Those who haven’t seen it up close might not readily understand it, but it is true that success can be one of the most dangerous things for a business. In particular, the risk comes with how your business handles growth. Out of all the businesses that fail in their first two years, nearly 7 of 10 fail due to improper scaling. So, we’re going to show you the strategy to make sure that’s not you.
Most of the strategies we mention below aren’t going to come for free. The best way to prepare your money is to have it leftover from the start. Yet many businesses err on the side of attainability and get just enough funding to keep running. This means that you’re going to have to look for another round of investments for the business. Having a business plan adapted to your future scaling efforts is going to play a big role in convincing investors. It’s also a good idea to try cobble it together from different sources instead of putting all your faith in one investor.
Scaling any business is going to ensure that your current team isn’t going to be enough to handle it all. But don’t go hiring people willy-nilly. Some sectors are going to need to scale, while others aren’t. For example, in a software business, say there’s a core decision-making design team of five. Pumping more people in there will only make it harder for them to make decisions and get their jobs done. You’re going to have to rethink the different sections of the business from the top.
You’re also going to have to think the role that you play in the business. As a business owner and director, it’s likely that you’re not going to be able to play the same role you were before. There will be more people to manage in sections that are doing more work. Nurture the existing talent in your business and start looking for leadership materials. The people who know the business can be just the right choices to be your new section heads. That way you’re not dealing with all of the senior level burdens by yourself.
It’s not just the team that’s going to need to grow. Using free networking software like Google Docs on a few laptops isn’t going to serve a growing laptop. You may find yourself needing to adopt a proper IT network. At the same time, it’s dangerous to overspend on any one part of scaling. In these cases, many consider outsourced IT providers. Make sure you get a look at the previous clients of any team and learn what you’re going to need out of your IT system before you start paying for it.
It’s not all internal developments you need to be concerned with, either. Growth doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from success and your customers spending money. To continue that growth, you need to continue pulling the customers in. This usually means scaling your marketing alongside the rest of your business. You should consider using different methods to achieve this. Video and audio advertisements, print media, content marketing and more. There are a lot of ways to reach audiences you haven’t been able to before. Just make sure you know that you have a market there before you spend money on any one channel.
The volume of the customers won’t be all that matters. When a business grows and shows that growth, it brings with it a certain prestige. You’re going to have new expectations coming your way from customers who assume a level of professional treatment. Don’t just scale the way that you reach customers. Grow how you deal with them and support them as well. Meet customer expectations by listening to their feedback and showing that you’re listening. Talk to them on social media and give public answers so demonstrate that value in your business.
If you’re a business that ships goods, you’re going to have to rethink how you do that, as well. The truth is that most growing businesses do not entirely handle their own shipping. Instead, a lot of them choose to outsource it who make delivery their chief and primary concern. With the growing demand on a business, too many mistakes can be made by trying to cope with larger numbers of deliveries yourself. Fulfilment services can be more cost effective and help you tide things over if you do decide to start taking care of your own deliveries.
A truly professional business doesn’t just let business go on and hope for the best, either. The bigger a business gets; the more important efficiency is. The lean principles of standardising your workflow originally applied towards manufacturing businesses. But it’s easy to see why it applies anywhere. Look at the different tasks that a member of staff takes care of throughout their day. Look how they get from start to finish of that task. Are there any ways you can eliminate time? When you’ve discovered the quickest and most effective method, standardise it. Make it part of that role’s handbook. This will make it easier to train new employees and eliminate room for error.
As a growing business, you’re going to need to start sinking more roots in, too. The support you get from other businesses that deal with your market can lead to all kinds of advantages. Collaborations and cross-promotions amongst them. Networking opportunities that can connect you with more useful services, as well. So you’re going to need to start making more effort to shake hands and exchange ideas. Host your own company events, as well as attending others and getting space at trade shows.
It’s all about planning. You need to think about how every aspect of the business is going to cope with more demand. Fail to do that and it will be the weak link that breaks the chain.