How to Scale Your Small Business
So you’ve established your business - well done! Next challenge: scale it for growth. Even if you sell well, you’ll soon face problems in delivering to new customers and expanding your base. If your business fumbles, you’re going to have unhappy customers and business partners. Manual processes that were fine when you started small won’t let you advance quick enough in the long run.
Scaling is about capacity and capability; setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It requires planning, funding, the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners. Therefore, here are five things you can do to scale your business and make it grow successfully.
1. Think, Evaluate, Plan, Act
Think about what your business requires to grow. Evaluate your business model and see what aspects of your business are ready for growth. You wouldn’t know what to do differently unless you understand your business model and see where it stands today. The more specific your goals are, the more realistic your plan will be. Forecast based on adding technology, people, infrastructure, and systems to handle new sales orders. Include an expense spreadsheet breaking down expenses needed to meet your forecasted sales targets. Act on your plan and see where it takes you.
2. Invest in Technology
Technology such as automation makes it easier and less costly to scale a business. You can gain huge economies of scale with less labour. Systems integration is a prime area for improvement in most businesses. Companies nowadays don’t run off of a single system, but a dozen or more. Such systems breaking down can result in silos, which can cause more communication and management problems as your company grows. Evaluate new products on the market that save time and money, yet accommodate much higher volumes in every part of your business. Evaluate not only software, but also networks and hardware such as servers, computers, printers and telephony equipment.
3. Invest In And Build A Wonderful Team With Your Employees
As you scale and grow your business, you're likely to require more staff. Sure, you may not be as close with them as with previous team members, but everyone must realise the importance of your business values. Consistency and quality are key. Create the right culture and an environment where people want to be and want to excel - then get out of the way and let them get on with it. All team members must be properly engaged, motivated, recognised and rewarded.
4. Network And Establish Relationships with Businesses And Customers
Need help to grow? Recruiting and hiring may not always be the right answer. Instead, dedicate some time to growing your business or making your customers happy. Focus on the ‘big picture'. Operate at your own pay grade. Ask yourself if you really have what it takes to grow your business and your customer base as a leader. A study from Nielsen on advertising, media, and peer recommendations showed that 92% of consumers around the world trust earned media (i.e. personal recommendations and consumer opinions from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising. You’ll get a kick out of your business by fulfilling all your customers’ needs.
5. Grow Via Data, See Opportunities For Financial Expansion
When you pay attention to business data, you can address major issues like customer churn or leaks in your sales funnel limiting acquisition. Survey responses, website analytics, customer data, social insights, customer data; these can reveal a wealth of opportunities for you to act on and leave a significant impact on the growth, scalability, and profitability of your organisation.
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