might be most successful with your target markets, which can point you in the right direction when it comes to investing in education and training.

In addition, new service revenues often go hand-in-hand with new product sales, especially when services are enhanced by products customers can use at home or in between appointments.

New Inventory

Periodically changing your inventory is smart business. Phasing out slow-movers can allow you to make ways for new items which can re-engage your customer base or allow you to target an expanded market segment and bring new customers in to your business. Phasing out slow-movers can even spark demand. In fact, limiting customer access to certain products or services to specific periods of time during the year might mean you sell more of those items than you would were they available year-round.

New Blood

Bringing in consultants or hiring new staff can help you expand your business. Hiring new employees strategically for specific skills they bring to the table may give you the ability to launch new products or services (or enhance those you already offer). New hires and consultants also help to bring a fresh perspective. They can point out areas of opportunity and help you see your business through “fresh eyes.” As a result, you may be able to identify new markets for your products or services or eliminate inefficiencies or obsolescing items in order to make room for others.

New Identity

While the underlying values that guide your organization may never change, your brand identity will probably change over time. These changes might be small and reflected in tweaks to the logo, brand taglines, marketing campaigns and colors, or they might be big, and be accompanied by a completely new mission statement, vision for growth, and a new logo – possibly even a new name.

Big changes to brand identity might reflect big changes in leadership; however, they might also be necessitated by big changes in the marketplace or business model. Along with a change to consumer perception, this also provides a business owner with an opportunity to remake the business itself, including tweaking or completely changing its menu of goods or services.


For most businesses, change is an imperative. If you need working capital for expanding a business, we can help. Get access to money you can use to expand your business (whether that means adding square footage or not) using a merchant cash advance.

Start by requesting a totally free, no-risk quote – a merchant cash advance could provide you with the money you need to grow your business within days: 

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You can use the three core goals of financial management to determine which business ideas are most likely to help your business grow.

Hit 3 Goals with All Your Financial Management Strategies for the Win

Few entrepreneurs suffer from a lack of ideas, but knowing which ones should get the green light isn’t always apparent. Pursuing the wrong financial management strategies can result in wasted business resources, slowing or even stalling your business growth.

It’s important for every business owner to choose goals and values by which they can measure new ideas and initiatives, to be sure they will contribute to company growth. The three core goals of financial management can do just that. You may be surprised when you realize that these three core goals are about a lot more than just managing finances, demonstrating clearly how inter-dependent seemingly disparate business ideas really are.

Use these 3 Financial Management Strategies to Guide All Your Business Decisions

1. Will It Maximize Profits

It doesn’t take long for most new business owners to realize that more sales don’t always equate to more profits, and profit it what a business needs to reinvest in itself and grow more quickly. You should take the time to calculate profit relative to your business as a whole, and to each of the individual products and services you sell so that you understand:

  1. Gross profit margin (Formula: sales – cost of goods sold / sales)
  2. Operating profit margin (Formula: EBIT / sales)
  3. Net profit margin (Formula: net profits after taxes / sales)

Gross profit margin reveals the amount of profit your company earns after the cost of goods sold is deducted. The cost of goods sold might include the money paid to a manufacturer or distributor, cost of raw ingredients, cost of marketing and advertising, staff-related expenses and any other inputs. This shows how efficiently your company is using labor and supplies relative to the amount sold.

Operating profit margin compares earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to sales. High operating profits is an indication that the company is getting a good return on the cost of goods sold; conversely, low profits might indicate a need to reduce input costs or manage operations more efficiently.

Net profit margin shows what the company has after everyone has been paid, including the government. Net profits are ultimately the money your business has to invest toward growth, since all other revenues are eclipsed by the cost of goods sold and taxes.

Though many business owners think they have to increase prices in order to maximize profits, price isn’t the only factor contributing to profitability, as the formulas above illustrate. In fact, sometimes raising prices is the wrong way to maximize profits, if a price increase makes your business less competitive and you lose volume of sales which, at a lower price, actually result in the maximum profit your business can earn on a given item.

