Scaling your start-up – where to start
It may have seemed as if starting your business was the toughest part, but you will soon realise that actually, the next steps require even more due diligence. Your company has progressed as planned, and now you are thinking about scaling it. This is a critical decision. If you scale your business at the wrong time and in the wrong way, then the consequences can be long-lasting, while on the other hand, if done correctly, you can reap the benefits within no time.
Here are a few factors to take into consideration when making a start on scaling your business:
Check the viability
Before anything else decide if it’s feasible to scale your business. On average 66.6% of all companies fail to achieve their goals after scaling up their processes. So think about the main reasons you want to take the next step. If your product is doing well, does that mean people want more of it from you? Consider your competitors and how they have made progress. Talk to people who have been involved with the process in the past. Also, think about what investment would be needed to scale your business because you cannot only focus on earning more revenue if you don’t have business finance to cover the growing demands.
In many cases, people don’t need to scale their start-up. If you have a family business for example, and it is fulfilling all your requirements in that it is providing employment for everyone you want it to, and you are able to make a living without having to take too many risks, what benefits could scaling bring? And do they out-weight the risks you may be taking? So think carefully about whether your business really needs to be scaled up.
Analyse the products and procedures
Think about your product and if it’s ready to take the leap. Have you been making gradual improvements based on feedback from the customers. If you feel the product has achieved some credibility and is market fit, then you can consider the next steps. Be sure of who you are targeting with this scale up. Once you figure out who your target audience is then it becomes an easy decision. Consider all the different ways of reaching more clients and which channels you could use for those different routes. Thinking about the channels through which you want more money to come into your business and where to spend it is also essential.
If you are unsure about any of these things, then it means you need to take your time and not rush into scaling, but if your answers are definite, then you have a strong basis on which to move ahead.
Streamline everything possible
Automation and outsourcing are the way forward for any business whether they are small or large. You don’t want to be spending time on something that others can do easily. For example, hiring people can be done by professional recruiting agencies. You can also hand the marketing duties to people who have experience in the various specialist techniques. Most of your time and resources should be spent on the central tasks of your business; therefore only the main processes should stay under you; all others can be outsourced.
If you don’t believe in outsourcing them, automation helps massively. Initially, it does take a lot of time to make the processes automatic, but once that’s done, you can be sure you will save many valuable hours every week. These can include cloud storage and online platforms for task management — training for new employees and guidelines being available for them. Marketing automation processes and fast processing of payments are some other ways of streamlining your operations.
Market yourself in the best possible way
You cannot expect to take the next step if no one knows about your company. You need to use all the available tools for an efficient marketing campaign. Start with the digital platforms where most people spend their time and can quickly get to know about you and the products you offer. The traditional techniques of word of mouth and typescript campaigns in newspapers and billboards are still relevant however.
You should hire professionals to do these jobs if you have even the slightest of doubts that you will not be able to give proper time to run the campaigns. Involve all the options such as content marketing, guest posts and engaging with customers effectively. Also, find out what people are saying about you by keeping track of their reviews on different websites. Respond to them if you see a negative review and try to find out what went wrong.
Hire the right people for the right jobs
Once you have decided to scale up your company, it’s a given that you will need more employees. Evaluate the past processes through which you hired people and determine which elements were successful and what things you need to do differently this time around. The people you hire should be suitable for the post and bring in something new. It won’t be possible for a new and growing business to have a big team so the newcomers should ideally have multiple skills.
It’s not a bad idea to give this task to recruitment agencies who have a pool of prospective workers and can find you the best possible employees among them, based on your requirements. It saves you time, and you only deal with the selected few who have the potential, skills and ambition to succeed in the entrepreneurial world.
Don’t only depend on yourself
Your business should not be dependent solely on you. The processes, people and the task alignment should be such that everyone shares the burden. It becomes difficult to run a company smoothly if you are unable to work because an individual isn’t around. Take the load off yourself and distribute it among people who are more than capable enough to make the company successful after scaling.
In conclusion, as an entrepreneur, it is imperative to evaluate and analyse your business regularly. If you aren’t able to meet the changing trends and demands your company can suffer therefore make sure you have read the above points carefully and make them a reference for scale.