If a company has grown in success, a business owner’s attention may turn to scaling it. Each company must take into account its unique set of circumstances, therefore there is no exact science to scaling a business. That being said, we’ve put together the ten following tips to help you get a head start...
It is no good just waiting for the growth of your business to happen naturally. Scaling a business doesn't take place by accident, so take the time to prepare well in advance. The decisions you make today will affect how well your business does tomorrow. If you want your business to thrive and grow, you have to take a step back and review your processes.
Trying to grow your business when you have an out-of-date IT infrastructure is likely to be problematic. But your IT systems aren’t the only things that you need to consider. Every aspect of your business needs to be ready and able to scale, so look carefully at your infrastructure in order to identify anything that may hold you back.
If you want to be as successful as your highest-achieving competitor, then you need to study them carefully. What products are they selling? How does their website/product list/customer service compare with yours? What could you be doing differently to achieve their level of success?
Your greatest business asset is the talent that you employ, so nurture them with care. Growth means expansion, so you'll almost certainly need to take on new employees to cope with the increased workload.
However, take time over your recruitment process and consider your company culture when doing so. Attracting, and retaining, high-quality, motivated employees doesn't happen in an instant. It won't be cheap, but the results will more than pay for the extra business expense in salaries.
Thanks to increasingly automated systems, data is available across all areas of a business at the touch of a button. So make use of your data to analyse the performance of your business regularly. What products are selling particularly well? Which ones aren't selling at all? What aspects of your marketing campaign are delivering quantifiable results?
Keeping on top of your data ensures that you can spot emerging trends, identify new markets and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
As the business manager, it's your job to stay in control, but that doesn't necessarily mean heading up every single project or contributing to every department. So confine your role to steering the ship and focus your staff’s efforts on other necessary tasks to drive growth.
If you've built up a reliable team of employees, they should be able to carry out their duties, so give them free rein to do exactly that.
Sufficient growth is built on solid foundations. Look at the way you run your business and evaluate how well the organisation is operating. Are there processes that could be refined in some way? Could teams or departments work better in collaboration with each other? Is there anything that can be done to streamline operations?
Remember that growth is dynamic, so you can't afford any aspect of your business to become static. There's always room for improvement, so keep striving for perfection.
If you concentrate all of your attention on what you have at the moment, you'll never be fully open to expansion and growth. Think big, even when your company is still small. Every successful business has a leader with a vision at the helm, helping to drive growth.
Taking criticism can be painful. None of us likes to be told that we could have done something better, but taking criticism is the most efficient way of learning. If someone tries to persuade you that there might be a better way of doing things, be prepared to hear them out. Take time to absorb the comments of others, good and bad. You might just learn something to your advantage.
The speed of the digital world has made many of us impatient. It’s easy to expect things to happen immediately, but growing a business takes time. So don’t rush, and remember to evaluate your progress at each significant milestone.