2. Will It Minimize Costs

It’s obvious from our discussion of cost of goods sold that minimizing business expenses can have a positive impact on your profit margins. The lower the cost of inputs and operating expenses needed to produce sales, the more money is left as gross profit (and ultimately net profit). However, just as raising prices isn’t always the best way to maximize profits, lowering costs isn’t always the best decision for your business.

For instance, what if you change suppliers based on your costs for the raw ingredients you need to produce one of the items your company sales, but your new supplier provides faulty or sub-standard quality materials? You may have temporarily decreased the cost of goods sold but may have increased expenses and reduced profits in the long term as your business has to handle returns, exchanges, customer complaints, bad reviews and customer defections.

As you can see, what seems to be the most obvious answer isn’t always the most accurate one. Let’s say you need to free up working capital in order to buy inventory and equipment to launch a new product or service. On the face of it, the ‘cheapest’ way to pay for the growth initiative seems to be to wait until you have the money saved up; however, this could be a costly decision. Competitors may outmaneuver you or new rivals could emerge and establish themselves in the market while you wait on the sidelines. In the long run, taking potential sales and profits into account, the less costly decision might actually be to take advantage of a merchant cash advance or business line of credit to grow more quickly.

3. Will It Maximize Market Share

Formula: Company sales / total sales in its industry (by geography, if applicable) over a certain period of time; in other words, of the sales possible during a given time period, what percentage did your business earn?

So far we have talked a lot about areas pertaining to finance and accounting; however, marketing concerns affect each of these three goals as well, and is obviously relevant to maximizing market share. Marketing (price, product, promotion, and distribution) decisions affect the cost of goods sold as well as company costs.

It’s worth noting that of all the reasons cited by entrepreneurs whose startups failed, poor marketing was actually the biggest reason startups failed. Yet for many business owners, marketing seems an afterthought; a topic they quickly try to master when projections don’t match up with results after opening their business or launching new product lines.

Maximizing market share is one of the core goals of financial management strategies for an obvious reason; more customers and less sales lost to competitors creates more opportunity to realize a profit. In addition, more sales often translate into lower cost of goods sold as inventory can be ordered in larger quantities at a lower price.

Sometimes money is hiding in plain sight, other times you’ll really have to hunt; here are twenty-five places to look when you need to find money to grow your business more quickly.

Find Money to Grow Your Business Hiding in 25 Places

You don’t necessarily have to sell more to find money to grow your business; sometimes it’s a matter of finding the money, not making it. Other times it’s about maximizing use of resources or finding creative ways to work with other businesses.

We’ve come up with a list of more than two dozen ways you might be able to find money to grow your business. These tactics have nothing to do with raising prices or increasing sales, but they can significantly impact your bottom line nonetheless.

25 Places to Find Money to Grow Your Business More Quickly

Salaries and Benefits

Salaries and benefits are often one of if not the biggest costs in a business. Make sure that you’re getting good value for every dollar spent on salaries, benefits and employee perks; where you aren’t getting the most bang for your buck, make a change.  For instance:

  1. Review benefits providers annually (like you would any other vendor) to be sure your employees are getting the best plans at the best prices. If you have a great deal on something, try to lock it in for a longer time period, to preclude automatic annual increases.
  2. Compare the costs, pros and cons of outsourcing both core and non-core business functions (bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, marketing, cleaning, etc.)
  3. Re-evaluate duties and decide whether redistribution of responsibilities could preclude the need to hire or allow you to hire a more junior candidate when filling a new position or replacing a departing employee.
  4. Hire candidates for “added value” skills that you can use now or in the future.
  5. Use staffing agencies to cut employee screening costs and bring in newbies on a temp-to-hire basis to cut down on hiring mistakes or ensure a good fit for hard-to-fill or high turnover positions.

Financing Tools

Sometimes bringing working capital in from the outside makes more sense than depleting reserves or selling off assets to fund growth. When a business idea is likely to increase revenues, additional income could more than offset the loan or cost of financing. Using this as a go-by can help you decide whether it’s better to wait until you have saved up the money to fund a new business idea or pursue business financing; such as:

  1. Bank loans
  2. Specialty financing tools:
    • Business line of credit
    • Equipment lease finance
  3. Business or merchant advance
  4. Invoice Factoring

In addition to business financing tools that provide a lump sum of working capital, if you sell on terms to other companies, you can also use invoice factoring to speed up cash flow. Expediting cash flow by factoring could help you grow more quickly and could help you find savings in other areas of your business, such as taking advantage of quick-pay discounts and reducing overhead related to accounting.

