A Guide to Successfully Scaling Your Business
When starting a business most people like to dream big. However, once you have overcome the hurdles of starting a business and escaped the initial risks that come with start-ups, it can be a daunting thought to put everything you’ve worked so hard for in jeopardy by attempting to scale your business significantly. While every business is different and the strategy for growth for each will vary, there are a number of universal tips that can help simplify the process and make it as pain-free as possible.
What Does It Mean to Scale Your Business Effectively?
Scaling a business doesn’t just simply mean bringing in a higher a turnover. To scale your business effectively you want to be able to bring in more customers/clients without having to increase your outgoings at the same rate. This means that if you take on more work, your profits should increase in tandem and not just your turnover.
Be Sure of Your Destination
Before you can even begin to draw up a strategy for scaling your business, you will need to be sure of what you want your business to look like in years to come. If you want your business to be one of the largest in your industry, what will that look like? How many hours will you want to be working a day? How many staff members will you need? Will this fit into your lifestyle? Knowing exactly how your end goal will look and how much effort this will require will let you know exactly what you’re aiming for and what will be required.
How Will You Get There?
Once you have identified the end goal for your business, now you can consider how you will be able to get there. Will you need to take the bootstrapping approach and try to scale quickly on a budget? If so, what will this look like? Is it possible? Another option is to look for investment; although this can help a business grow quickly, it does often mean selling shares in your business. Investment can come in many forms, from venture capital funding to crowdfunding so it’s important to do your research beforehand to identify exactly what will work best for you.
Find a Mentor
Although it is unlikely anyone will know your business better than you do, the same cannot be said for your industry and what it takes to scale a business. Finding a mentor to guide you through the process of scaling your business can be a great way to avoid the many pitfalls many companies fall into, gain the insight that an outsider can offer as well have someone to act as a sounding board for your ideas. A good mentor can prove to be invaluable to a business, especially during the scaling process. If you are interested in taking on a mentor, you can try going to industry networking events, reaching out to suitable professionals on LinkedIn or by putting out feelers and seeing if anyone in your circle can recommend someone.
When scaling, try to avoid keeping every task in-house. If your business starts to occasionally need more graphic design work, for example, consider outsourcing this rather than higher a full-time in-house graphic designer and increasing your outgoings. Identify the areas where you can and need to outsource and the areas where you really do need to employ more people and make sure this has been factored into your strategy for scaling the business. If you fail to effectively outsource work, your business could potentially start racking up expenses which in turn reduce the success of your growth.
Look into Automation
Where you can, look to automate the processes of your business. As soon as many functions of your business are automated and take care of themselves, the easier it will be to scale and the less you will have distracting you from the issues which truly matter. One of the best ways to scale your business effectively and economically is to move your IT infrastructure over to a cloud-based structure. Cloud computing will not only mean you can scale up and down with ease – with your software and storage needs adapting to the needs of your business – but it will also mean your data will be effectively backed up and encrypted.
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