As a small business owner, making the decision to scale up your company can be both exciting and highly stressful. While you may understandably be focused on increasing your bottom line and getting your product in front of more consumers, there’s also a fairly sizable risk that comes with it. Not only can the wrong misstep cost you financially, but it can also damage your reputation, as well. This can be incredibly daunting, but you shouldn’t let it hold you back.
However, because of this, it’s especially important to be mindful of all the key variables that can come into play when trying to start or expand your business. From securing the capital to make sure the well doesn’t run dry midway through your growth, to carefully and methodically taking measures to ensure that there’s a solid foundation beneath your feet, scaling up your business is unquestionably a fine balancing act. With that in mind, here are a few essential things to keep in mind when taking this major step.
Create a Business Plan
It’s one thing to believe that your business is ready for growth, and it’s another one entirely to be confident that it truly is at this stage. Yes, wanting to grow your business is an ambitious goal, but it doesn’t have to be foolhardy. If you’re seeing the first elements of growth already emerging, then your next step is to create a business plan for your company. Start by taking a hard look at where you are today, then turn your eye to the future.
This isn’t the time to lie to yourself, either. For instance, if your company isn’t already experiencing any growth, then you may want to consider delaying your expansion until it does. However, your business plan should include all of these contingencies, and then some. By taking the time to create a blueprint as to where you want your company to be in the next five years, and actually putting it to paper, your goals will become more concrete.
Secure the Capital
As a business owner, you already know that money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s a fruit of your labor, and you’ve likely worked extremely hard for every single penny that’s in your name. That said, if you want to continue to grow your business, you’re going to need financial resources. One way to do this is by turning to investors. These parties can help supply the capital up front. Another way to get financing is through grants or loans. Just be mindful of the source, and make sure you avoid getting in over your head.
Bring On Employees
Many people fail to realize that their time comes at a cost. Take, for instance, how you value your own time. If you’re looking to turn your small business into a multi-million dollar venture, then you need to recognize that you can’t do that by laboring over the menial tasks. Instead, you’ll want to start hiring and training employees to help you with that. By outsourcing some of the more monotonous or tedious parts of your job, you can focus your time on the actual growth of your company.
Ramp Up Production
It could be incredibly discouraging to see your business or brand taking off, only to realize that you have not met the emerging consumer demands for it. With that in mind, you’ll want to start increasing your output as soon as possible. For instance, if your company is in manufacturing, the last thing you want is to be facing delays in getting your product on the shelves. Consumers can have short attention spans, and these delays can impact your bottom line.
Instead, brainstorm ways to meet the needs of your customers. If you work in technology, for example, don’t be afraid to find ways to use factories and the workforce to help you develop and create your product at a faster rate. Conversely, if your company is in manufacturing, then mixing tank design calculations can allow you to better determine how rapidly you can scale up your output, as well as adequately generate the amount of product you need.
Learn How to Market
Finally, you need to learn how to market yourself and your company to the public. If you don’t know how to do this, don’t be afraid to turn to the professionals. There are marketing teams on standby that can help you get your brand in front of the public. That said, don’t underestimate the importance of marketing. Not only can this help improve your sales, but it also fulfills a very important consideration: if people don’t know you or your product exists, then how will they know that they need it?
Ultimately, trying to scale up your business can be a fairly chancy venture. You’re looking at a multitude of variables, each of which can affect your company in its own way. From hindering your growth to blocking financial success, taking the time to carefully research every aspect of growth and being methodical about it can make all the difference in avoiding these pitfalls. And once you see your business reach unprecedented heights, you’ll soon realize that your hard work was more than worth it.