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Cómo Crecer su Negocio

How to Grow your Business

By Miriam De Dios

Did you know that a recent study by HispaniTelligence projected that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses will grow by 41% in the next six years to 4.3 million businesses? The study also revealed that the sales revenue produced by these businesses will grow to more than $ 539 billion. These figures are impressive, and you may already be contributing to them.

Many Hispanics dream of one day owning their own businesses in the U.S., be it a restaurant, an ethnic grocery store, or a beauty salon. If you already own a business, your next step is to keep it growing. Consider the following tips:

Develop a marketing plan

Although many times we leave marketing as the last thing to do on our list, it's important for you to give it some attention. Marketing includes advertising, promotions, consumer materials, branding, interior and exterior image of the business, and the overall tactics that you need to put in place to grow sales of your business. If you have not already done so, it is important to consider the following as you develop or enhance your current marketing plan:

  • Will you have a Web site?
  • Will you advertise your services on the radio or in newspapers?
  • Will you create a brand including a logo and tagline with the help of a professional marketing agency?
  • Will you collaborate with other businesses or organizations through sponsorships, referral programs, co-branding and other advertising opportunities to attract new customers?
  • Will you focus on serving Hispanic customers, non-Hispanic customers, or both?

If you already have a plan developed, it is good to review it at least once a year and get the advice of marketing professionals that specialize in your industry. If you do not have a marketing plan and do not know where to start, there are a variety of organizations that specialize in providing small businesses technical assistance. Identify these providers in your local community. A good place to start could be your local chamber of commerce.  

Explore your options for getting access to capital

If you want to expand your business into other areas of the community, make improvements to your current space, or buy new equipment, you will probably need capital to do so. The Small Business Administration offers a variety of programs and services, including financing options. Another good resource to request financial assistance is your local credit union. A credit union may offer commercial and personal loans to expand your business or have partners that can help you identify additional resources.

Before applying for a loan for your business, it is important for you to know exactly what you plan to do with the funds and how it will impact your businesses' revenue projections. Be sure to reflect these points in your business plan. It is also important for you to familiarize yourself with your credit history and credit score, because they will impact what type of interest you are offered on the loan once approved. The higher your credit score, the better interest rate you may be offered on the loan. If you know your credit score is low or that you don't have much of a credit history, take the necessary steps to build or improve your credit. Your local credit union can review your credit history with you and help you find solutions to establish and/or improve your credit. Your credit union wants to work with you for your success; therefore, ask if you can review your business plan with them or if they know of agencies that can. The more prepared you are before applying for a business loan, the higher the chances that you will be approved.

Take the next step

Do not be afraid to take the next step. There are many resources in your community that you may not even have been aware of to help you grow your business. It is important to be informed of these resources and options. Visit your local credit union today to see how they can help.

Published 4-26-10

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