Cutting Overhead

  1. If you rent or lease space, your mortgage or rent payment could be one of your biggest expenses. In a buyer’s market, you might be able to renegotiate the terms of your lease to get a price decrease or lock in a low rate for a long period of time.
  2. If you need additional equipment or furnishings, consider buying used or leasing what you need instead of buying it outright. Preserving working capital means you retain more ready money to grow your business.
  3. Turning the thermostat up or down even a degree or two could make a visible difference in your utilities cost. Likewise, turning off lights in unused areas or setting lights on timers with motion detectors could save you hundreds over the course of a year. Reducing consumption of electricity, water, natural gas, data and other utilities can add up to big savings over time.
  4. Don’t skip the maintenance! Having vents cleaned, screens changed and other maintenance done on time keeps your equipment running at optimum efficiency.
  5. Replace aging equipment with newer, more efficient models can bring significant utility cost savings and might even earn your business tax credits.
  6. Have space you aren’t using? Rent it out!
  7. Reduce the cost of financing by consolidating high interest credit cards and other revolving debt into one account.

Streamline Purchasing

  1. Once upon a time having a petty cash or slush fund for incidentals could save your business in check cashing costs and time spent running to the bank for funds. Today it costs more than it saves, since digital payments are universally accepted and allow you to account for every dollar your business spends. When you need money to grow your business, slush funds should be the first to go.
  2. Stock up and save works. Better forecasting can show you where buying in bulk can save your business money.
  3. Vendor and supplier quick-pay discounts can be sizeable, significantly reducing expenses and the cost of goods sold. Even if a vendor doesn’t advertise a cash or fast-pay discount, they might be open to negotiation.

Cooperative and Co-Working Arrangements

  1. Cooperative marketing has been a tactic small business owners have used over the years. Not only does it reduce expenses for everyone participating, it often amplifies effectiveness as campaigns reach shared contact groups and presentation formats can be bigger, louder or otherwise more impressive.
  2. Cooperative buying arrangements also allow participants to reduce costs by purchasing in larger quantities, eliminating separate shipping charges and gaining other advantages. Likewise, your business could benefit from joining associations and buying clubs that provide members with discounts and special pricing. For instance, joining Amazon Prime costs members $119 per year but gives them free shipping and deal privileges that may more than offset the cost of membership. Business owners can also register for an Amazon Business account that provides free shipping on orders of $49 or more as well as tax-exempt purchasing, special pricing and access to additional business services. Savings like these may also save resources, negating the time you might have otherwise spent looking for lower-priced items, since program savings might exceed potential price differentials.
  3. Like cooperative buying, some of the services your business needs might also be cooperatively outsourced. For instance, if you’re in a retail or manufacturing space adjacent to others, hiring one cleaning service to serve the whole facility might be less expensive than for each business to hire one for themselves.
  4. Renting or buying office space can be formidable, or even a barrier to entry. Opting for co-working space or sharing facilities with other businesses can bring your cost per square foot of space way, way down.
  5. You probably work with vendors that you recommend to other business owners all the time! Inquire to see if any offer (or would be willing to offer) a referral bonus in exchange for sending business their way. Referral bonuses are often based not only on a new customer’s first purchase, but some are even based on a customer’s lifetime value, giving your business a significant return in exchange for your recommendation.
  6. Many online e-commerce sellers (like Amazon) and business services (like web hosting, email marketing, web development, and others) offer affiliate commissions in return for the web traffic you send to them that converts into sales. Like other bonus programs, these dollar amounts might seem small but they can add up over time. Setting this revenue aside for a couple of years could give you a significant amount of working capital for a future project.

No matter how carefully you watch every penny spent in your business or evaluate potential opportunities to increase profits, you’ll probably miss something. We put together this checklist with twenty-five ways you can find money to grow your business either by trimming expenses or boosting revenues – we’d love for you to add your 2 cents with ideas you think we missed in the comments below.